Sbs 2003 exchange storage limit

I have client that has a mailbox store of 70gb. I visited site and manually deleted a large amount of deleted & sent items dating back 12 years however the store is still being reported as 70gb via my monitoring agent.
I rebooted the server last night expecting to see the size of the first storage group dramatically reduced however it's the opposite and has actually increased!

Is there something else that needs doing in order to reset as I can't believe the amount of mail I deleted for several users would have no effect.

Thanks
Daniel BertoloneAsked:
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Deleting data from an Exchange store won't reduce the physical size of the database, only an offline defrag of the database will physically reduce its size.

All that happens when you delete data from an Exchange database is that the database will have plenty of free space in it (called White Space) and that will fill up first before the store needs to grow again.

The offline defrag removes the White Space and re-writes the database to a new file which is smaller and then the database will immediately start to grow as soon as new emails arrive.

Alan
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
In addition Deleted Item Retention will keep your deleted messages from actually being deleted for (I believe a default of) 30 days.  You can change this.  Running an offline defrag removes the whitespace, but the deleted items won't be whitespace until the the deleted item retention time expires.

Reference:
http://usdt.mylivevault.com/webhelp/TSK/bk_exchange_2K_exch.asp
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Daniel BertoloneAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys.

Alan - I seem to remember seeing a guide written by yourself regarding the offline defrag?
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
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Daniel BertoloneAuthor Commented:
Thanks Alan.

After changing the deleted items retention policy to 0 days it appears the store has now reduced to 60GB giving the client some headroom. I plan to change the retention policy back to the default 30 days but my question now is an offline defrag still required as my alert has cleared and there is at least 10GB whitespace. Is it safe to proceed in this manor or should i be looking to run a defrag.

Thanks
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You only need to run the offline defrag if you want the disk space back, but you will need 110% of the database size in free disk space to run it on the same drive, or you can point the temporary files to a drive with sufficient space on it to perform the defrag.

Basically - it's probably not worth it.
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Daniel BertoloneAuthor Commented:
Thanks Guys for all your assistance. Appreciated!
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