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Defragment Exchange Server 2007 drive ?

Posted on 2012-03-27
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Last Modified: 2012-04-01
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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12 Comments
 
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by:dreamraghu
dreamraghu earned 144 total points
ID: 37775195
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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Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 37775219
what is full pass ? and how can I determine if there is full pass scanning happening ?
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by:dreamraghu
dreamraghu earned 144 total points
ID: 37775242
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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LVL 120

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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 142 total points
ID: 37775467
If you want to create a Defragmented Exchange Database, migrate mailboxes to a new Store.
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LVL 6

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by:KalluSureshKumar
KalluSureshKumar earned 71 total points
ID: 37775553
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LVL 40

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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 143 total points
ID: 37776245
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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LVL 120

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 142 total points
ID: 37776279
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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LVL 40

Accepted Solution

by:
coolsport00 earned 143 total points
ID: 37776305
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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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 37780081
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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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 37794412
ok, so does the Defragmented Exchange Database shrink down the Mailbox DB used size ?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:dreamraghu
ID: 37794488
Yes
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 37794504
thanks Raghu. That is just what I needed to regain space in the old database drive.
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