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Defragment Exchange Server 2007 drive ?

Hi People,

Is it necessary or not to defragment Exchange Server 2007 Database drive and the transaction log drive ? It is currently deployed as VM but the disk is using RDM Physical compatibility.

I wonder if it is beneficial or not needed as Exchange has its own defragmentation schedule.

Cheers,

AWT
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Senior IT System Engineer
Asked:
Senior IT System Engineer
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7 Solutions
 
dreamraghuCommented:
If exchange have to complete the full pass on those database files. Make sure it is completing in full pass and that will take care, you no need to do a disk defragmentation.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
what is full pass ? and how can I determine if there is full pass scanning happening ?
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dreamraghuCommented:
You can check the 1221 information event ID in the application log, if it is not completing Full pass, then you might have to increase the store maintenance schedule or do a offline defragmentation by dismounting the store and running the cmd below:
>eseutil /d "database file path"
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you want to create a Defragmented Exchange Database, migrate mailboxes to a new Store.
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KalluSureshKumarCommented:
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coolsport00Commented:
Defrag'ing a disk & Defrag'ing a DB are 2 different things. I recently had discussions on twitter over disk defrag'ing (more on that later). What Exchg DB defrag does mostly is recover 'whitespace' of your storage. So, for example, say you have a 50GB storage group. Your users are taking up about 45GB. You don't want your users to run into messaging (send/receive) issues due to storage limit being approached, so you have some of your 'problem users' delete (permanently) emails, appts, etc. Now, Exchg automatically does "online" defrag'ing (see here: http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2007/monitoring-operations/exchange-online-database-scanning-part1.html, and how to set its schedule here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa995795(EXCHG.80).aspx), but that does NOT recover the space your users just cleaned up. So, how do you do so? Offline defrag'ing. So, should you do an offline defrag (NOT disk defrag), yes. You can reference here for instructions on how to: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997972(v=exchg.80).aspx & http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998863(v=exchg.80).aspx.

Now, and probably more close to what your question above is referring to - should you actually defrag the disk your DBs are on? Answer, in a nutshell - no. There was a VMware Community article written last yr that is probably the best discussed on the subject that I've seen (see: http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/09/should-i-defrag-my-guest-os.html). This question incidently is 'old hat' and pertains to not just a disk used by Exchange but any VM. Some of the reasons listed in the Community post don't pertain because of your disk 'type'. Will it hurt you to do it? No, but for all the trouble you'd have to go through to do so, you more than likely wouldn't notice any performance gain/enhancement on the disk.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
hence, why best to create a New Store. Also offline defrags take alot of time and datastore space, and can result in lost mailboxes.
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coolsport00Commented:
Offline defrags don't necessarily take that much time if the DB is not that large (I can run offline defrag of a 30-40GB DB in 15-20mins...no store move required...no mailbox moves needed). But, offline defrag and disk defrag are 2 different things. BUT..for offline defrag, free space of a size a little greater than the DB to be offline defrag'd is required, be it on the same volume or other volume on your VM (RDM or VDMK...doesn't matter).

I have set 'scripts' created for my offline defrags and do them periodically (semi-annually probably). Almost anything can lead to 'lost mailboxes'. So, regardless of what's decided, backups should always be done. In 5-6yrs of running offline defrags, I have YET to have any mailbox issue.

~coolsport00
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks People for the response,

I was under the impression that Exchange server would also require defragmentation in both Tx Log and DB space, but it seems it doesn't since it has its own maintenance job scheduled by default.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
ok, so does the Defragmented Exchange Database shrink down the Mailbox DB used size ?
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dreamraghuCommented:
Yes
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
thanks Raghu. That is just what I needed to regain space in the old database drive.
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