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Exchange 2010 database / white space

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-03-24
I am not sure I understand exactly how this works and wanted to look into this before space becomes a major issue.
The exchange server is running on a virtual machine and has a limit of 256 GB on the drive that contains the database. Currently the drive is at aprox 215 GB.
I had a few users who had huge mail boxes delete old items.  
I ran the cmdlet to get the database size after the items were deleted and it is still too large aprox 205 GB.
I then ran the cmdlet to see the size of the white space / available new mailbox space and it is aprox 40 GB.

My question is will exchange use this 40 GB of white space going forward?  Or will I have to figure out a way to defrag the database, wich will be a challange becuase of the limited storage space or have to move the mail boxes to a different database some where else to gain the 40 GB back.

Thanks
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Question by:ksaum11
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by:Adam Brown
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Generally, the Exchange 2010 Database is Defragmented automatically in the Nightly maintenance that runs at the time you configure. Also, Exchange uses white space in the Database as efficiently as possible. This means that the databases will generally grow, but don't often shrink very much because the space used is reused when it's freed up. If you want to, it is possible to create a new mailbox database and move the mailboxes to it without incurring any real downtime.
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Jamie McKillop earned 500 total points
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Hello,

The database file itself never shrinks unless you run an offline defrag. When items are deleted from mailboxes, they are not really deleted. They are marked as deleted and are hidden from the user but they aren't actually purged until the deleted item retention time has expired. The deleted item retention time can be configured and the default is 14 days. So, when your users delete items, they won't actually be removed from the database until 14 days later. When items are finally purged, you are left with whitespace in the database. As new items are added, Exchange will use the whitespace until there isn't any remaining, at which point Exchange will increase the size of the database to accomodate new data.

JJ
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