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How do you do....it? Thread, exchange maintenance? in Technical; what exchange maintenance do you lot do? we purchased ours afew years ago from county but had to figure it ...
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    gibbo_ap's Avatar
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    exchange maintenance?

    what exchange maintenance do you lot do?

    we purchased ours afew years ago from county but had to figure it all out our selves. we hadnt had nor been offered training on it either. this is all fine i can find my way round it easily enough but as far as routine maintenance i aint a clue.

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    Apart from backing it up and making sure you install MS updates you don't really need to do any maintenance of Exchange.

    You obviously need to delete users from AD when they're no longer needed - this will automatically get rid of the mailbox (there's a time when they are detached but not deleted but this is completely automatic)

    It does automatic defragmentation of the store overnight so you don't really need to worry about that. If you delete a large number of mailboxes at the same time you will get spare white space in the database but this is generally not a problem unless you're short of space (in a school type environment you'll have a batch of students leave at the end of the year. You delete their mailboxes and this causes white space. The new students start and their mail just tidily fills up the white space)

    Backing up is critical - you should check that it works (you shouldn't see any log files left which are older than your last backup; if there are log files then it means that the backup didn't work properly)

  3. Thanks to srochford from:

    gibbo_ap (26th January 2010)

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Which version GIBBO?

    Each new version they move the goal posts

    In Exch 2003 you do need to keep an eye on a few things,

    The smtp queues for one, as these can quickly back up if there is a problem and it's good indicator that everything is running ok.

    The database size is another, theres nothing worse than arriving in the morning to find your store has dismounted itself at 05:00 hrs

    There is a neat free tool from Solarwinds for Exchange 2000/2003 to do this, it uses WMI and can sit in your tool bar.

    Ideally you need to maintain as much free space on your IS volume as the actual database size, so that the built in maintenance can keep the DB in check an reclaim the white space.

    Without this free space the database continually grows unless you enforce quotas religiously, eventually the only way to reclaim this freespace back is through an offline defrag which is not something that you want to do willingly.

    This is probably the biggest ticking time bomb in Exchange 2003 Standard that catches so many people out (at least once), I have seen several cases where the Databases have been unlocked from the 18Gb standard setting to the Max 75Gb, the store eventually reaches 75Gb and theres no more exchange until you can defrag it.

    I can't help with 2007 because so far nothing has gone wrong that wasn't fixed in a mouse click!
    Must be a first for M$ something that works for a change.

  5. Thanks to m25man from:

    gibbo_ap (26th January 2010)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Backing up is critical - you should check that it works (you shouldn't see any log files left which are older than your last backup; if there are log files then it means that the backup didn't work properly)
    How would you back up Exchange?

    We have BackupExec for Exchange but I never managed to get it to work on the Exchange Server so what I am doing is backing up using a remote agent and got it set to backup the full database and logs. I'm not sure if BackupExec for Exchange does anything special.

    Looking in the transaction logs there's some there from 09/2009 so this would suggest it's not working?
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 25th January 2010 at 09:27 PM.

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    Yes, your backup isn't working ...

    I've not used Backup Exec for ages (I grew to hate it, mainly because of its price and licensing) but with NTBackup it's fairly easy.

    Launch ntbackup on the Exchange server, work out what you're going to backup on the Exchange store(s) and then save the settings - they're saved as a .BKS file - c:\temp\exchangesettings.bks in the example below.

    You can then schedule a task to run:

    ntbackup.exe backup "@c:\temp\exchangesettings.bks" /v:no /r:no /rs:no /m normal /j "daily" /l:s /f "c:\backupfolder\backupfile.bak"

    The final file name is where you want the backup writing - it obviously makes sense to put it on a machine other than the Exchange server. Run the task as a user who can connect to another server and then use a UNC path to the backup.

    @m25man - you're right in the things to monitor. I'd guess I'm thinking of maintenance as things that need doing regularly to keep it working and monitoring as things you need to check to make sure it is working - your items go in my monitoring list rather than maintenance :-)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    I think I am on about something different.

    I'm talking about D:\Transaction Logs\Students\E0200000A00.log for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    I think I am on about something different.
    It doesn't sound right to me.

    Steves explaination is spot on, if your online backup is working correctly all of your transaction logs should have been committed to the database and the logs flushed, leaving just a few in the logs folder.

    The Backup Exec Exchange Agent does it the same way it's just that the Backup Engine can reside on a different machine other than the Exchange server.

    If you ever needed to recover from a corruption you would restore the last DB backup and replay the log files.

    You need to read and understand this article to understand the potential problems you may face.

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    I think I know the issue here.

    I couldn't get BackupExec to backup the Information Store from the Exchange server without causing an error so I created an ntbackup job for this.

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.school\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\Information Store.bks" /n "SR-003 Information Store.bkf created 08/09/2009 at 12:01" /d "Set created 08/09/2009 at 12:01" /v:yes /r:no /rs:no /hc:off /m daily /j "Information Store" /l:s /f "C:\ntbackup\-SR-003 Information Store.bkf"
    But I have the above set as the scheduled task which is obviously wrong. No idea how I did that! It should be this?

    ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.school\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\Information Store.bks" /v:no /r:no /rs:no /m normal /j "daily" /l:s /f "C:\ntbackup\SR-003 Information Store.bkf"
    Right?

    Edit: Actually, no, the ntbackup is running and I have a log file for it. Should this then clear the Exchange logs?
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 25th January 2010 at 11:19 PM.

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    Should this then clear the Exchange logs?
    Yes, but if it hasn't been working since last September you would have a lot of those transaction log files e.g. a three figure number. How many are there? If it's just a few old ones they may have been orphaned somehow.

    Plus, the easiest way to make a scheduled ntbackup task is with the ntbackup GUI. At some point after selecting the right bits for backup you get the option to schedule it instead of running the backup right now.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    That's how I did it and it has been running daily since.

    There's supposedly 7812 files in the Students logs.

    I only have ntbackup doing:

    SR-003\Microsoft Information Store\Staff Storage Group
    SR-003\Microsoft Information Store\Staff Storage Group
    SR-003\Microsoft Information Store\Public Folders Storage Group
    Last edited by Edu-IT; 25th January 2010 at 11:48 PM.

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    This KB article refers to cleaning up Exchange Log Files.

    How to remove Exchange Server transaction log files

    The log files are needed to recover from a database failure "IF" they have not been comitted to the Database.

    If your DB's integrity is good you will be able to move the log files whilst you get everything back to normal and delete them once you know everything is safe.

    @srochford said that he classifies log file management as monitoring rather than maintenance, i'm not sure where one stops and the other starts but I think it's worthy of a regular task entry in the Outlook!

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    That's how I did it and it has been running daily since.

    There's supposedly 7812 files in the Students logs.

    I only have ntbackup doing:

    SR-003\Microsoft Information Store\Staff Storage Group
    SR-003\Microsoft Information Store\Staff Storage Group
    SR-003\Microsoft Information Store\Public Folders Storage Group
    Where is the Students Storage Group?

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Where is the Students Storage Group?
    In the same place, sorry, should be Students not Staff twice.

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    You should see an ESE event in the logs after the store has been backed up. I have just 2 log files here after a backup has truncated them. The event lists the range of logs backed up.

    There should be no need to remove them manually.

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    So if all the exchange log files are sequential and run from Sept until now and each one is 5Mb that would mean you have 39Gb of exchange log files???

    What do you have in the Events Log then?
    If the backup works/fails it should at least say something?



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