2GB Exchange mailboxes? Owie.


MS Fights GMail with 2GB Exchange Mailboxes

Yeesh. OldJob was on GroupWise, and we didn't have mail quotas in place. The largest mailbox I saw (not including archives) was about 900MB. These days that'd probably translate to a 2.5GB mailbox. So yeah, they can get that big.

When I started here the standard Exchange mailbox settings were set to start complaining when the 30MB line was crossed. We've upped it to 46MB since then. We manage our large users by having a higher tier quota group with much higher limits. That group is currently set to start warning at 200MB. Our largest mailbox right now is 233MB.

The problem with mailboxes that large is, of course, backing it all up. The article goes on to say that Exchang 2007 will have features that will help mitigate that. What I suspect that means is replication to another site, rather than the mail archive features some folk use backup/recovery for.

Setting the max quota to 2GB will result in a LOT more people using email as a filing cabinet. Right now the total size of our Exchange system is around 310GB, which is a direct result of those mail quotas I mentioned above. Additionally, we're backing up around 100GB of .PST files on the Novell cluster; this of course does not include those PST files located on PCs. Taking the breaks off the mail quotas would expand our mail significantly faster than its expanding now. Those folk who legitimately deal with huge files will be less inclined to delete redundant copies of Monster Attachments.

One of the more annyoing problems with just taking the breaks off is how long it'll take to sanity-check a bad mail database. The last time we did a round of that the data files were in the 28-30GB range, and it took about eight hours per mail-store to clean the database files. Exchange could handle that no problem, but that did result in an extensive downtime. Two servers, four large mail-stores, meant that once we started the repair process it was a minimum of 16 hours before everything was back up.

It'll be interesting to see the Exchange 2007 guidance for designing enterprises with that much storage.