HOW TO: Add New Mailbox Stores in Exchange Server 2003

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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to create and add new mailbox stores in Exchange Server 2003.

In Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5, all user mailboxes are maintained in one private store. However, this configuration may cause issues with scalability if you have a lot of users. Additionally, it may take longer to back up and restore data.

Beginning with Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Enterprise Edition, and continuing with Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, you can create multiple storage groups, and each storage group can contain several mailbox stores. With this configuration:
  • You can distribute users' mailboxes around the mailbox stores.
  • You reduce backup and restore time.
  • You have more flexibility with database file placement.

Requirements

The following list outlines the recommended hardware, software, network infrastructure, and service packs that you must have to create and move mailboxes in Exchange 2003:
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later
  • The Microsoft Active Directory directory service
  • Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
This article assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:
  • Exchange System Manager
  • Transactional tracking logs and databases

How to Plan Storage Groups and Mailbox Stores

Exchange 2003 uses mailbox stores and public folder stores, and these are referred to as databases. In Exchange 2003, you can configure up to five stores (either mailbox stores or public folder stores) in up to four storage groups, and you can have a maximum of twenty databases for each Exchange 2003 computer.

Each group of databases in a storage group shares the same set of transactional tracking log files. However, each database in a storage group can have its database files in a different location than the transactional tracking log files location. Functions like circular logging are enabled at a storage group level.

Consider the following recommendations as you decide where to locate your transactional tracking log files and your mailbox store files:
  • Microsoft recommends that you put both the transactional tracking log files and the database files on fault-tolerant partitions such as RAID1, RAID5, or RAID0+1.
  • Microsoft recommends that you put the transactional tracking log files and the database files on separate partitions, and that you arrange them so that a failure of a single disk does not affect both the log files and the database files.
  • If you are working in a large environment, Microsoft recommends that each database has a separate fault-tolerant volume. Use this configuration if you have a special mailbox database (such as for an important person) that you may have to restore more rapidly.
  • To carry out in-place restores, the database volumes must have free space equal to 110 percent of the size of the database.
  • Remember that the deleted item retention time means that the deleted items are not removed from the database until the retention time has elapsed and the online maintenance has completed. Disk space that is reclaimed by deleted item retention is not returned to the operating system but is converted to white space in the database.

How to Create a New Storage Group

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. If the Display administrative groups option is turned on, expand Administrative Groups, and then expand First Administrative Group (where First Administrative Group is the name of your administrative group).

    Note To display administrative groups, right-click Your_Organization, click Properties, click to select the Display administrative groups check box, click OK two times, and then restart Exchange System Manager.
  3. Expand Servers, right-click the server where you want to create the new storage group, point to New, and then click Storage Group.
  4. In the Name box, type a name for the storage group.

    This name is automatically entered in the Transaction log location box and in the System path location box. By default, the location is C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Storage_Group_Name.

    Alternatively, you can click Browse in Exchange System Manager to select an existing folder. After you click Browse, click New Folder to create a new folder location for the transaction log files, and then click OK to accept the new folder location.
  5. By default, circular logging is turned off so that up-to-the-minute recovery can be achieved. If you want to turn on circular logging, click Enable circular logging.
  6. Click OK to create the storage group.
For additional information about circular logging, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
147524 XADM: How Circular Logging Affects the Use of Transaction Logs
258470 XADM: How to Modify the Circular Logging Setting

How to Create a New Mailbox Store

After you create a storage group, create a mailbox store or a database in that storage group.
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. If the Display administrative groups option is turned on, expand Administrative Groups, and then expand First Administrative Group (where First Administrative Group is the name of your administrative group).
    Note To display administrative groups, right-click Your_Organization, click Properties, click to select the Display administrative groups check box, click OK two times, and then restart Exchange System Manager.
  3. Expand Servers\Your_Exchange_Server.
  4. Right-click the storage group that you created in the "How to Create a New Storage Group" section of this article, point to New, and then click Mailbox Store.
  5. In the Name box, type a name for the mailbox store.

    Note Use a name that describes the purpose of the database, for example, "Managers."

    Mailbox stores are associated with a default public store. If you define more than one public store, you can change this association. However, because Microsoft Outlook client computers only display the MAPI top-level hierarchy, you do not have to change the association unless users are going to use Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) or the Web storage system mailboxes to access this store.
  6. The Offline address list box is set to use the Default Offline Address List.

    If you want to create or select an alternative offline Address Book for this mailbox store, click Browse, type the name of the address list you want to use in the Name box, and then click OK.
  7. If you want to archive all the messages that are sent and received on this store by a particular user or distribution group, click to select the Archive all messages sent or received by mailboxes on this store check box, click Browse, click the user or the distribution list that you want to archive in the Select Recipient list, and then click OK.
  8. Click the Database tab, browse or type the path of the database (.edb) file in the Exchange database box, and then browse or type the path of the streaming media (.stm) files in the Exchange streaming database box.

    Note The default location is the same folder as the transactional log files:
    • C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\New Storage Group\Mailbox_Database_Name.edb
    • C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\New Storage Group\Mailbox_Database_Name.stm
  9. In the Maintenance interval list, click the maintenance interval for this database to specify when the online compaction runs.

    This procedure compacts the file by defragmenting the data in the database files; however, this procedure does not make the files themselves any smaller.

    Note To make the files smaller, run the Eseutil offline defragmentation utility.
  10. Click the Limits tab, click to select the Issue warning at (KB) check box, the Prohibit send at (KB) check box, and the Prohibit send and receive at (KB) check box, and then type a size in the box next to each selection.

    Note These settings apply to all the mailboxes in this storage group unless the settings are overridden by the individual mailbox. You can also configure the deletion settings to specify the time interval before the deleted items are completely removed from the database.
  11. Click OK to accept the changes.
  12. In the Your_Mailbox_Store dialog box, click Yes to mount the store immediately and to make it available for mailboxes.
  13. After the store is mounted, click OK.
For additional information about naming data bases, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
311441 XADM: Multiple Databases in a Single Storage Group Must Have Unique Names
For additional information about how to back up an Exchange server, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
258243 XADM: How to Back Up and Restore an Exchange Computer by Using the Windows Backup Program
For additional information about online maintenance, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
271222 XADM: Understanding Performance and Scalability Characteristics of Exchange 2000 MDB Online Maintenance
For additional information about how to use the Eseutil offline defragmentation tool, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
192185 XADM: How to Defragment with the Eseutil Utility (Eseutil.exe)

How to Confirm that the Storage Group Was Successfully Created

  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Explore.
  2. Start Microsoft Windows Explorer and locate the folder that you specified for the transactional logs and system files. By default, this folder is located in C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Storage_Group_Name.
  3. Confirm that the log files are in this folder. The file names depend on the number of storage groups on the server. For example, the default first storage group is E0inlog. The second storage group is E01.log, the third storage group is E02.log, and so on.
  4. Confirm that all the log files are 5,120 kilobytes (KB).

How to Confirm that the Mailbox Store Was Successfully Created

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools and then click Event Viewer.
  2. In the left pane, click Application Log.
  3. Click View, and then click Filter.
  4. In the Event Source list, click MSExchangeIS mailbox store, and then click OK.

    Only events from the MSExchangeIS mailbox store are displayed. Scroll through the list of events and look for the following event numbers:
    • 1000
      Description: Attempting to start the Microsoft Exchange Information Store Storage Group Name>\<Store Name.
    • 1133
      Description: Allocating message database resources for database Storage Group Name>\<Store Name.
    • 1217
      Description: The information store database Storage Group Name>\<Store Name has unlimited storage capacity enabled.
    • 9523
      Description: The Microsoft Exchange Database Storage Group Name>\<Store Name has been started.
    These numbers indicate that the mailbox store was successfully created and mounted.

Troubleshoot "Cannot Mount the Mailbox Store"

If you create storage groups and mailbox stores, and then put them on a hard disk that does not have sufficient space, you cannot mount the mailbox store. To resolve this issue, open the Mailbox Store properties, and then type another location for the mailbox store.

REFERENCES

For more information about how to configure storage groups and mailbox stores in Exchange 2003, see the Exchange Server 2003 Resource Kit and Exchange Server 2003 Help.

Properties

Article ID: 821748 - Last Review: October 25, 2007 - Revision: 1.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster KB821748

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