General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2179133

    Why limit mailbox size?


    by jzach ·

    What are the reasons for limiting mailbox size other than the 16GB limit for the information store? I have several users with over 500 MB of mail each. My manager has said that we will not limit user’s mailbox size. Is there documentation from M$ that suggests that mailboxes should be kept under a certain size? I have 40 users and the PRIV.EDB file just passed 3GB in size. It’s running on SBS 2003 with a 3.2 GHz Xeon processor and 4GB ram. I have a mirrored pair for OS and swap and a RAID 5 array with 3 partitions (TLog, Information Store, and user Data). Performance hasn’t been an issue so how do I get my manager to buy into mailbox limits? This same server is my only DC because of SBS, Runs DHCP, DNS, WINS, file and printer sharing, Sharepoint, IIS, ftp, etc. For a total of 40 users.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3137556

      ONLY 500 MB?

      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      I have a few users who are over 10 GB each. The *average* mbox size is over a GB.

      Now, picture 700 users and a small backup window with a short recovery window…

      If there is a good business reason for keeping EVERYTHING, then just make sure your systems are built to handle it. If not, explain the cost/performance ratio to the boss(es) and let them decide.

      But let me just say, please get at least another server. It’s not good architecture to put all of those services on the same machine.

    • #3137535

      Just wait…

      by geobeck ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      …until you have some BIG mailboxes. Most importantly: limit the mailbox sizes of your senior managers and your marketing department. Managers “never have time” for mundane tasks like organizing their mail, and marketing departments always fill their mailboxes with huge video clips and images.

      Before I cracked down on mailbox size, we had 3 users who accounted for 35% of the space on my Exchange server: two senior managers and our marketing person.

      You won’t need to limit your technical people; they organize things by nature. Half of them have probably already set up multiple PST files with personal files on their hard drives and work files on their home network folder.

      Senior managers are not technical people. Even if they were professional engineers at one point, a few years of management will dull anyone’s senses to the point where all they can understand is meetings and org charts. Limit their mailboxes, and tell them there’s a technical problem that will not allow their mailbox size to be any bigger, and by the way you need a new RAID-5 array because the platters on the old one are getting dusty.

    • #3137325

      consider carefully

      by dw_ay ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      if you have bigger stores then you should be better in managing hardware storages usually a bigger store cause of performance degradation.
      Consider too for backup jobs and data recovery when there is a trouble, how long it takes down time to restore and time to execute backup of the stores. I think you should limite mailbox sizes even for a CEO, just give the appropriate size according to their position and their need.

    • #3125695

      I think that is exchange suicide.

      by jonny memonic ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      I think that is exchange suicide.
      You should get in the practice of putting limits on the mailboxes. There are several reasons why you should do so.
      for example if your users want to access remotely over a vpn, syching 3 gb mailbox will take forever. I cannot imagine if you have to recreate the profile for auser that you might have to do a sometime. the time it will take for all those emails to populate the mailbox will take a long wait.

      I think would not see the slow downs because you got 40 users once you expand you alot more users come onboard there you will see performance issues.

      I would suggest give a limit of 50MB – 100MB and have your users save to PST files for emails they want to archive and map the pst to a mapped drive to a server for storage then run shadow copying on the server.

      That solution would be sweet in my opinion.

      • #2502441

        PST files on network

        by paul.haviland.ctr ·

        In reply to I think that is exchange suicide.

        Microsoft doesn’t support pst files on the network, if you put the active ones there you could end up with corrouption. You you backup the pst files to the network at night.

        • #2502436


          by now left tr ·

          In reply to PST files on network

          does not support anything apart from the base install of a product!

          having PST’s on a network share is not going to cause that much of a problem (done it for years) as long as the Outlook clients are closed when the backups are taken!

        • #2502350

          Ms article 297019

          by paul.haviland.ctr ·

          In reply to MS

          I have done it for years to but read Microsoft’s official word

    • #3098259

      Easier to manage

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      If you limit mail box’s it doesn’t have to be 500MB you can keep control of your storage. It also protect against spam and mail bombattacks, if you remove the limit bang there goes all your space, and your exchange server dies.

      If one user sends an email with a 10MB connection and they send it to 10 people you have stored 100MBytes in very little time, now if they all resend it to 10 other people you now have 200Mbytes for just one email and one attachment. they they modifiy or add to the attachment then resend it back to the ten people, you now have 300Mbytes, you should be getting the idea. bad stuff can happen very quickly. set up an archiving system save old emails, start using pst files as well.

      • #2502439

        mailsize multiplying

        by paul.haviland.ctr ·

        In reply to Easier to manage

        In exchange if you send a 10 meg mail package to 1000 people he message size is still 10 meg but it has 1000 pointers. The size doesn’t multiply unless users save it to a pst file. I believe thats how it works

    • #2502430

      don’t forget

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      to take into account yahoo’s 1GB mailbox size for their FREE email service.
      and Google’s 2GB mailbox size for GMAIL accounts.

      with the stupidity of people in sending massive multimedia emails you do need larger mailboxes than the old standard of 5 MB.
      [ naturally, I detest multimedia emails and concider them spam, no matter who they are from ]

      I have close to a gig of plain text emails in my own system, as an email archive from several email lists. the limits do stop people from emailing ripped dvds but then no-one seems to be quite that stupid..yet.

      editing to add:

      multimedia email [b]includes[/b] HTML email

    • #2502282

      Piggybacking on something others have said….

      by notsochiguy ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      With regards to the length/quality of backups/restores:

      I currently am at an employer that has over 30,000 e-mail accounts. With a limit of “only” 30MB for each account, it still takes days to complete a full system backup.

      Of course, this really wasn’t too grave a concern until we were hit with litigation forcing the firm to recover various messages from various people from various days. I’m not part of the messaging team, but from what I’ve heard, it hasn’t been pretty.

      From the sounds of it, this doesn’t necessarily apply to you (since you’re running SBS), but it does indicate one instance where mail limits are a necessity, rather than just an arbitrary rule set forth by IT.

    • #2934635

      Note on Maintenance

      by gjsterner9 ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      ESEUTIL /d oor /p takes about 2.5 hours per 8Gb

      isinteg takes about 20 min per pass regardless of size and you sometimes need to make 4 – 5 passes to fix links.

      I have one DB file with 20Gb in the .edb file and 16Gb in the .stm file and it takes approx 15 hours to complete a full repair using the ESEUTIL /r, then /p, then /d, and isinteg processes.

      Management was pissed when they were down all day. They finally agreed to limits when they had to feel the pain of not having e-mail for a day.

      We now have Exchange Enterprize with multiple databases of about 8Gb each. It’s Much easier to fix and not all users are donw if a database has problems.

      Backup is still a pain and takes about 6 hours for a full backup.

    • #2756263

      Why live with…

      by justsaynotoms ·

      In reply to Why limit mailbox size?

      … Exchange limits? Exchange has always scaled poorly for maintenance tasks in large environments. As the environment grows, compromises also grow (and I have administered 1000+ user Exchange environments successfully).

      However, here in 2009 compare that with something as advanced as Zimbra ZCS – no real mailbox size limits, instantaneous server-side indexed searches (including attachments and full body by default), powerful maintenance tools, easily scriptable, multi-server environments by default, Blackberry BES compatible, Outlook compatible, ActiveSync compatible, secure (has been source code analyzed), and significantly cheaper than Exchange. This is just a small list too and doesn’t include all the powerful collaboration features like industry-standard instant messaging, cross-platform compatibility (Mac, Linux, Windows, etc), industry-standard calendaring (including vCal and CalDAV), etc, etc.

      Exchange is an expensive cash cow for Microsoft that has really outgrown its usefulness.

Viewing 8 reply threads