Exchange Server journaling -- segregation and migration

SearchExchange.com contributor Serdar Yegulalp explains why you should segregate journaled mailboxes to their own message stores in Exchange Server 2003, and outlines message journaling changes you should to consider when migrating to Exchange Server 2007.

Exchange Server's native journaling feature lets you save all incoming and outgoing email traffic to a given mailbox for the sake of email archiving and retention.

While third-party email archiving products perform the same function, many administrators rely on Exchange Server journaling, because there's no additional cost and it's relatively easy to set up and use.

If you're journaling in Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, you should move all mailboxes that are being journaled to their own store. (This is not possible with Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition, because you can't create multiple mailbox stores.)

Segregating journaled Exchange Server mailboxes is a good idea for two reasons:

  • If there's a problem with one of the Exchange Server databases, the other databases have a better chance of surviving (whether they're journaled stores or not). The journaled stores can be backed up separately.

  • Segregating journaled Exchange Server data is more efficient in terms of storage -- you're not journaling anything that doesn't need to be journaled, so you're saving disk space overall.

In Exchange Server 2007, journaling has been reworked a bit. Instead of tying journaling to a given message store, it's now applied in the Hub Transport Server role. This means that journaling can now be applied to a broader range of objects (e.g., mail-enabled contacts).

Consequently, you have much more freedom in how journaling is set up in Exchange Server 2007. You can configure a given mailbox to be the journaling mailbox for one or more databases. You can also dedicate a whole database to the journaling mailbox (which you probably should do).

If you're migrating from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007, and also migrating your journaling settings, keep these expanded behaviors in mind. They'll give you more flexibility when designing your new storage group model and setting up journaling in Exchange Server 2007.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.

Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Tip: Native Exchange Server archiving limitations
  • Tip: Exchange Server event sink offers more granular message journaling
  • Tip: Outlook journaling -- a poor man's archiving tool
  • Tip: MailArchiva – open source email archiving for Exchange Server
  • Learning Center: Exchange Server archiving essentials

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  • This was first published in December 2006

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