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Exchange 2003 Information Store Size Doesn't Reduce

On Microsoft SBS2003 I am running Exchange 2003, we as everyone else exceeded the 16 gig limit and made the necessary registry settings modifications to over ride this limitation.  At which point I have run the eseutil /d (database name) /p /t (name of edb) /s (name of stm), the edb an stm files compressed and defragged fine.  The database again began to grow where both the stm and edb files were 14 and 15 gigs in size = 29 gigs, I again tried the eseutil with the same settings, and the size only went down by 1 gig in total.

Since I've run the following switches in using the eseutil to determine if I've got a bad information store:

/g  - Result was no errors what so ever everything checked out great
/k - Same as above nothing wrong with the headers
/mh - The shut down was fine, state of databases were normal - no problems
/ml - log files checked out fine

The databases continue to grow and now I've run the above checks prior to running the eseutil /d command and both the stm and edb files only compress about 1 gig only in total size adding both stm and edb files together.

We're using a mixed MAPI, POP3 and IMAP clients for email conncectivity including the HTTP Web Mail options over RFC.

We've examined the sizes of the mailboxes on the exchange server as well under the Server Manager panal / Information Store / Mailboxes and calculated what it is showing in the mail boxes of our users and it totals 10 gigs total...again where is all this mail going?

Would like any suggestions or help to this problem please, Thank you!

Doug
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dheffley
Asked:
dheffley
2 Solutions
 
ormerodrutterCommented:
Although your calculations tell you the total size is 10Gb, the Exchange databases do contain lots of space and you can only get this space back by compacting them (eseutil).

Quickly upgrade your Exchange to SP2 - it extends the limits to 75Gb. (It defaults to 18Gb but can be changed to 75Gb).

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/sp2-overview.mspx
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KCTSCommented:
As ormerodrutter Windows 2003 SP2 not only has some important fixes and updates it increases the exchnage store limit to 75Gb and is worth installing for that alone.
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SembeeCommented:
Did you actually check before doing on offline defrag how much white space was in the database? Event ID 1221 will show you how much there is.

However as already pointed out, simply update the server to Exchange 2003 SP2 and make the registry change.

However, I am actually surprised that you were able to get the store to exceed the 16gb limit so greatly. Usually the store dismounts at some where very close to 16gb. If the store has been dismounting but the database continues to increase that could be an indication of a more serious problem which an offline defrag will not resolve.

Simon.
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dheffleyAuthor Commented:
I am sorry, I should have mentioned that the SBS2003 Server is completely patched with upto date patches and fixes to include the exchange is already at SP2, this I forgot to mention as when we performed the registry settings it also required us to upgrade to Exchange SP2 at the same time for these settings to take affect.

I have approximately 35 users that are POP3 and 25 MAPI and a couple IMAP, my backup is set to perform a full backup and flush logs after they've been committed.  Using Backup Exec 9.1.

I ran the eseutil /mh to see how many whitepages I have left and it does not show this at all in the dump file.

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dheffleyAuthor Commented:
I've set the retention of deleted emails to 30 days as well, and again have performed the required timely backups accordingly.  Our Exchange 5.5 server worked without a hitch, never a problem.

To include there are no errors in any of the Events.and yes the even ID shows I have only 14 megabytes of free space after online defragmentation has completed.  So I'm stumped as to what is using all the space?

Thank you all for your suggestions above they are all greatly appreciated, I hope I was able to clarify my problem a bit more descriptively.
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SembeeCommented:
If you only have 14mb of free space then an offline defrag is close to useless.

Why do you think you have a problem? Nothing I have read indicates an issue.

You cannot add up the sizes of the mailboxes and expect that to equal the size of the information store files. There can be many reasons why those numbers do not match, including deleted item retention, single instance storage and the way that the Exchange database has to work with the NTFS file system etc.

You can get an idea of the size of the items in the DIR by using Perfmon and the count MSEXCHANGEIS, Total Size of Recoverable Items.

Simon.
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dheffleyAuthor Commented:
That I have done as well, I suppose I write this is because It is going to reach critical size issue and I have no idea after it's at 75 gigs what else to do other than start a new store and archive the old one, but all of the users emails will have to either goto an add-on feature that handles the archiving of PST files automatically or the users archive everything they have and start from scratch... the behind the seen addon exchange tools for email retention and legal use are very expensive....?
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SembeeCommented:
If you are on SBS and/or Exchange standard edition then you cannot start a new Information Store. you can only have one information store on that version of the server.

PST files are not the answer. They are a pain to manage, corrupt easily, cannot be stored on a network share making them close to impossible to backup. Plus 100mb of email in Exchange can use up to 300mb of space in a PST file.

You will have to look at an archiving product, such as GFI Mail Archiver, but that ideally should run on its own server.

Simon.
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dheffleyAuthor Commented:
Yes, we have already investigated this issue, so I will look back into the archiving software tools, and totally understand the PST issue, besides that is becoming a thing of the past due in part of the Personal Privacy Act and the legal issue of retaining 7 years of email.

Thanks for your help!

Doug
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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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