Why is my exchange store still growing?

Posted on 2010-08-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have an Exchange 2003 Standard Edition email store that is rapidly growing out of control.  When we turned up the store in April of 2009 the store was 30Gb and it is now 70Gb.  Starting in January of 2010 we began to place quotas and group policies in place to delete unneeded emails and archive good ones.  We have been monitoring event id 1221 for 6 months and have maintained over 5Gb of free space within the store.  In the last 6 months the store size went from 64Gb to 70Gb. Why is the size of the exchange store still growing with so much free space inside the store?
Question by:THEarle
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

Shabarinath Ramadasan earned 250 total points
ID: 33524872
From ESM, On view > Select Columns > Include "Deleted Items"
Make an approximate calculation for this Database
Total Size for Mailboxes + Total size for deleted items + white space size (1221 event for this DB) = somewhere near to your DB size?

LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Shabarinath Ramadasan
ID: 33524877
Also, see if online de-fragmentation is happening daily with out errors.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 33524887
What antivirus / email scanner are you using ?
Event ID 1221 is related to online system maintenance.
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

sunnyc7 earned 250 total points
ID: 33524897
I'd suggest, take the database offline and run some tests on it.

eseutil /mh "c:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb"
See the shutdown state and check if backups are taking place normally.

you can do an offline defrag and reduce whitespace
eseutil /d "c:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb"

Check demazter's guide here.

Expert Comment

ID: 33524999
check this article which explains reasons for exchange database growing fast and how to troubleshoot it

Author Comment

ID: 33525001
The store size from ESM is as follows:
Mail = 37Gb
Deleted = 31Gb
White space = 10Gb
Actual Store size = EDB = 47.1Gb, stm = 26.6, public < 1Gb
Online defrag runs every night without error.
I an using Trend Micro WFB advanced (6.0) for AV.

LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 33525043
Can you exclude scanning of Exchange Folder from Trendmicro WFBS.

WFBS 6.0 SP2 is released. you might consider upgrading.

Coming back to the original issue:
a) Check eventvwr logs for warning / errors.
b) How to find what is causing database growth:

c) It will be a good idea to do an offline defrag.
d) what's your delete items retention policy ? 30 days or more ?

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33525744
Thank you so much for your help. As Shaba pointed out the deleted email space is what was preveting the logical store size from shrinking.  The policy was set to keep deleted emails for 120 days. I have changed this back to 30 days and will monitor the size over the next week.  Thanks to sunnyc7 for the link to that excellent write up by demazter, since disk space is not an issue on this new server, I agree that an offline defrag is not recommended. Thanks again.

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