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Exchange 2003 Std Offline defragmentation needed?


Last weekend I tried an offline defragmentation of my now 72,9 GB (edb and stm file combined) large Private mailstore. As I never done it before I went in to it with great expectations. I started the offline defragmentation (with a good back-up of course) at 11pm and I expected to finish around 7am the next morning.

Well that wasn't exactly the case. The defragmentation was still at around 25%.  I have to admit that this was with the /d /p options set and the defragmented store was saved on an external harddisk. For the second try I will use and IDE attached harddisk to speed things up.
So i cancelled the defragmentation en mounted the back-up mailstores.
 
The database physical size is as following:
priv1.edb = 50.001.800kb
priv1.stm = 26.480.648kb
 
Together the store size is around 73GB. The limit of the database is 75GB. Event id 1221 shows me that there is 9249 megabytes of white space in the database after an online defragmentation.
 
Now for my question. Is it in this case beneficial to perform an offline defragmentation and how long should I expect it to complete the defragmentation.

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John_BAS
Asked:
John_BAS
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4 Solutions
 
itprotocallCommented:
as per event id 1221, you will gain about 9GB of free space after performing the defrag
performing a defrag may be beneficial in your situation as you are quite close to the 75GB limit.

the defrag can take anywhere from 1GB/hour to 5GB/hour depending on your hardware
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Rajith EnchiparambilOffice 365 & Exchange ArchitectCommented:
As the event id states, there is about 9gb of free space. You can either defragment the database offline and reclaim the space.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;192185

Or, leave it as it is, as Exchange will be using the free space first (white space) as your database grows. So, you won't see any increase in your database size until 9gb of new stuff comes into your exchange environment.

http://enchiparambil.com/whitespace.aspx

You can also create a new mailbox database and move some of the mailboxes, as you are nearing the 75gb limit in exchange 2003 std edition.

Rajith.
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John_BASAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the quick replys.

Rajith, is it possible to create multiple stores in exchange 2003 Std ? I cannot create another one. I get an error that the group already contains the maximum number of stores allowed.


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Rajith EnchiparambilOffice 365 & Exchange ArchitectCommented:
Oh! For 2003 standard, you can't have more than one store. Your option is to either upgrade to 2003 enterprise or 2007 standard (which supports 5 mailbox databases max).

Rajith.
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MesthaCommented:
An offline defrag was a waste of time.
The limit is enforced by a combination of the PHYSICAL size of the store, minus the white space. 75gb is the logical size. Therefore if you have 9gb of white space the store can go to 84gb before the store dismounts. Even then, an offline defrag would be a waste of time unless data is removed from the store.

On that size store, you should have worked on the worst case scenario for an offline defrag - 72gb, so 72 hours. Three days. Anything less is a bonus in my eyes.
The progress bar can also be ignored - it isn't reliable due to the way the offline defrag works.

Simon.
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John_BASAuthor Commented:
Simon,

Thank your for your Reply. This is very helpfull. So you are saying that the store will not dismount at the 75gb limit but at 84gb ? Are you sure about this? Because i have some experience with stores that were 18gb that got dismounted because that is default limit if i'm correct for exchange 2003.

So now i set the limit to 75gb in the registry for our exchange 2003 sp2 server. Your saying that the store wil not dismount? The log entries say something else.


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MesthaCommented:
The event log reports the logical size.
Therefore if the event log says the store is 72gb then it will dismount when that number hits 75gb. However that may mean the physical size of the store goes over 75gb.

Simon.
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jawad1481Commented:
hi!

first of let me throw some light  on the defragmantation. defrag will reduce the size of the .edb file only if the retenion period is set to "0" days for deleted items and deleted mailboxes. ask all your users to delete old emails.

next step would be to run online maintenance, without online maintenance the defrag will not come to know about the white spaces. once the online maintenace mark those white spaces, the defrag will remove them.

you can also run the defrag from other machine. you dont have to run it on compulsary on server.

just make sure that the drive where u r running defrag had 110 % free space.

also to run defrag on other machine copy the bin folder and .edb file adn .stm file on to that machine.

once the online maintenace is completed check the event 1221 which tells you about space that will be create after defrag.

yes, there are registry tricks which you could force online maintenance and increase size of database.

online maintenance : HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENT CONTROLSET\SERVICES\MSExchangeIS\PARAMETERSSYSTEM
DWORD= AGING CLEAN INTERVAL
VALUE = 0

increase limit if database:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENT CONTROLSET\SERVICES\MSExchangeIS\SERVER NAME\PRIVATE <long hex value> or public.
DWORD= Database Size Limit in GB
Value= 80GB.
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MesthaCommented:
Everything was fine above until the registry value.
You cannot set it higher than 75gb on standard edition. 80gb is not a valid value.

Simon.
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jawad1481Commented:
Hi!

i am sorry it was typo mistake. actually i wanted to type  75 GB, thanks for correcting me.
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