Optimize Maintenance and Backup Windows

By Lee Dumas  |  Posted 2009-09-30 Print this article Print


Step No. 3: Optimize maintenance and backup windows

Exchange system maintenance is generally configured to run during off hours when there is reduced load on the server. The following is a simple checklist of four items that can be used to ensure that maintenance is running during an optimal timeframe:

1. For starters, review the configured maintenance window to verify that it is running during a period of low load and that it is not running during the backup window. Maintenance should never be run on a server while backups are taking place.

2. Implement a stop time that corresponds with the start of business when users add load to the server. The maintenance should be completed or halted before users need the server resources.

3. Check the event log and verify that maintenance is starting and completing successfully. Look for "Event ID 700" and verify that it is followed in sequence by "Event ID 701" and finally by an "Event ID 1221." If "Event ID 701" does not appear, then online maintenance is not completing. Online maintenance should complete at least once per week.

4. Regularly monitor database white space. After online maintenance is complete, look for "Event ID 1221" which lists how much white space is available in the database. Many administrators will run offline defragmentation of the Exchange database when white space reaches 25 percent. This is not recommended. If a database has more than 50 percent white space, users should be moved to a newly created database. Only in very rare cases should the ESEUTIL tool ever be run.

Lee Dumas is the Director of Architecture at Azaleos, and has been involved with Exchange and messaging for over 13 yearsÔÇöfirst as a core member of the Exchange development team at Microsoft and then in various consulting roles. He specializes in architecture and operations specific to Exchange and Active Directory, and is also proficient in other Exchange-related technologies such as UM, OCS, and mobile devices. Most recently, before joining Azaleos, Lee spent seven years in "real world" deployment engagements in which he helped companiesÔÇöranging from a handful of seats up to multinational corporations with 60,000 or more seatsÔÇöget Exchange messaging running smoothly. Lee is a pioneer MCA Ranger and has been part of the program since it first expanded outside of Microsoft four years ago. He can be reached at Lee.Dumas@azaleos.com.

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