exchange 2007 whitespace is not increasing when items are deleted

I am in an exchange 2007 environment, an have many users who abuse email ( never cleanup or delete messages). We have noticed that our database is about 85 GB and whitespace was about 7 GB after an online defrag ( checked event 1221 in app log ). The past few days I have been cleaning up mailboxes and reducing some mainlboxes from 1 GB to 50 MB.

After last nights backup and defrag I was hoping to have a lot of whitespace in the database.

It seems whitespace is now only 5.6 GB .

It seems that the online defrag is completing ( im seeing numerous event id of 701 in the app log )

Maybe I am not understanding white space and  exchange databases. .

I understand that the database will not shrink until i do an offline defrag, but i thought that the amount of whitespace should be increasing as i remove messages from users mailbox.

Where am i going wrong ???

EkuskowskiAsked:
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shauncroucherCommented:
Remove from mailbox / PURGE the deleted items folder and then let online maintenance run. That will increase white space.

Shaun
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shauncroucherCommented:
You are right, an offline defrag will reduce the physical size by the amount of white space advertised, however, NEVER run offline defrag with 2007, it's a bad idea, data loss, downtime etc.

The best practice is to commission another mailbox database then move all mailboxes to it, and drop original database. The white space will not be moved. You can do this in stages over a course of few days.
Shaun
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Whitespace will not increase until the default database retention period has passed.

If you want to see immediate White space increase, lower your database retention period to zero.

Decreasing your retention period to zero will mean you lose the ability to recover deleted items though : (
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shauncroucherCommented:
The deleted items retention period must expire though before the data will be recovered. You can check this here; http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125266(EXCHG.80).aspx

Shaun
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EkuskowskiAuthor Commented:
Perfect

I et the retention to 0 , maintenance ran last night and now I see all the white space i was looking for. Thanks for your assistance
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