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Exchange 03 Database ridiculously huge but not sure why!

Hi there, i have been wrestling with an ongoing issue for a month, The EDB database has been growing in spurts of 2 MB per second, junping up by 20 GB in almost a day - Despite limits being set on all mailboxes it just grows. The mailbox sizes add up to about 15 GB max, yet the EDB database is now a whopping 85GB - When i did a defrag 2 weeks ago , it shaved off about 6 GB, so i am just lost as to what is taking up the space and why the hell even an offline defrag doesnt recover it..
The event viewer shows the following error which may be part of helping to resolve the issue?

Thanks
ESE-error.PNG
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zejarra
Asked:
zejarra
1 Solution
 
tusharnextgenCommented:
check if online maintenance is running and completing on the mailbox store.
Event ID 1221 is a Microsoft Exchange event that reports the free or "white" space within a database after online defragmentation has taken place(the free space shown in this event id would be release when you run offline defrag)

also check retention period you have configured for database.

please check if your log files are also generated rapidly.

in most of the cases this could be due to one corrupt mailbox in mailbox store.

Please keep a watch over the size and activity of big mailboxes.
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Well , there is a largish mailbox which was 2 GB but i had it reduced to 1.4 GB , though every now and then an activesync error for this mailbox comes up, which i have attached.
Retention period i have set to 0 - log files are not being generated rapldly unless i switch off circular logging, in which its about a log per 5 seconds.
Do u think its the mailbox thats causing the issue? Its part of a number of mailboxes which pick up mail via a 3rd party POP collector.
Activesync-error.JPG
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Glen KnightCommented:
Do you use POP3 at all?

Check the Administrator mailbox, is it filling up with NDR messages?

When you set limits on the mailboxes did you also check theboxes to deny send and receive? This will help you identifyif it's caused by an autoforward rule that isn't working properly.

Also on the information store properties settgexdeleted items retention period to 0 do some archiving/deleting and then the next time the maintenance runs check fir event 1221 this will tell you how much space is in the store.

Don't worry about the Physical size of the database this is not how the 75GB limit is worked out.  The 75GB limit is the size of the EDB + size of STM minus the whitespace reported in event 1221.

If there is no whitespace then there is little point in performing an offline defrag because it won't achieve anything.

Unless physical space is an issue I would not recommend running an offline defrag due to the potential for dataloss.
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Hi Dematzer,

Because the Administrator box was filling up quite often with messages (|NDR's) etc... i used to delete the mailbox and then recreate it, so i know that it was not building up on that account. I have made sure that SEND and RECEIVE is blocked after 1900000 KB - We do use POP3 (a 3rd party software program) which i am suspecting is looping or causing the issue with one of the users (whose mailbox was beyong 2GB  until i got him to archive it to 1.4GB). I have disabled his account and frozen the download of emails to it from the POP3 connector. If u see the error above in ActivSync, its his account that comes up with the error. After about a few minutes of freezing it , the EDB file seems to have stabilised. But what i dont get at all is that his mailbox store size remains pretty much the same at 1.4GB, yet the EDB store size must have increased by about 10 GB within the half hour or so. I think i may havbe to delete and recreate his account. I just wish i fully understood why its causing it and be sure that its indeed that, that is the issue. I currently have a store size of 86GB (STM+EDB) but Exchange maintenance reports it to be at 68GB so luckily i have not yet reached the 75GB limit. The total mailboxes sizes must come to no more that 17GB so i am stuffed on how i can regain that space back. When i did a defrag 3 weeks ago it shaved off about 6 GB off the store (which was at 65GB at the time.

I hope this gives some info to help work out whatsup.

Thanks
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Glen KnightCommented:
The Mailbox size is inaccurate as it onl provides the size from one file.

If your using a 3rd party POP3 downloader then this is very often the cause of these sorts of problems.

Are you using it to download POP3 mail to your server?

Also check that your antivirus software is set to exclude the exchange folder from it's on-access scanning: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823166 this can also cause the sorts of problems you are seeing.
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Yes we have a mix of users who receive mail direct via SMTP and others via a 3rd party pop collector - i suspect the syncin of the 3rd party POP3 collector went awol on the user's mailbox and is therefore downloading emails that have already been downloaded, even if duplicates are not appearing on the end user's mailbox, in essence a download history corruption. I have no proof of course that its that but its a theory which seems to stand given that having disabled the User in AD and the POP collector has stabilised the EDB growth. I would just like to know how to return the database size back to what it ought to be. I wonder if by deleting the corrupt users mailbox and then running an offline defrag (after mailbox maintenance has taken place) will free up trapped space??

Yesterday , the maintenance service came up with the message below (attached) and i am not sure what this amount represents in the total sum of the mailstore, is the 39GB the actual size of the actual store minus the white space????

My ultimate aim is to try and reduce the mailstore back to the size it ought to be , even if it means an offline defrag for over 17 hours. I dont want to have to delete all mailboxes and recreate a new mailstore because i am fighting a losing battle against mailstore size limit reaching beyond 75GB - Hope this makes sense and thanks for all assistance so far.
!
Database-message.JPG
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Glen KnightCommented:
That is how much data has been cleaned up.  Look for event 1221
if it shows 39GB of free space then it's worth doing an offline defrag as per:
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Glen KnightCommented:
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Ok , event 1221 says that there is 11 MB of free space after online defrag - Does that mean i would only gain 11MB after an offline defrag? what tool can i use to find out how much space i could win back by runnin eseutil /d - i dont want to waste 17 hours or so of downtime to get that amount taken off!

Cheers
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Glen KnightCommented:
If 1221 only says 11MB then that's what you will get back from dong an offline defrag.

Set your deleted items rentention to 0 under the properties of the store and then set the maintenance to run every 15 minutes.  Then restart the System Attendent service.

After about an hour check the event 1221 (note there will be 2 events so you might have been looking at the Public store instead of the private one earlier?)
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Good point ! it was public store! will do that now!
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
ok the maintenance service did its job for the private store , however there is no event number 1221 , i smply have the same one as before, see below. For me this 39GB must be the true size of the database but i simply am dumbfounded as to what is taking up the remaining 37 GB or so.
Maintenance-report.JPG
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Glen KnightCommented:
Check the properties of the store itself in Exchange System Manager.
Set the deleted items to 0 and set the maintenance to run every 15 minutes then restart the system attendent service.

That event is telling you how much it has cleaned in the maintenance so that would indicate there is 39GB which could be recovered.
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
As far as i can see all the settings are intact, see below for a screenshot:


retention.JPG
Maintenance-schedule.JPG
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Glen KnightCommented:
That pols good (bit concernng it aaa you have never run a full backup?)
have you just made those changes? If so restart te Microsoft Exchange System Attendent service and give it an hour then check for event 1221
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Yeah , i run a backup via (Veritas) Backup Exec with Exchange connector - i will check it later and see if the even 1221 comes up.
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Glen KnightCommented:
Veritas should still fill that field in.
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Hi G,

Got the ID 1221 for the private store and it looks like there is about 66GB locked up. See below and let me know what you think, cheers.
PrivStore-Maintenance.JPG
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Glen KnightCommented:
Yep definately 66GB that could be released!

You will only get that if you run an ESEUTIL /D as per: http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html
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zejarraAuthor Commented:
Brilliant - well i think i will do that next week and call it a day for now -
Thanks a lot for your help as usual.
Speak soon no doubt ;)
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