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Exchange database naming convention

One of the essential features of Exchange Server is the mailbox databases. Before you start to install Exchange Server, you want to plan the Exchange database naming convention. How should you name the databases in Exchange Server? In this article, you will learn the Exchange database naming convention best practices.

Exchange database naming convention best practices

What is a great database naming convention? A best practice naming convention is to keep it simple and identify the mailbox database quickly. You should ask yourself; If I search for a mailbox, will I quickly know if the location is in Exchange Server 2010, or Exchange 2016, or Exchange 2019? If you can answer that question, you have a naming convention that will work fine.

A couple of examples that will simplify if you have a great database naming convention:

  • Migrate mailboxes easily to other mailbox databases by name
  • Check quickly by database name on which mailbox database the mailbox is located

Exchange database naming convention present

At the moment, the company EXOIP is running two Exchange Servers 2010 with four mailbox databases. I started with the mailbox database named DB01 and increased the numbering.

I did create the mailbox database naming conventions as follows:

Exchange Server 2010

The company wants to have Exchange 2019 running. Unfortunately, you can’t migrate directly from Exchange Server 2010 to Exchange Server 2019. That’s because you can’t have an Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange 2019 running on the same Active Directory.

The steps that we need to take is as follows:

  1. Migrate to Exchange 2016
  2. Decommission Exchange 2010
  3. Migrate to Exchange 2019
  4. Decommission Exchange 2016

Read more: Exchange 2010 end of life support is coming »

Exchange database naming convention future

I recommend to create mailbox databases in the new Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2019 as follows:

Exchange Server 2010Exchange Server 2016Exchange Server 2019

Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2019 can scale up to hundred mailbox databases. That’s if you are running Exchange Server Enterprise Edition. You can mount five mailbox databases with Exchange Server Standard Edition.

Read more: Exchange database size recommendations »

Exchange 2010 is running in the organization.

Exchange database naming convention Exchange 2010

Install Exchange 2016 in the organization. We will have Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2016 in coexistence.

Exchange database naming convention Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2016

After decommissioning Exchange 2010 and installing Exchange Server 2019, we will have Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2019 in coexistence.

Exchange database naming convention Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2019

The last step is to remove Exchange 2016, and only Exchange 2019 will be running in the organization.

Keep reading: Migrate Exchange mailboxes with CSV file »


In this article, I discussed the Exchange database naming convention best practices. Make the mailbox database naming convention easy to read. If you have to search for a mailbox, you can quickly identify the mailbox database and on which Exchange Server it’s located.

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ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

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