SUBJECT LINE: Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, April 11, 2003

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Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition--brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, a print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that contains practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.

http://www.exchangeadmin.com

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~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

Esker Software

http://www.esker.com/exchange103

Reduce support costs and improve workflow

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(below COMMENTARY)

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~~~~ SPONSOR: ESKER SOFTWARE ~~~~

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April 11, 2003 -- In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

- Spring Cleaning

2. ANNOUNCEMENTS

- Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show!

- Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Win a Florida Vacation

3. RESOURCES

- XADM: Exchange 2000 Server SP1 Mailbox Manager

- Featured Thread: Defragging Exchange 2000

4. NEW AND IMPROVED

- Make Your Palm an Email Device

- Submit Top Product Ideas

5. CONTACT US

See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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1.

COMMENTARY

(contributed by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, exadmin@winnetmag.com)

* SPRING CLEANING

In my family, we have an established tradition: Spring doesn't really start until after the college basketball championship game. Now that Syracuse has won, my attention naturally turns to spring-related topics--including the dreaded spring cleaning. How do you clean an Exchange Server system? Exchange servers never seem to have enough disk space, so cleaning the disk is a good place to start.

The first item that needs a good spring cleaning is the transaction log files. These files, which Exchange stores in the MDBDATA directory by default, have funny names such as E000072EF.log because each log file (called a generation) is identified by a unique hexadecimal serial number. When a log file reaches its maximum size of 5MB, the Exchange Store closes it and creates a new one. The faster incoming transactions occur, the faster the Store creates new log files. If you never remove the log files, your log volume will run out of space and the Store will shut down. The only safe way to remove the log files (a process known as truncation) is to perform a full or incremental backup with a backup program that uses the Exchange backup APIs. Most people know this, but many forget to verify that backups are actually removing the log files. If the log files are still in place after you perform a full backup, something has gone amiss. Check the backup to make sure it's valid, and investigate further. Involve Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) if necessary.

The second item that probably needs a thorough cleaning is your Badmail folder. Exchange 2000 Server keeps a directory for messages that it couldn't deliver because they were misaddressed or they bounced. This directory fills up over time; Exchange doesn't make any attempt to purge it. By default, the Badmail folder is \program files\exchsrvr\mailroot\vsi x, where "x" is the number of the SMTP virtual server to which the directory belongs; typically, you'll have only one Badmail folder--vsi 1. (The Microsoft IIS SMTP component owns the Badmail directory, so the IIS metabase controls the folder's location.) Files in the folder are named with the corresponding bad message's Message-ID header value. Removing all these files will undoubtedly free up a good amount of space in one fell swoop. To keep the files from building up in the future, you can write and periodically run a short script that clears the directory.

These two cleaning tips are small potatoes compared with the next one: Get users to clean up their Sent Items folder. More often than not, users forget that every large attachment they send lives on in their Sent Items folder. Removing those messages from Sent Items can result in significant space savings. Because of Exchange's single-instance storage mechanism, messages sent to users in the same storage group (SG) live on in the Store until the recipients delete them. But cleaning out Sent Items will at the very least remove messages sent to recipients on other servers or in other SGs.

Aside from these three big chores, you can perform several other tasks to recoup storage space. Use Mailbox Manager to clean up outdated calendar data, encourage users to run Outlook's Auto-Archive feature, or deploy message-archiving tools such as those from CommVault Systems, EDUCOM TS, KVS, and VERITAS Software. And whatever you do, make sure to clearly communicate any impending changes to users so that they don't deluge you with cries of "Where'd my mail go?"

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~~~~ SPONSOR: REDUCE SUPPORT COSTS AND IMPROVE WORKFLOW ~~~~

With UniPress Software's FootPrints for Exchange, you'll be up and running in just days with centrally managed request tracking, self-service online, knowledge management, email management, & automated IT asset auto-discovery & tracking. FootPrints for Exchange is the 100% web-based help desk & support automation software without high costs, programming, & complex administration and it dynamically links to Microsoft Exchange/Active Directory address books. Register for a free walkthrough at http://www.unipress.com/cgi-bin/download_winnet.pl

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2.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW!

Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Come to our 10-city Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register today!

http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

* WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE CONNECTIONS: WIN A FLORIDA VACATION

This is your exclusive opportunity to interact first-hand with the Windows & .NET Magazine writers you trust. Get the latest tips on Exchange 2003, Exchange 2000, Active Directory, security, wireless, .NET, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, IIS, and more! We've just added a new session that compares Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000. Attendees will have a chance to win a Florida vacation, so register today to secure your seat!

http://www.winconnections.com

3.

RESOURCES

* XADM: EXCHANGE 2000 SERVER SP1 MAILBOX MANAGER

Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, learn how to use the Mailbox Manager tool in Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 1 (SP1) to help enforce message-retention policies, manage the size of the Exchange Store, and recover from spam attacks.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=278024

* FEATURED THREAD: DEFRAGGING EXCHANGE 2000

A forum reader is looking for best practices for defragging Exchange 2000 Server. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:

http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=40&tid=57042

4.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* MAKE YOUR PALM AN EMAIL DEVICE

Sort Once--an email hosting service that supports mobile professionals who use a variety of devices including desktops, laptops, and handhelds--announced support for Palm's VersaMail, which supports the PalmModem for wired email. Sort Once also tests, supports, and maintains systems operation with Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, and QUALCOMM Eudora. The product permanently stores all email messages on a central server. Sort Once standard accounts cost $5.95 per month; enhanced accounts cost $7.95 per month and include additional storage space. Contact Sort Once at 425-895-8020.

http://www.sortonce.com

* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to whatshot@winnetmag.com.

5.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- exadmin@winnetmag.com

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- lpere@winnetmag.com (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR EXCHANGE & OUTLOOK UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- exchangeandoutlookupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR EXCHANGE & OUTLOOK UPDATE? -- emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

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Thank you for reading Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition. _________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.