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Mail Store Size

Let's say an Exchange 2003 Enterprise database is 10GB's in size.  Deleted item retention time is enabled and 1GB of deleted items is permenantly removed.  Does the store actually decrease in size from 10GB's to 9GB's so you're actually gaining 1GB on your physical drive, or are the records removed, but the space it occupied within the database still there?
1 Solution
The physical size of the database will NEVER reduce in size unless you run ESEUTIL /D. This is otherwise called an offline defrag.
However the space freed up in a database by deleting items, also known as whitespace, will be reused by Exchange.
By default every night online maintenance runs. One of the things that happens during this time is that all the deleted items are compared againt the deleted item retention time. If the deleted item retention time has expired for any particular deleted items then these will be permanately deleted.
An event id of 1221 is logged in the application log whenever online maintenance completes. The value listed in the description of this event is the amount of whitespace in the database.

Hope this helps.

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