Exchange Server 2003 Offline Defrag or Create New Mailbox Store?

Posted on 2011-10-31
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We currently have Exchange Server 2003 with a priv1.edb file size of 43.22GB and priv1.stm file size of 22.75GB.  We have 25.85GB of white space (reported in Event log 1221) after we had our end users remove a LOT of old email and have restricted their mailbox sizes.  Note - we also set the deleted items retention for 30 days and have passed this 30 day mark, so the mass deletion we had our users perform is "complete".

I have researched the procedure for performing an offline defrag of the database and found many posts that an alternative to this idea is to create a new mailbox store on our existing server and move our mailboxes to the new store and then remove the old one.  I really like this idea for many reasons, one being the time it takes to perform the offline defrag.  

My question is this:  How much free space do I need on the server disk drive to create the new store and move the mailboxes?  Or will this process be sort of an "even swap" and not use any extra disk space?  I currently only have 30GB of available space on the server disk drive.  
Question by:SolCow
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    For offline defrags In theory you need at least 110% on the drive. That's double the current size of the database plus and extra 10%

    Moving mailboxes to a new db will generate logfiles but your looking at the current database size minus white space for the new database size I would also add 10% as well.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    You can also set both mailbox stores to do circular logging and turn it off after the move is complete. This will keep your log files to a minimum and you won't have to worry about running out of space.

    I think a new mailbox database is a much better choice over an offline defrag...any day.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Use circular logging with caution, this kind of logging seriously impacts your ability to recover a danaged store. I would never use circular logging in production unless the data wasn't important.

    Accepted Solution

    We have decided to go with a plan to create a new mailbox store and move a few mailboxes at a time, keeping an eye on the disk space used.  We plan to do a full backup of the database if there are a lot of transaction logs generated to help reduce the amount of space used until the project is complete.  It will take some time and probably a couple of weekends, but I think this is the best option given that we cannot determine the actual amount of disk space needed to accomplish this task all at once.

    Author Closing Comment

    I received no replies to my actual question of how much disk space would be needed for the mailbox move, so I came up with a "safe" plan to perform the move in phases while watching the disk space available on my server.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Email statistics and Mailbox database quotas You might have an interest in attaining information such as mailbox details, mailbox statistics and mailbox database details from Exchange server. At that point, knowing how to retrieve this information …
    Find out how to use Active Directory data for email signature management in Microsoft Exchange and Office 365.
    In this video we show how to create a mailbox database in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.: First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Servers >> Data…
    The basic steps you have just learned will be implemented in this video. The basic steps are shown to configure an Exchange DAG in a live working Exchange Server Environment and manage the same (Exchange Server 2010 Software is used in a Windows Ser…

    779 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    11 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now