Move Mailbox improvements in Exchange 2003

Move mailbox in Exchange 2003 has significant improvements related to reliability and performance.  Previously, to run multiple instances of mailbox moves, you would have to open up multiple MMC consoles and initiate multiple moves, or write a script to do it and run it multiple times simultaneously.  Now in Exchange 2003, we automatically use 4 threads to move mailboxes when you select multiple mailboxes to move.  You can also start up multiple task wizards to run the moves.  This means that you do not have to endure the overhead of multiple MMC consoles.  Each task window consumes 4 thread for the moves and therefore (depending on your hardware) makes the moves faster. 

There are also some reliability improvements in move mailbox in E2K3.  When mailbox moves fail, you can continue after the failure without failing the entire mailbox move – you can auto-delete the mail that caused the problem.  There is an XML logfile created with the results of the move, and you can create an XSLT to display the results (there’s a sample on MSDN).  This way, your overnight reports of how the mailbox moves went are already written you just need to format them with the xslt.

James Baker

Comments (3)
  1. John says:


    I agree that the new multi-threaded mailbox move feature in E2K3 is great. It save a considerable amount of time and increases a customer’s ability to rapidly migrate from legacy mail systems. I also know that it is possible to increase the number of threads to 16 via a registry setting (that I won’t post here).

    Outside of telling me that this is "not a supported" scenario, what are your thoughts on the matter? I was wondering if any testing has been done, and if so, what were the results of those tests? Does MS intend to increase the number of threads in future versions of Exchange and or minor service pack revisions. Please let me know and lend me your thoughts on the matter. Thank you.


  2. James Baker says:

    > The new multithreaded features of move mailbox within E2003 is very

    > exciting. We have done testing within the parameters which the

    > feature is supported. Although the move mailbox only uses 4 threads

    > you do have the ability to open up multiple task wizards of move

    > mailbox to run multiple moves of 4 mailboxes at a time. With E2003 we

    > made the Task wizard non modal so we do allow the multiple moves to

    > occur.

  3. John says:

    Thanks James this was very helpful.



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