Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Prioritizing and Scheduling Maintenance Best Practices (part 2) - Weekly Maintenance

10/2/2014 9:33:36 PM

2. Weekly Maintenance

Tasks that do not require daily administrative input, but that still require frequent attention, are categorized as weekly maintenance routines. Recommended weekly maintenance routines are described in the following sections.

Document Database File Sizes

In an environment without mailbox storage limitations, the size of the mailbox databases can quickly become overwhelmingly large. If the volume housing the databases is not large enough to accommodate the database growth beyond a certain capacity, services can stop, databases can get corrupted, performance can get sluggish, or the system can halt.

Even with mailbox size limitations implemented, administrators should be aware of and document the size of databases so that they can determine the estimated growth rate.

By documenting the size of all mailbox databases on a weekly basis, administrators can have a more thorough understanding of the system usage and capacity requirements in their environment.

Verify Public Folders Replication

Many environments rely on public folders to share information, and the public folder configurations can vary widely from environment to environment.

With environments that replicate public folder information among different Exchange Server servers, administrators should inspect the replication to ensure all folders are kept up to date.

There are several ways to perform quick tests to determine if a public folder is replicating properly. Among these are manual testing and reviewing the Ex00yymmdd.log and Ex01yymmdd.log files. If problems exist, administrators can use these logs to troubleshoot.

Verify Online Maintenance Tasks

Exchange Server 2007 records information in the application log about scheduled online maintenance processes. Check this event log to verify that all the online maintenance tasks are being performed and that no problems are occurring.

Using the filtering capabilities of the Event Viewer (View, Filter), administrators can apply a filter to search for specific events, and can specify a date (and time) range to search for these events. For example, it is easy to filter the events to view all events with an ID of 1221 that have occurred in the past week.

Alternatively, in the right pane of the Event Viewer, click on the Event column to sort events by their ID number; however, this view is more challenging to read because you must then verify the dates of the events as well.

The following Event IDs should be regularly reviewed:

  • Event ID 1221— This event reveals how much whitespace there is in a database. This information is also useful in determining when offline database defragmentation might be necessary.

  • Event ID 1206 and 1207— These IDs give information about the start and stop times for the cleanup of items past the retention date in Item Recovery.

  • Event ID 700 and 701— These IDs indicate the start and stop times of the online database defragmentation process. Administrators should ensure that the process does not conflict with Exchange database backups and make sure that the process completed without interruptions.

  • Event IDs 9531–9535— These IDs indicate the start and end times of the cleanup of deleted mailboxes that are past the retention date.

Analyze Resource Utilization

To keep any environment healthy, overall system and network performance should be regularly evaluated. An Exchange Server 2007 environment is no exception.

At a minimum, administrators should monitor system resources at least once a week. Primary areas to focus on include the four common contributors to bottlenecks: memory, processor, disk subsystem, and network subsystem.

Ideally, utilizing a monitoring utility such as Microsoft Operations Manager to gather performance data at regular intervals is recommended because this data can be utilized to discover positive and negative trends in the environment.

Check Offline Address Book Generation

An Offline Address Book (OAB) is used by Outlook to provide offline access to directory information from the Global Address List (GAL) when users are working offline or in Cached Exchange mode. When a user starts Outlook in Cached Exchange mode for the first time, the user’s Exchange mailbox is synchronized to a local file (an .ost file) and the offline address list from the Exchange server is synchronized to a collection of files (.oab files) on the user’s computer.

By default, the OAB is updated daily at 5:00 a.m. if there are changes. Administrators can use the Exchange Management Console to determine the last time it was updated to ensure remote users have a valid copy to update from. To do so, follow these steps:

Open the Exchange Management Console.

In the console tree, expand Organization Configuration and select Mailbox.

In the results pane, select the Offline Address Book tab. Select the address book you want to view, and then, in the action pane, click Properties.

Check the Modified field to determine when the Offline Address Book was last updated.

If you want to modify the default update schedule, that can be accomplished on this page as well. Select one of the predefined schedules from the drop-down box, or click Customize to create your own schedule.

Click OK to exit the configuration.


If you are experiencing problems with OAB generation, enable diagnostic logging and review the application log for any OAB generator category events.

Monthly Maintenance

Recommended monthly maintenance practices for Exchange Server 2007 do not require the frequency of daily or weekly tasks, but they are, nonetheless, important to maintaining the overall health of the environment. Some general monthly maintenance tasks can be quickly summarized; others are explained in more detail in the following sections.

General tasks include the following:

  • Perform a reboot on the Exchange Server 2007 servers to free up memory resources and kick-start online maintenance routines. This procedure can usually coincide with the implementation of any necessary hotfixes and/or service packs.

  • Install approved and tested service packs and updates.

  • Schedule and perform, as necessary, any major server configuration changes, including hardware upgrades.

Run the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer

Administrators should run the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) in their environments on a regular basis to determine if there are any configurations or settings that are not in line with Microsoft recommended best practices. This utility and its configuration files are updated often with new and improved settings, and available updates are installed every time the utility is run.

Administrators should perform a health check, permissions check, and connectivity test at regular intervals, and the quarterly maintenance period is an ideal time to do so.

During the health check, a 2-hour performance baseline can be gathered as well.

The results of these scans can be saved and compared from month to month to determine when particular issues might have occurred.

Analyze Database Free Space

An approximation of a database’s fragmentation can be made using the database size and the amount of free space. The amount of free space that can be recovered from a defragmentation and compaction is provided within Event ID 1221 entries.

Test Uninterruptible Power Supply

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) equipment is commonly used to protect the server from sudden loss of power. Most UPS solutions include supporting management software to ensure that the server is gracefully shut down in the event of power failure, thus preserving the integrity of the system. Each manufacturer has a specific recommendation for testing, and the recommended procedures should be followed carefully. However, it should occur no less than once per month, and it is advantageous to schedule the test for the same time as any required server reboots.

  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Best Practices for Performiming Database Maintenance (part 2) - Offline Database Maintenance
  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Best Practices for Performiming Database Maintenanceng (part 1) - Automatic Database Maintenance
  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Auditing the Environment (part 3) - Message Tracking
  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Auditing the Environment (part 2) - SMTP Logging
  •  Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Auditing the Environment (part 1) - Audit Logging - Enabling Event Auditing , Viewing the Security Logs
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