Friday, October 2, 2009

Exchange Server 2003 Stuffs

Storage Groups

Containers within Exchange that are used to hold data stores (Mailboxes and public folders). By default, one storage group is created within Exchange called the “First Storage Group”.
This storage group will hold up to 5 data stores. Up to 3 additional (4 total) storage groups can be created if you are running Exchange Enterprise edition while Exchange Standard edition only supports the First Storage Group.
Most small and medium sized companies (up to approximately 1,500 mailboxes) will have no reason to use additional storage groups and for simplicity, they should be avoided. You may need additional storage groups if your company requires:
1. More than 5 data Stores
2. The use of circular logging on only some of the data stores
3. A Different location for the Transaction logs

Stores or data stores

Created in Exchange 2000 as either a mailbox store or a public folder store. By default, two stores are created in the first storage group, the mailbox store and the public folder store.

Exchange enterprise edition supports up to 5 data stores ( 4 TB max, theoretically) in each storage group, 20 stores total. Exchange Standard edition only supports the two default stores and limits these stores to a maximum of 16 GB each.
This limitation is a very important factor in determining whether to purchase exchange standard or enterprise edition. There are several reasons that you may want to create additional stores, including:
1. Easier mailbox management & organization
2. more efficient mailbox recovery
3. mailbox rule requirements (i.e size of mailbox, deleted item retention)
4. increased performance (database can be located on different hard drives)
5. separate administrative mailboxes (i.e postmaster, webmaster)

Description Exchange Standard Exchange Enterprise
Storage Group 1 4
Data Stores per storage group 2 5
Maximum size of each data store 16 GB 4 TB


Database Files
Each data store is made up of two database files, a .edb file and a .stm file. These database files together make up the data store and should not be separated.

.EDB file  MAPI Based Database
.STM file  Streaming Database, contains Native Internet content

Transaction Logs
Used in each storage group to record changes to the database. Changes are committed or rolled back based on the success of the transaction. Transaction Logs are used in Disaster recovery scenarios to completely restore mailboxes.

What Should you Backup?

1. Mailbox Stores
2. Public Stores
3. System State (Active Directory, Registry, IIS Metabase, basically system specific settings)
4. IIS Metabase


Repair the Database
- Can do more harm than good
- You should have a Normal (Full) Backup of your Exchnage Server database before running these utilities (Online or Offline)

ESEUTIL – command line tool that checks the Exchange database for consistency and repairs the database (depending upon the switches used).

ISINTEG – command line tool that is used to restore specific messages or attachments. It understands the data in the store rather than the database.
- Microsoft Support may be a better option
- Recovering from a backup is usually a better option. Adequately troubleshoot your server assuming database corruption.

Replace the Database (Using NTBackup)
1. Make sure that you have a good normal (Full) Backup of the store and Transaction before starting this procedure
2. Dismount the store
3. Start the restore process the Normal restore files first
4. Specify any Differential or Incremental restore files next. Be sure to check the last Backup set option IF the specified file is lastest backup
5. Mount the Store (if not specified in the restore)

Complete Server Replacement
1. New Server hardware or Same Server
2. Make sure HD Partitions are the same size or bigger than before
3. Install Server 2003 with all Service packs, Hot Fixes, etc.
4. Server should have the same name as before
5. Rejoin the Exchange Server to the domain
6. Verify AD Connectivity
7. Install Exchange 2003 with disaster recovery switch
8. Install Exchange Service Packs, Hot Fixes, etc.
9. Restore Data Stores and Transaction Logs
10. Restore any additional Exchange configuration (scripts, connectors, etc.)

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