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How long does a database move take? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm looking to move a database to a different drive letter on the SAME Exchange server. For ex - From H: drive to I: drive. I am not moving the logs, they will stay in its current location. Based on your experiences, how long does a database move take? I know it depends on many factors but I need to know an estimated downtime for a database that's 350GB's (moving to a different drive on the same server). This is Exchange 2010 and on a virtual server. Do you have any examples of similar size databases (or any examples) that you've moved and how long?

    Thank you in advance!

    Friday, October 16, 2015 8:42 PM

Answers

  • It takes as long as it would take to copy a file and transaction logs (if you're moving those too) of the same size.

    If you're concerned about downtime, consider creating a new database on the new volume and moving the mailboxes from one database to the other.  That doesn't cause user downtime and you can do it during business hours, cutting your overtime load.  If you choose this route, don't forget the arbitration mailboxes.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    • Proposed as answer by Mark Gossa Saturday, October 17, 2015 12:38 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by bjp106 Saturday, October 17, 2015 7:21 PM
    • Marked as answer by bjp106 Monday, October 19, 2015 1:51 PM
    Friday, October 16, 2015 9:55 PM
  • Your mileage will vary.  It depends on your server platforms, network and storage throughput.  Just try copying a large file yourself to see what you get.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    • Marked as answer by bjp106 Monday, October 19, 2015 1:51 PM
    Saturday, October 17, 2015 10:32 PM
  • Hi,

    As you would like to limit downtime, have you considered moving or extending the virtual hard disk to achieve your goal? These tasks can be done without downtime with many hypervisors.

    As for how long it takes to move a 350GB database, this will depend on the speed of your underlying storage. If it copies the data at 5MB/s it'll take about 20hrs and if it copies at 60MB/s it'll take about 1.5hrs. Generally this amount of downtime is not acceptable for businesses. 

    As per this article, the recommendation is to create a new mailbox database on the destination drive and move the mailboxes: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997006%28v=exchg.65%29.aspx.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Thanks.


    Please mark as an answer if this answers your question

    Mark Gossa

    MCSE 2003, MCITP Enterprise Administrator 2008 R2, MCSA 2012 R2, MCTS Exchange 2010

    Blog: http://markgossa.blogspot.com

    Posts are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

    • Proposed as answer by David Wang_ Monday, October 19, 2015 1:41 AM
    • Marked as answer by bjp106 Monday, October 19, 2015 1:51 PM
    Monday, October 19, 2015 1:14 AM

All replies

  • It takes as long as it would take to copy a file and transaction logs (if you're moving those too) of the same size.

    If you're concerned about downtime, consider creating a new database on the new volume and moving the mailboxes from one database to the other.  That doesn't cause user downtime and you can do it during business hours, cutting your overtime load.  If you choose this route, don't forget the arbitration mailboxes.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    • Proposed as answer by Mark Gossa Saturday, October 17, 2015 12:38 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by bjp106 Saturday, October 17, 2015 7:21 PM
    • Marked as answer by bjp106 Monday, October 19, 2015 1:51 PM
    Friday, October 16, 2015 9:55 PM
  • Thank you. But sharing any previous experiences would be helpful to me. Doesn't matter the size as I'm sure there are many of you that have done database moves before. Thanks
    Saturday, October 17, 2015 7:21 PM
  • Your mileage will vary.  It depends on your server platforms, network and storage throughput.  Just try copying a large file yourself to see what you get.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    • Marked as answer by bjp106 Monday, October 19, 2015 1:51 PM
    Saturday, October 17, 2015 10:32 PM
  • Hi,

    As you would like to limit downtime, have you considered moving or extending the virtual hard disk to achieve your goal? These tasks can be done without downtime with many hypervisors.

    As for how long it takes to move a 350GB database, this will depend on the speed of your underlying storage. If it copies the data at 5MB/s it'll take about 20hrs and if it copies at 60MB/s it'll take about 1.5hrs. Generally this amount of downtime is not acceptable for businesses. 

    As per this article, the recommendation is to create a new mailbox database on the destination drive and move the mailboxes: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997006%28v=exchg.65%29.aspx.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Thanks.


    Please mark as an answer if this answers your question

    Mark Gossa

    MCSE 2003, MCITP Enterprise Administrator 2008 R2, MCSA 2012 R2, MCTS Exchange 2010

    Blog: http://markgossa.blogspot.com

    Posts are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

    • Proposed as answer by David Wang_ Monday, October 19, 2015 1:41 AM
    • Marked as answer by bjp106 Monday, October 19, 2015 1:51 PM
    Monday, October 19, 2015 1:14 AM
  • Hi,

    I agree with Ed, we can't estimate the detailed time when moving the database to a different drive, as it is determined by many factors .

    You can refer to the below link to move the database path:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd351168(v=exchg.141).aspx

    Regards,

    David 


    • Edited by David Wang_ Monday, October 19, 2015 1:56 AM
    Monday, October 19, 2015 1:56 AM
  • Thanks. Unfortunately I am quickly approaching the Windows 2TB limit on the drive this database is on. Also I don't think I have enough time to vacate the databe to a new one. So it seems that moving the database is the best option.
    Monday, October 19, 2015 2:39 AM
  • I believe moving mailboxes may be your the best option.  With that method, once you free up some space in the old database by moving mailboxes off of it, it should stop growing and the immediate threat is eliminated.  Then you can continue moving the mailboxes until they're all moved, and then reclaim the old space.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    Monday, October 19, 2015 6:36 AM
  • bjp106,

    I would also go with Ed's proposal but I would add 2 comments.

    1. Have a good look at the size of your CI's for each database on the drive. It varies but if they are more than 10-15% of the size of the database you might want to look at re-indexing which might get you some space back in the interim while you make up your mind.

    2. It will no doubt be covered in the external link but moving 350GB of mailboxes will generate 350GB of log files so you would need to match your moves with your log drive space and backups.

    3. I know I said 2 comments but.. You haven't said if you are using a DAG, if you are then mailbox moves is really the only way to go since you have to remove the redundant copies before you can move the path then recreate them afterwards.

    Friday, October 23, 2015 1:19 PM