It was noticed that the disk space was low on Exchange 2016 when one of my on premises mailboxes was not receiving email. A few searches lead to the need to setup Exchange aware backups on the Windows Server 2012. This post covers the steps taken to free the space.
My disk space was low for this Exchange 2016 server as seen below. Although it does not have much traffic due to being a hybrid O365 setup, it is still desired to process mail.
From reading, there were several people that suggested to see if the backups have been completed recently. This is viewed within the Exchange ECP, under Servers -> Databases.
Upon looking at the directory structure of the server, it is clear that the mail logs are utilization the drive space.
Some of the posts recommended to remove the logging on the server that is filling up the disk space. These transaction logs are critical for the successfully recovery of a mailbox that is corrupted. As this is undesirable the alternate approach discovered was to complete a backup of the volume that exchange resides on. Using the TechNet article, these are the steps taken to complete the backup process to free up disk space.
First step for me was adding the “Windows Server Backup” in the Roles and Features of the server. This was a Next, Next, Next type installation that should be familiar if you are already running Exchange.
With the Windows Server Backup installed, we can complete the backup. While a schedule can be created, we will run through a single backup for this example. Right click on the Local Backup and select Backup Once.
Next, select Different Options.
Selecting Custom will allow us to select just the volume of the Exchange installation for backup.
Selecting Add Items, we are able to select the drive that contains the Exchange installation. In this case, Exchange is installed under M:.
Selecting Advanced will enable the access to the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). For the applications, complete the VSS full backup.
Next, we will specify a destination.
And confirm the backup.
Once the backup completes successfully, the drive now shows free space. If it was noticed, I did add an extra drive to accommodate the 80GB of disk space for the full backup. Networked drives work well too.
In addition, the last full backup field has been populated under the database settings.
Hopefully this helps others out as disk space is an issue that has caused headaches for me personally. Removing of the logs is an easy fix, but will cause headaches down the road.