Taming your Exchange Databases - Page 2

 By Brien M. Posey | Posted Oct 7, 2000
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Divvying up PRIV.EDB

The process involves creating personal folders for each user. These personal folders can be stored on the Exchange server; but for performance reasons, I usually prefer to store them on a separate server. You can store the personal folders in the USERS directory under each user's folder, but users have a tendency to delete files that they don't recognize. Therefore, I recommend creating a directory structure that's identical to the one used for the USERS directory in a separate location. You can then use the login script to map a drive to this location.

The next step is to force Exchange to dump its contents into the new locations. The process will vary depending on the client you're using. For the purpose of this and other articles in the series, I'll assume that you're working with Outlook 2000. Regardless of which client you use, you must be sure that your users close their e-mail client at night. If users leave their e-mail clients open during the backup, personal folders won't be backed up correctly.

Begin by opening Outlook 2000 and selecting New | Personal Folders File (.PST) from the File menu. When you do, you'll see a dialog box that prompts you for the location of the personal folder. Enter a path that points to the new location that you've chosen, followed by a file name that's unique for the particular user. For example, you might use something like "Q:\USERS\Brien_Posey\BRIEN.PST".

Once you've created each user's personal folder, you have to get Exchange to dump messages into it. To do so, select the Services command from Outlook's Tools menu. When you do, you'll see the Services properties sheet. Select the Delivery tab and then choose your newly created personal folder from the Deliver New Mail To The Following Location dropdown list. Once you click OK, all future e- mail will be automatically moved to the new personal folder. Depending on your individual configuration, you may have to manually drag and drop existing messages from their present location to the new personal folder.

As you can imagine, reconfiguring each client can be a big job. However, as your work progresses, you should notice your PRIV.EDB file getting smaller. You'll also notice a much lighter workload the next time that someone asks you to restore a message from the backup. //

Brien M. Posey is an MCSE who works as a freelance writer. His past experience includes working as the director of information systems for a national chain of health care facilities and as a network engineer for the Department of Defense. Because of the extremely high volume of e-mail that Brien receives, it's impossible for him to respond to every message, although he does read them all.

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