Exchange 2010 Stores (No Storage Groups)

Exchange 2010 Stores (No More Storage Groups)

Instead of Exchange 2010 having one huge mail store, I advise you to divide, thus rule your Exchange Organization.  Management really is the keyword.  Creating multiple stores will greatly improve your control over the Exchange 2010 server mailboxes. 

Topics for Exchange 2010 Stores

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Benefits of Exchange’s Multiple Stores

  1. Exchange 2010 Standard Edition supports up to five databases.
    While Exchange 2010 Enterprise Edition supports 100 databases.
  2. Smaller stores mean that backup completes faster, and that restores are easier to manage.
  3. Fewer users will be affected should you need to take one store offline.
  4. Each store can have its own policy for mailbox limits.
  5. Instead of having lots of small Exchange 2010 servers, buy one powerful machine and configure multiple Stores.

Exchange Server 2010 Server Stores

See a SolarWinds Storage Response Time Monitor »

Exchage 2010 Store Files

Exchange database (.edb)
This file type holds the actual mailbox data. They’re accessed by the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) directly and have a B-tree structure designed for quick access.  Access is claimed to be up to 4 times quicker than Exchange Server 2007.

Transaction log (.log)
These files record database operations such as creating a message. Committed operations are later written to the.edb database itself.  Each database has its own set of transaction logs.

Checkpoint (.chk)
As the name suggests, these file record when an operation is successfully saved to the database on the hard disk. The benefit is that Exchange 2010 can use .chk to automatically replay log files into an inconsistent database when recovering from a service interruption, starting with the next unwritten operation. The .chk files are placed in the same log location as the .log files.

Exchange 2010 Storage Groups Removed

The big news for Exchange 2010 storage groups is that they have been decomissioned, mainly because of difficulties in restoring a single store in a disaster recovery emergency.

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Managing Your Stores

Exchange Server 2007 introduced a new feature called Local Continuous Replication (LCR) for your mailbox storage group.  One consequence of enabling LCR is that you can only have one database in each store.  The idea is to reduce the recovery time for data-level disasters.  LCR works by enabling a quick switch to a second online copy of the data.

Exchange Mailbox Store

One option you may wish to implement is the Journal Recipient.  Exchange 2007 Server can automatically copy every message, what you do is create a special account, and then ‘wire up’ the mailbox store to this Journal Recipient.

Move a Mailbox

It could not be easier to move a mailbox store, just right-click the store and the wizard will guide you through the process to re-house the database.

Mailbox Limits

When you configure mailbox limits, they never seem to work.  This is because they take at least two hours to take effect.  You can enforce a limit immediately by restarting Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.  Rebooting the Exchange server would have the same effect, but restarting the service is a more intelligent and satisfying solution.

Troubleshooting Exchange 2010 Store Problems

Exchange 2010 SP1 introduces a new New-MailboxRepairRequest cmdlet to detect and repair mailbox corruptions.

Server Stops Responding to a MAPI Client

Exchange Server 2010 sets limits on the number of server objects that MAPI clients can open.  This is a classic trade-off, if you allow Microsoft Outlook client to open unlimited numbers of objects on the server, then a few thoughtless uses can hog the server.  If you choke down the number of objects any one client can open, then you will get lots of Event 9646, indicating that a MAPI client has opened too many objects on the Exchange 2010 server.

As so often these cases, there is a registry setting where you can change the defaults:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\ParametersSystem

You need to create a sub-key called: MaxObjsPerMapiSession

Next, right-click the MaxObjsPerMapiSession that you just created, click New, and then click DWORD Value objtMessage.  In the ‘Value’ data box, type the new maximum number of objects, say 500.

If you are interested, you could research then add more values, for example: objtStream, objtACLView, objtRulesView, objtFXSrcStrm,  objtFXDstStrm, or objtCStream.

‘Windows could not start the Microsoft Exchange Information Store on Local Computer.’

Check the application event log for Event ID messages 1121 and 5000. The root cause is most likely caused by ‘Mr Nobody’ deleting the default E-mail Address policy, and then creating a new default policy.Adsi Edit 'Windows could not start the Microsoft Exchange Information Store on Local Computer.'

The solution to this error ‘Windows could not start the Microsoft Information Store’, lies with ADSI Edit (not Regedit).  What you need to do is set the attribute msExchPolicyOrder = 2147483647.  This how to navigate to the correct property:

  1. CN= Configuration\CN=Services\CN=Microsoft Exchange. Then:

    CN=<Organization>\CN=Recipient Policies\CN=E-mail Address Policies

  2. Right-click the E-mail Address Policies name, and then select Properties.
  3. Find the msExchPolicyOrder attribute, and then click Edit.
  4. Set the value of the msExchPolicyOrder attribute to 2147483647.

General Solution to Store Problems

Restart the underlying Exchange 2010 service:

In Services snap-in, in the details pane, locate the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.

Alternatively, use a PowerShell command:
restart-Service "Microsoft Exchange Information Store"

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PowerShell Commands for Stores

After launching the Exchange Management Console and looking around, you may find it quicker and easier to type a few PowerShell commands rather than keep drilling down via the GUI.  Here are a few of the many PowerShell commands to configure your Exchange 2010 stores.

mount-Database  

Example: Mount-Database -Identity ExchSrv\MgrDatabase  There is also a sister command: dismount-Database.

remove-MailboxDatabase

Example: remove-MailboxDatabase -Identity "OldMgrs"

set-MailboxDatabase  This is the command to set mailbox limits.

Example: Set-MailboxDatabase "MgrDatabase" -IssueWarningQuota 512000000 -ProhibitSendQuota 563200000 -ProhibitSendReceiveQuota 614400000

set-MailboxDatabase has more parameters, for example, you can ‘wire up’ email journaling.  There is also a family of MailboxPermission commands, which use the verbs add, get or remove. 

Statistics

Two more interesting cmdlets are: get-MailboxFolderStatistics and also get-MailboxStatistics. 

move-DatabasePath  This command requires more parameters, I would favour the GUI unless you are for ever moving mailstore databases.

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Summary – Exchange 2010 Stores

While Exchange 2010 has stores, each with its own database and log file, storage groups have been removed to make disaster recovery easier.

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See more Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 topics:

Exchange 2010  • Exchange 2010 Transition  • SMTP Auth Login  • Address Policies Exchange 2010

• Exchange 2010 Eseutil Commands  • Exchange 2010 GAL  • Exchange 2010 ExBPA  • Home

Solarwinds Exchange Monitor  • Exchange 2010 PowerShell Commands  • New-SystemMessage