How to efficiently organize mailboxes on an Exchange server?

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    Hi all,

    I’m looking for a method to organize mailboxes on Exchange server so that I can have better control over mailbox stores databases size and growth and to avoid disks hosting the databases to run out of space.

    One way which seems to me as the most manageable is to create a mailbox store for each mailbox quota. For example, two mailbox stores for 100MB mailboxes, one mailbox store for 250MB mailboxes, etc…
    This way I set a quota on the mailbox store so that each mailbox in the store will be limited (I ensure that mailboxes use store default quota settings). To change the size of a mailbox I simply move the mailbox to a different store.

    If I decide that a mailbox store should be at most 50GB, I can control this by putting the correct number of mailboxes in each store (for example, 200 mailboxes in the 250MB store).
    In this case, I move the store database files to a 70GB disk (to allow retention items, deleted mailboxes and system tables take their space) and I can live happily knowing that I don’t need to worry about the disk running out of space.

    The problems with this method are:
    1. I don’t use single instance and have to use worst case scenario for space calculations.
    2. This is a more bothering issue. To enlarge a mailbox, it has to be moved to a different mailbox store, which is time consuming and prevents the user from working. In case I need to enlarge 20 mailboxes from 700MB to 2GB, and the mailboxes are about 600MB each. It will take a long time to move these mailboxes.

    I would like to hear different ways that you guys use to manage your mailbox quotas and storage. How do you track database sizes and disk space to avoid downtime. What do you do in case a disk hosting store databases is running low on space.



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