Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Mailbox Database Properties in Exchange 2007

Mailbox Database Properties in Exchange 2007

Unlike the properties of a storage group, the mailbox database properties dialog has a fair bit more of information.  Right-clicking on Exchange 2007 mailbox database and selecting “Properties” will bring up its properties dialog.  You will see that the various information and configuration options divided into three tabs, which are titled “General,” “Limits” and “Client Settings” respectively.
The General tab provides basic information and also shows when the last full backup and incremental backups were held, journal recipient and the maintenance schedule.  On its part, the Limits tab shows the various storage limits and deletion settings.  Finally, the Client Settings tab is where the default public folder database location is configured, as well as the location of the offline address book.

The General Tab

The General tab of the mailbox database properties dialog contains dynamic information, or information that changes from day to day.  This includes information such as the last full backup and last incremental backup, as well as the status of the mailbox database – whether it is mounted or not, and when it was last modified.
In addition, there is also an option called Journal Recipient.  The Journal Recipient option allows the administrator to create a copy of all mail going into and out of the selected mailbox database. To configure it, you first enable Journal Recipient by selecting the checkbox, then click on the “Browse…” button to indicate a mailbox to be the recipient of all these mails.
The General tab also has a configuration option called “Maintenance schedule,” which allows you to stipulate the time where maintenance activities are to be conducted.  The primary goal of the maintenance schedule is to purge deleted items permanently, purge mailboxes that have been deleted and have extended past the period of time that has been established.  Moreover, this batch process also verifies that everything is in good order where mailboxes and folders are concerned.  The maintenance schedule task is run while the database is mounted.
Two final options round-off the General tab here: “Do not mount this database at startup” and “This database can be overwritten by a restore.”  The former option is helpful should you desire to bring up the mailbox databases in a certain sequence rather than all at the same time.  The latter is used when restoring from a backup in which an offline copy of the mailbox database has been made – as opposed to an online backup.

The Limits Tab (Storage Limits and Deleted Items Retention Times)

The Limits tab of the mailbox database properties has two components that deserve a closer examination: Storage limits and Deletion settings.
Storage limits allow an administrator to configure three different tiers of storage space limits.  Warnings can be issued to the user when they reach the first level, prohibited from sending mails when they reach the second, and then prohibited from both sending and receiving of mails when they reach the final storage limit. The warning message is configured to be sent daily at 1AM by default, but can be customized as desired.
In terms of determining the amount of disk space that is required, administrators will logically need to consider the number of users multiplied by the amount of disk space per user.  Moreover, there is a need to also consider the amount of space for deleted items and mailbox retention in order to ensure sufficient space for the proper functioning of your Exchange Server.
There are two configurable settings under Deletion settings: Keep deleted items and Keep deleted mailboxes.  Both of these are defined by the number of days in which items and mailboxes will be retained.  For deleted items, this means that mails are retained for 14 days (default) after users clear them from their Deleted Items folder.  The latter option allows deleted mailboxes to be reinstated should a staffer who has resigned decide to come back within 30 days (default) – for example.
Obviously, a restoration from backups will need to be done should the configured days for items and mailbox retention elapsed.  However, the defaults should be more than adequate ordinarily, given that administrators probably perform backups on a regular basis, and not just every 14 or 30 days.

The Client Settings Tab

The final tab that can be found on the mailbox database properties dialog would be the Client Settings tab.  This are only two configurable items in this section, namely the default public folder database and the offline address book.  The creation of a default public folder database will be left till a future lesson; smaller and midsized companies will likely find the default settings for the offline address book to be adequate as well.  However, the administrator for a larger organization that uses multiple address lists will need to go into Client Settings to change the default offline address list.

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