Exchange 2010 Standard edition limited to 5 databases

When talking about the new High Availability features in Exchange 2010 an often recurring question is “How many mailbox databases can you home on an Exchange 2010 Standard Edition?”

The answer is listed here: Looking at the On-Premise Licensing for Exchange Server 2010, and for a Standard Edition you are limited to 5 and for an Enterprise edition you are limited to 100:


The next question is a lot of times: does this apply to active mailbox databases only?

Let’s see…

I’ve got a DAG, called DAG1, which includes two servers: E2010CHM1, and E2010MU2. I’ve created a few mailbox databases as you can see in the picture below:


The following databases are mounted on E2010CHM1:

  1. Employees

  2. Mailbox Database 0789…

  3. Management

  4. Soleil

  5. Public Folder Database

And the following mailbox databases are mounted on E2010MU2:

  1. BHV

  2. Mailbox Database 1077…

Now let’s try to add a mailbox database copy for the mailbox database BHV, so it will be available as a passive database copy on E2010CHM1.



Here’s the result:





Exchange 2010 Standard Edition is limited to a maximum database limit of 5 (which is the sum of active and passive database copies, and the public folder database!)


Comments (14)

  1. I have a question that is related – 2 Std edition with 5 databases each – 2 Active – 2 passive and 1 PF each (5 DB per server) what about adding a 3rd Enterprise server and creating a 3rd copy of each database on the enterprise. I am virtually sure this is fine as the Ent server is not attempting to copy anything back to either std servers.

  2. ilvancri says:

    True, and there are more sidenotes to DAG, like the fact that Public Folders can not take advantages of DAG, you still need to use Public Folder replication mechanism! But a pubic folder database can be homed on a server, who is a member of a DAG 🙂


  3. Mike Crowley says:

    Good article!  An important side note – you must use Windows 2008 ENTERPRISE to utilize DAG.

  4. Susana says:

    And what about Personal Archive databases in SP1? Five databases is the limit for the sum of active, passive, public folder and personal archive databases?

  5. GermanP says:

    So, if i got it right, there is a limit of 5 databases per server. Does that mean that if you had tried to add the copy to the other server (the one with only 2 databases) would it have been successful?


  6. whackmann says:

    NOPE !!! FAIL!!!

    5 Databases PER Server !!!

    look here:…/bb232170.aspx

    In Your Scenario you already have 5 Databases on E2010CHM1 !!!


  7. Alceryes says:

    It looks like the 'Soleil' db is already part of a DAG(?)

    Also, if you had attempted to add 'Employees' to your DAG would it have worked (since server 2 has less than 5 databases)?

  8. Qasim says:

    I have a question, if I have standard edition of exchange 2010 how many user mailboxes can I create?


  9. Anonymous says:

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  12. Jose Sanchez says:

    Hi guys:
    I got a question about licensing Exchange into a specific scenario.
    Here´s my story:

    My company has 4 mailbox servers running on EXchange 2010 Enterprise.
    We are moving to DAG configuration, from microsoft website we know that Enterprise version can support up to 100 databases (Active, passive and public folder).

    Since we have 4 instances running with Exchange 2010 Enterprise, and as we know this version support up to 100 databases , does that mean that my environment could have 400 databases as maximum?

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  14. David says:

    Very precise article!