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Exchange 2007 whitespace and export-mailbox command

Posted on 2014-01-06
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Last Modified: 2016-05-19
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?
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Question by:dgmsg
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Expert Comment

by:imkottees
ID: 39759601
Hi,

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.
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Will Szymkowski earned 68 total points
ID: 39759606
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 - http://exchangeserverpro.com/defrag-exchange-2010-mailbox-database/

Will.
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Author Comment

by:dgmsg
ID: 39759610
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.
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Expert Comment

by:imkottees
ID: 39759619
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.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 132 total points
ID: 39760036
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?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:dgmsg
ID: 39760231
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.  

Daniel
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Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 132 total points
ID: 39760790
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).

Simon.
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