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White space/Database Size in Exchange 2007 Standard

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-03
I understand that Microsoft Exchange 2007 has a maximum size limitation of 256GB.  My edb database file reached that capacity today.  I moved mailboxes out, but the size stays at 256GB. I understand that offline defrag will change that, but since there is now some white space, will the database dismount based on the file size that I see or the actual size of the message store? Am I are still at risk of having the Information Store dismount even after I've moved mailboxes out?

We are on MS Exchange 2007 Standard, with SP 3 (Rollup 6)

Thank you.
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Question by:Kelvin Leung
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Alan Hardisty earned 500 total points
ID: 37799685
Exchange database only ever Grow - they never shrink unless you take them offline and defrag them manually.

The size of the database is calculated by adding the size of the .EDB to the size of the .STM file and then subtract the amount of White Space identified in Event ID 1221 in the Application Event Log.

Your database shouldn't dismount now that you have moved mailboxes out to another store, but you will be using up 256Gb of diskspace and you may want to reduce that, especially as you will have increased it's use by moving some mailboxes to another store.

Best bet is to create another store, move the remaining mailboxes to it and then when no-one is left, dismount the store and defrag it with eseutil /d to recover your disk space.  You can then move some mailboxes back to the store if you like and spread them across 3 stores.

Keep an eye on your log Files though as all the mailbox moves will generate a ton of logs, and that will eat up disk space too.  You might want to temporarily turn on circular logging, then turn it off after the moves.
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Expert Comment

by:Rajkumar-MCITP
ID: 37799855
Hi Alan,

why we need to perform a defragmentation again when all the mailboxes are moved to a different store? He can delete the old database and create a new one then he can move the mailboxes to the new database right?

correct me if i'm wrong
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by:ash007
ID: 37799911
I agree with you as we have already moved mailboxes we can create new mailbox store and move all mailboxes but if there are mails in transit  during this process will be lost..
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Author Comment

by:Kelvin Leung
ID: 37803369
Thanks everyone for the help and I really appreciated it.

One more question. I am just curious how long it would to take to defrag a 256Gb edb file? Has anyone done it before? I understand that mainly depends on what hardware and the performance of the drives etc, but I just wanted to get a ballpark of it, like 12 hrs, 1 week, or more?

Thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Kelvin Leung
ID: 37803376
Thanks for your help, Alan!
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37803501
256Gb will take a while to defrag.   Eseutil runs at about 4-6Gb per hour depending on your hardware, so you could be looking at about 42 hours - maybe a bit quicker, but not something you would want to tackle unless you absolutely had to IMHO.

As you have Exchange 2007 - you would be better off just moving all the mailboxes out and deleting the database.  If the database is empty - and the Mailstore retention period has passed - the defrag won't upset anyone as there won't be anyone in the store and therefore it can take as long as it likes!
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Author Comment

by:Kelvin Leung
ID: 37803732
Thank you for your help, Alan.  Also, everyone else that took the time to post.  We really appreciate it.  With your help, we now have a clear sense of what our next steps will be.  Thanks again!
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37803767
You are welcome - and thanks for the points.

Here if you need any further help.

Alan
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