RE: Mailbox Issues

  • From: "Chris Nielsen" <cnielsen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'[ExchangeList]'" <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 18:04:06 -0700

I've been mulling over the same type of situation. I have several
users that are around 300MB in mailbox size, which IMO is too large.
They are either not archiving, or they are saving large type files in
their mailboxes (lots of .doc's, graphics or pdf's or something).


Here are what I have determined are some good guidelines to follow and
I have recommended to my users:

*       Your Deleted Items and Sent Items folders should be considered
a main archive source, and hence anything that is not worth keeping
should be shift-deleted (permanently deleted). Spam, and other
worthless email should not go into your Deleted Items folder. You
should shift-delete it. (Rule-of-thumb is, of course, to *not*
permanently delete if you're in doubt.)
*       Attachments worth keeping should be saved to file and the
email they came in on shift-deleted to save mailbox space (and
therefore server performance).
*       Everyone should have auto-archive settings set somewhere
between 3 and 6 months. Anything older than that gets moved to archive
folders, which reside on the local machine and therefore don't have
any impact on server performance.


The goal of all the above is to maintain an optimal mailbox size below
250MB. This equates to 64 users per 16GB of server space. I have yet
to actually place a hard limit on mailbox size as there are a few
people that have gone through their mailbox deleting everything they
can (so they say) and they are still at or above 300MB. Being as one
of these is my boss I can't go limiting the mailbox sizes willy-nilly
:-), if you get what I mean. Plus we have a rather low number of users
on the system. We're nowhere near the 500 to 1000 users that is a
typical load for a server. If we were higher in user count I would be
looking at closer to 100MB per mailbox as a guideline myself. As it
is, I'm not too worried about mailbox size as long as we stay close to
250MB top end.


Your question about backups seems misguided. I'm unfamiliar with any
specifics of running Exchange on SBS, but all Exchange data in the
Information Stores should be backed up at the server level. This makes
backing up at the user level superfluous. Once you get users using the
archiving features of Outlook they will have a considerable amount of
data in their archive folders, which will be in .pst (native Outlook)
format, and these files should be backed up. But their online
mailboxes should be taken care of at the server level. Does SBS not
store mailboxes on the server?


I've found the above policies to work fairly well for my application.
I've been at my current job for just over two years and I myself
maintain an online mailbox size just over 150MB and my archive.pst has
just reached 135MB. I auto-archive anything older than 4 months.


If anyone has suggestions or counter-points to anything I've said I'd
be glad to hear them. I'm still pretty new at Exchange Administration.


Chris Nielsen

Systems Administrator

New Dawn Technologies


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Bonnice [mailto:whadmin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 5:06 PM
To: [ExchangeList]
Subject: [exchangelist] Mailbox Issues

Hi All,


Im having some issues with peoples mailbox sizes, currently I have not
placed any restrictions on mailbox sizes. Some peoples are up to 300mb
and growing. As I am running exchange on SBS this is going to cause an
issue down the road. 


Just wondering what a reasonable/average restriction is. Also the
users will want to backup their mailboxes, is there an easy way to
burn it onto CD or something, and what format should it be.


Thanking all,


Michael Bonnice

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