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How does Exchange storage emails when they are sent to multiple recipients?  Does every mailbox gets a copy, or is it one link?

Posted on 2008-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
How does Exchange storage emails when they are sent to multiple recipients?
Does every mailbox get a copy of the email?

Or there would be just one original message and links to everybody else?

I need to calculate the size of the storage that will be utilized by an email that will be sent to all the employees in the company.  
Thanks.
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Question by:iidse
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 22688063
Exchange uses a feature called Single Instance Storage. If a message is sent to users in the same mailbox store, Exchange will only store one copy of the message, and then just make a reference linking that copy of the message to each user's mailbox. Realistically, the database size will only grow by 1x size of the message, yet EVERY user's mailbox quota will have the full size of the message taken off of it.

So provided all users in your company are in the same mailbox store, the message will only be stored once in the database. The copy in Sent Items will also be the copy stored in the database. The only problem you have is when users begin forwarding the message to others, since the message is changed, the message and the attachment will obviously be stored again in the database.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/175481

-tigermatt
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Expert Comment

by:dano992
ID: 22688081
if there is a message attached exchnage stores just one copy,
unless you do a restore or move the mailbox to different server
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Author Comment

by:iidse
ID: 22688203
We have 7 stores, and the recipients for the email could be located on any of the stores.

So, then, I understand that I could have 7 copies of the same email.

If exchange only stores an email once per mailbox store, how every user's mailbox grows in size?
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 22688253

Single Instance Storage works on a mailstore-by-mailstore basis, so you will end up with potentially 7 copies of the same email in the Exchange databases, or perhaps less if the recipients are not spread across all 7 stores.

> If exchange only stores an email once per mailbox store, how every user's mailbox grows in size?

This is purely an Administrative feature. If Exchange did not increment everybody's mailbox size by the same amount, the total size of all the objects and mail items in a user's store could potentially be significantly different to their actual mailbox size. Plus, it encourages users to keep their mailboxes tidy!

-tigermatt
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Author Comment

by:iidse
ID: 22688383
Oh, so, if it is just an administrative feature, it does not mean that the storage per user's mailbox grows.  

It shows it grows but in reality the database did not grow that much.



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Accepted Solution

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tigermatt earned 500 total points
ID: 22688432
That's correct. The database only grows a little, yet EVERY users mailbox will show that it has grown. This isn't a technical implication except for the fact it keeps the server administrator's job easier on managing Exchange mailbox quotas!

-tigermatt
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Author Comment

by:iidse
ID: 22688435
Thank you very much for your help!!!!!
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