Exchange 2010 DB File more than 2x size of mailboxes + deleted + whitespace

John Tolmachoff
John Tolmachoff used Ask the Experts™
I have been working on this for a couple days now. We have a single Exchange 2010 mailbox database. Here are the stats:

Size: 87.65 GB
Mailboxes Sum: 37.28 GB
Deleted Items Sum: 7.61 GB
White Space: 317 MB
Maiboxes: 50
MailboxRetention: 30
DeletedItemRetention: 14
EventHistoryRetention: 7
ProhibitedSendReceiveQuota: 2.3 GB
ProhibitedSendQuota: 2 GB
RecoverableItemsQuota: 5 GB
RecoverableItemsWarningQuota: 3 GB
IssueWarningQuota: 1.899 GB

37.28 + 7.61 + .31 = 45.2 GB = 51.5% of the database size

Can some one explain where that other 48.5% of space is at?
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if you run eseutil on the database you will most likely see it drop.
there can be a lot lost in fragmentation and I have seen similar happen on a server that was used mainly for contacts and appointments so each message was small - however you are on the high side of what  I have seen - however since disk space has got cheaper and since exchange 2010 I have stopped looking/worrying as much as I used to.
You can run eseutil /ms to see the actual white space, however you have to dismount ht e database.
I QasmiTechnical Lead

If you really want more space
Then you need to follow these steps :

1) ask users to download their mails to local *.pst
2) Ask users to delete unwanted mails
3) Set the retention policy to 0 days
4) perform an online defrag and check whitespace.
5) Also set the deleted items retention to 0 days
and then perform an offline defrag if there is atleast 20% whitespace.
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John TolmachoffNetwork Administrator


To wolfcarmel:
Are you saying fragmenation can use up extra database space? Is defragmentation of a Exchange 2010 DB recommended?

To R-R:
Already done, white space is 317 MB

To iQasmi:
1) Against policy and has nothing to do with the issue at hand since sum of mailboxes is 37.25 GB and is fine and expected.
2) Sum of Mailboxes is 37.28 GB which is fine and expected and not the issue at hand.
3) Against policy and has nothing to do with the issue at hand since sum of mailbox size is fine and expected.
4) White space is 317 MB.
5) Against policy and has nothing to do with the issue at hand since sum of deleted items size is only 7.81 GB.

The often thrown around term "storage space is cheap" is neither always true nor always an issue. In this case, the drive the Exchange DBs are on has 150 GB of free space. It is not the size of the database that is the primary issue, it is what is taking up 42 GB of that space.

Remember, we are dealing with Exchange databases here: Space required for the Exchange DBs is size of all DBs PLUS 110% of the size of the largest DB for recovery purposes.
Most Valuable Expert 2014
The advice to do an offline defrag of your database is very poor indeed. It isn't a recommended task and certainly not something that should be done as a matter of routine.

An offline defrag requires total downtime and is not risk free.

If you suspect there is too much whitespace or something else wrong with the database, then create a new one, move everyone to it and drop the original. Completely risk free and requires no downtime.

How are you getting the numbers that you are working with?

John TolmachoffNetwork Administrator


Sorry for the delayed responce. Yes I know I can create a new database and move, and that is what I may end up doing. But I was really trying to understand and know why such a difference in reported sizes.

I used various Exchange PowerShell commands to get all those numbers.
Most Valuable Expert 2014

"I used various Exchange PowerShell commands to get all those numbers. "

That doesn't help with answering my question. It could be that you aren't using the correct commands and therefore the information that you have is inaccurate.

Or it could be that your database is simply corrupt for some reason.
Is the regular maintenance running? Something should be logged in the Application event log when it does.

John TolmachoffNetwork Administrator


Yes, regular maintenance is run.

To get the quotas and retentions, I ran the Get-Mailboxdatabase NAME | fl *retention* and then *recoverable* and then *quota* commands

get-mailboxdatabase | sort name | foreach {
$stats = $_ | get-mailboxstatistics
$_ | Add-Member -membertype ScriptProperty -name TotalCount -value {
($stats | Measure ItemCount -sum ).sum }
$_ | Add-Member -MemberType ScriptProperty -Name SizeMB -value {
($stats | foreach {$_.totalItemSize.Value.ToBytes()}| Measure -sum).sum/1MB }
$_ | Select Servername,Name,TotalCount,SizeMB
} | format-table –AutoSize |
out-file -filepath L:\Other\Databaselist.txt

ServerName Name                        TotalCount           SizeMB
---------- ----                        ----------           ------
***        Mailbox Database 0723983577     694098 38174.9760475159

Get-MailboxStatistics –database "Mailbox Database 0723983577" |
 Sort-Object TotalItemSize -Descending |
 ft DisplayName,@{label="TotalItemSize(MB)";
expression={$_.totaldeleteditemsize.Value.ToMB()}},ItemCount >L:\Other\MailBoxDetailList.txt
Network Administrator
Well, I never did find out what was taking up all that space. However I have created a new database and moved all mailboxes over to it, then removed the old existing database.

Size of the new database after 10 days of use: 51 GB.
John TolmachoffNetwork Administrator


Thanks to SemBee2. I knew that creating a new database was an option but was still trying to understand what was using all that extra space. No answer for that was ever found.

Not important enough to find out, so just moved to a new database and move onto other work.

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