Exchange 2007 whitespace and export-mailbox command

We have an Exchange 2007 Server that is reaching it's mailbox database size limit.  We have already bumped the size limit via the registry a few times and I would prefer to not bump again.  In effort to shrink the logical size of the database I have used the export-mailbox commandlet (with -deletecontent option set) to archive many GB's of data from user's mailboxes.  However the logical size of the Mailbox Database does not appear to be shrinking when we receive event ID 9688 in the application log.  I have checked that after running the export-mailbox commandlet that the actual size of user's mailbox is shrinking appropriately.
It's my understanding that after a full pass of the online defrag the deleted content should show up as whitespace and the logical size of the database should decrease.  Is my understanding correct or am I missing something?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

imkotteesSenior Messaging EngineerCommented:

Size of DB will not shrink automatically.

Either you should perform an offline defrag or create a new DB and move all the mailboxes, then delete the existing db.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
When you are running online maintenance for Exchange it only frees up space within the databaes itself. It does not change the file size of the database on the disk. Your scheduled backups should not be running during the online maintenance. Online maintenance should be running on a totally separate schedule.

If you want to recover the actual size on the disk the best way to do this is to create another mailbox database and move the mailboxes to the newly create database.

You could also do an offline defrag on the mailbox database using "ESEUtil" to cleanup the Whitespace, but this is not recommended and should not be required.

Offline Defrag -


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
dgmsgAuthor Commented:
I understand the physical size of the DB will not decrease itself.  I am referring to the amount of whitespace/logical size of the database.
Your Guide to Achieving IT Business Success

The IT Service Excellence Tool Kit has best practices to keep your clients happy and business booming. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to increase client satisfaction and retention, become more competitive, and increase your overall success.

imkotteesSenior Messaging EngineerCommented:
Exchange 2010 may reuse those spaces but it will not immediately happen. if you want those spaces back go with either one of the options above.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If you have removed a lot of content, it could be that the online process isn't completing in time and the space isn't being released.
Do you get event ID 1221 in the event viewer?

dgmsgAuthor Commented:
Simon- I do get event ID 1221 in event viewer, the value listed there is nowhere near what I would expect based on the size of the data archived via export-mailbox command.  

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If you have removed a lot of content, then it can take two or three passes before the full space is released.
Also remember that you are getting new content as well, which will use some of that space immediately. So you could be gaining 20gb a night, but losing 15gb during the day (example figures).

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.