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Compress - Exchange Database

Posted on 2008-06-13
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Last Modified: 2008-08-10
I have a relatively small exchange 2003 enviornment.

*33 mailboxes
My users mailbox sizes are becoming increasingly large size. I have about 6 mailboxes that are over a 1.5 gig

My users are pack rats that never delete anything. This was no problem in the past but it is now becoming a problem that I would like to get a handle on it.
*********************************************************************************************************************
MY GOAL IS TO SHRING THE SIZE OF MY DATABASE ______________PRIV1.EDB  & PRIV1.STM
Below is what I was planning. Is this the correct course of action??????????????
*********************************************************************************************************************

1. I would backup all of their sent and deleted items to a dvd/tape drive.
2. Delete their sent items & deleted items from their accounts.
3. Defrag the database.
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Question by:zyanj
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Expert Comment

by:kanlue
ID: 21780019
i would suggest that you do the following:
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1) use the exchange tools 'Exmerge.exe' to export all your users email boxes into PST files. you can find the exmerge.exe under exchange server's system folder 'bin'; then you can make DVDs backup of all these email boxes (PST files);

2) then you can let your clients/endusers to do the auto-archive in their outlook, right click the mail folders in outlook then select properties, then 'auto archive tab' to customize it, you may only keep one month's or you can customize them; goto outlook menu 'tools', then select 'email box cleanup';

3) Defrag the database;
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hope it helps.
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kanlue earned 800 total points
ID: 21780075
one more thing, after you or the end users do the archiving of their email boxes, check the event log to find the latest event id 1221, it will show you 'how many free space after online defrag', that way you will know how many free space you can get after offline defrag.

hope it helps.
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by:drothbart
drothbart earned 800 total points
ID: 21784278
Another plan would be:

1. Do a full backup of the database.
2. Create and run a mailbox maintenance plan to delete all items meeting age or sizes you set. IE delete all sent over 30 days, etc.
3. If someone needs a particular item, you can restore the backup from 1 to the Recovery Storage group and exmerge that mail out.
4. Like Kanlue said, look at event 1221 to see how much white space you'd reclaim by defragging. Most people don't need to do that, I doubt you will either. The database won't grow until all the white space is filled up, as you probably know.
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Author Comment

by:zyanj
ID: 21784978
So to decrease the overall database size am I correct in assuming that deleting messages alone does not do it?

It is a combination of deleting and defragmenting.

I am looking to significantly decrease the size of the dB
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Expert Comment

by:drothbart
ID: 21794541
When you delete items, it will only create white space in the database. The amount of that white space is reported in the event log for each of the databases. Exchange will use that white space first before increasing the size of the database, but will never decrease the size of the databases without an offline defrag.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 21803907
"drothbart" is correct; to recover space from deleting emails, you have to run an offline defrage using the ESEUTIL (see: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328804 and  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998863(EXCHG.80).aspx and http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html).

This works great.

Hope that helps you!
~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:zyanj
ID: 21812459
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________priv1.edb  and priv1.stm are still the same size________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________

1. I backed everything up
2. deleted a bunch of things.....

The Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox Manager has completed processing mailboxes
Started at:      2008-06-17 19:27:20
Completed at:      2008-06-17 19:38:09
Mailboxes processed:      34
Messages moved:      0
Size of moved messages:      0.00 KB
Deleted messages:      64530
Size of deleted messages:      4224.91 MB

3.  Ran the defrag sucessfully

4. I SEE NO CHANGE IN MY DATABASE SIZE??????????????????

priv1.edb
and
priv1.stm
are still the same size
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 21812509
Did you check your Event logs (Event 1221)? You may not have had much "white space" to recover.
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Expert Comment

by:drothbart
ID: 21819033
Did the defrag take a long time? You can run it to only examine/report on your database; defragging it will take hours in most cases.

eseutil /ms will tell you how much you can gain in space
eseutil /d is the command to defrag

Dan
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Expert Comment

by:drothbart
ID: 21819041
Also, did you follow the links from coolsport00? http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html is a good brief tutorial to get you started, and outlines some of the command line switches.
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