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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.

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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.

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Note on Maintenance

by gjsterner 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.

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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.

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