Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Higher Roofs for Mailbox Limits

I have always believed that Exchange mailboxes were stuck at 2 Gigs maximum. What has supported this belief? The fact that 2097151 is the largest number that can be entered by using the GUI has always reinforced my impressions that the 2 Gig number was the absolute limit.

I got told tonight by Harold Wong, exceptional Microsoft Exchange expert, that the 2 gig limit did not exist in Exchange 2003. I have researched this tonight, and found that the GUI does have a 2 gig limit, but that limit can be set higher by using the ADSIEdit mmc snapin. Why set higher limits? To allow users to have more than 2 gigs in their mailboxes, but to have some control over maximum mailbox size.

"Increasing mailbox storage limits settings in exchange 2003" details how to do this.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Frustrated because you need to access the Console remotely, but don't know how?

Arrrgghhhh!&*#$ What do you do when you need to remotely access the console of a server? Maybe you have a program that you need to close... Maybe a installation prompt to click continue on... Maybe just double check before a reboot...

Kudos go to Keith at Tarosoft for putting me on to this.

Type "mstsc /console" at the Run prompt in Windows XP. Remote Desktop Connection will come up. Enter the URL or ip of the computer you want to access. Login and find yourself at the console of the remote computer, not in an Administrator TS session!

Boy, this has made my life much easier.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

FACEOFF : Is SATA faster than USB2 for SBS Backups?

Ever wonder if using SATA hard drive enclosures instead of USB2 hard drive enclosures for external backups was worth the extra expense? So have I. A problem with a client's server backup of SBS prompted this FACE-OFF. Mind you, this is not a scientific experiment, just a rough test.

Setup : I utilized a combo exclosure from AMS called Venus (DS-2316SU2SBK). This one supports USB2 and SATA external interfaces and accepts a SATA drive up to 500 Gigs. I inserted a 250 Gig WDC hard drive into the enclosure. The tested server had a Asus P4P800 motherboard, 2.4 Gig Intel P4 processor, and a SIIG SATA Raid controller based on their 3112 chipset.

Results : I ran the standard SBS backup configurated by the SBS Backup Wizard. 55 Gigs in 100 minutes for SATA, 129 minutes for USB2. USB2 backup took 29% longer than the SATA backup. Here are the details for the USB test and the SATA test.

Conclusions : 1) SATA is far faster at the Verify function than USB2, twice as fast! 2) SATA does give some speed increase during backup of data 3) Your milage may vary, but SATA generally will give you faster performance.