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How to reduce the Exchange mailbox database partition size

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi All,

I just got a growing problem in my Exchange Server 2007 SP1 CCR mailbox server role, the free space is getting lesser and lesser every week and now it has reach 20% low

I've separated the transaction log partition already (per storage group per partition) and now they're fine

I have moved the top 2 mailbox in this DB partition but somehow it is still not decreased ?

any help and suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:jjoz
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Expert Comment

by:jodix2002
ID: 35204284
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by:FastFngrz
ID: 35204290
Shrinking a database file is an offline edbutil command, please make sure you have a good backup before taking the IS offline! Somewhat risky, cause you need 1.5xdatabase size free disk to do the defrag. It can be on another disk if needed.

Although, with whitespace now in the database (by you moving mailboxes/mail out of that store) should allow it to fill out without allocating more disk.  Did you see your disk utilization slow/stop after the move?
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by:andrewglendean
ID: 35204348
follow this link
http://www.petri.co.il/defragment_exchange_2000_2003_server_databases.htm

databases for which exchange mail store are one don't shrink automatically when items are deleted. They are referred to as white space.

White space are areas that can be over written.

By following the link provided your can compact the database by removing the white space areas. but you will need 110% free space somewhere before you run the tool.

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by:jjoz
ID: 35204463
oh, so in this case no matter how many mailboxes that I migrated from this storage group, I will always get that 90%+ full ?
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by:jodix2002
ID: 35204566
no...
what to do:
- archive mailboxes using exmerge, if necessary
- do an offline defragmentation
its there on the link i gave you.
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Expert Comment

by:Akhater
ID: 35204578
do not do offline defrag unless absolutely needed it is useless and will lead to down time

please keep in mind that the DB will be offline during the whole defrag period which might be quite long if you have a big db

1. There is no need to defrag, the edb file size is the same but your edb has whiite space, so the edb file size will not grow untill all this white space is consumed
2. to do offline defrag you need 110% of the db size on free space


the correct way to do it is

1. create a totally blank db
2. move all your mailboxes to the new db
3. delete the old db

this way you have

1. no downtime (a part from the user being migrated)
2. less space required since it requires only the size of the new db and not 110% like in defrag
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 35204586
thanks Akhater,

so in this case i should:

1. create storage group in separate partition
2. create email DB
3. migrate all of the mailboxes out of the office hours into the new storage group.
4. after that it can be safely deleted.

I am afraid that If I don't do something quick it will run out of disk space and the email will be stopped working.
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Akhater earned 1332 total points
ID: 35204598
first you don't have to worry now about the space since you will be using the db white space. This being said having a db running on a disk that is 90% full is indeed dangerous


1. create storage group in separate partition
2. create email DB
3. enable circular looging on both storage groups
4. migrate all of the mailboxes out of the office hours into the new storage group.
5. after that it can be safely deleted the old mailbox db and storage group
6. disable circular logging
7. if needed move back the new db (now defraged) to the other partition
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 35204613
wow that does sounds like a plan Akhater :-)


7. if needed move back the new db (now defraged) to the other partition --> so after all of the mailbox migrated to the new database I need to dismount and then manually copy using Windows Explorer for both Log files and the .EDB
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Assisted Solution

by:Akhater
Akhater earned 1332 total points
ID: 35204616
no you do not move them manually

1. on the storage group right click you have an option to move log files and system filles
2. on the mailbox database right click you have an option to move the edb file

and yes the mailbox db will be dismounted during the move operation
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 35204621
ah yes, through EMC I can see Move-Database path :-o)
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Assisted Solution

by:MegaNuk3
MegaNuk3 earned 668 total points
ID: 35204890
Also look in your application event logs for the 1221 event which will show how much whitespace you have in your databases, then you can decide if you even need to do anything.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 35212789
many thanks for your guidance guys I really appreciate it.
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