Exchange 2010 edb size

Posted on 2014-08-18
Last Modified: 2014-08-22

I have noticed my exchange servers mailbox size has increased over 30GB in 3 weeks. It is not mailbox sizes as I have run a script of all mailbox sizes which equates to no more than 80GB. I do have 2 Exchange Servers running as database copies but everything seems ok there.

I have checked my default retention policy which is the default one that is setup. Recoverable items is set to 14 days. Is there anything in the default rendition policy that I need to change such as the 1 year and 5 year policy? Not 100% sure how they work. Why would I have a 1 and 5 year policy active?

Some help would be great.
Question by:monarchit

    Author Comment

    I have just noticed also that the default rendition policy Exchange 2010 created is not set to any mailboxes however staffs recover deleted items don't go past 14 days?

    The issue is not Public Folders either.
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    by:Shaik M. Sajid
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Hi monarchit,
    Do you have a backup policy running for your Exchange server?
    Is there any exchange log deleting process with a backup software? If not, you need one.

    Because even if that seems quite a big increase, that could be because of your exchange logs not being purged. Logs need to be cleared frequently, usually this is done with a backup software for exchange.

    But, just a reminder in case this is not quite clear for you : this has to be done by a software, do never delete exchange db log files manually.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    by:David Carr
    One way to reduce size of the .edb file is do an offline defrag of the database. This will reclaim the whitespace in the database.

    I would suggest looking at the online maintenance of the database to ensure it is starting and completing regularly (preferably daily)

    I would also suggest looking at the backups of the databases to make sure those are working. Look at the size of the log files to see if they are growing as well.

    Author Comment

    Hi, Yes the logs are being deleted daily and transaction logs flushed via Symantec Backup Exec. Where would I check the online maintenance? Event logs?
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Let me clear up a lot of confusion in this thread...

    First off is the actual architecture of ESE, which is what both the mailbox databases and the mail.que file run off of. When an item is delete (such as IPM data, mailboxes, ect) the physical size of the .EDB file does not decrease but instead marks the space as "usable" when something else is added (e.g: more mail, another mailbox, ect). The reason for this is to reduce writeable IO on the spindles where the .EDB file sits.. MSFT did this by design.

    One big misconception is that the only way to actually reduce white space is an "offline defrag". You are running Exchange 2010, and that recommendation has not been a recommendation since Exchange 2003. I would recommend moving all mailboxes to a separate database (Exchange 2010 mailbox moves are done online due to the addition of the Mailbox Replication Service) then delete the old database. The reason for this is because you have zero downtime without the risk of corruption that ESEUTIL /D (offline defrag) would normally carry.

    Moving into backups, please make sure they are actually running. A valid VSS (Exchange aware) backup should be running as when the Exchange database is fully backed up, most backup software will read the .chk file (checkpoint) to find the log depth of commitment, and then blow away the logs that are committed already to the database. This will help keep the logs volume down considerably, and also allow point in time recovery.

    A retention policy is something completely different than the "recoverable items" retention. The Recoverable Items retention is Single Item Recovery, which can be read about here: The purpose of this is to make sure that administrators do not have to actually run a restoration job if a user deletes an email (or tons of emails) by mistake, and allows you to go through the "Recover Delete Items" folder (which is actually the "Dumpster", now called the Recoverable Items / Deletion folder). The retention policies are either applied to all mailbox folders that are not tagged, or to the default folders BUT you need to setup retention tags, create a retention policy and then apply the retention policy to the mailbox. More about that can be read here: I wrote this two years ago, have yet to update it since I have left MS as a Exchange PFE.

    If you are looking to reduce the total size of the EDB file because you can, then I wouldnt. If you are low on disk space, create a new mailbox database and move all the mailboxes to that one. Once completed delete the old mailbox database.
    LVL 41

    Expert Comment

    I don't see this as an issue at all. 30 GB is in 3 weeks, is not abnormal. What are you worried? Do you have any issue due to this growth, like disk space issue etc. In order to control such growth, you need to have mailbox limits enabled for all users. Configure relay connectors for application servers, as that can also add good amount of data.

    Author Comment

    My many DB's can I create with Exchange std? I currently have two Mailbox stores and two Public Folder stores.

    Thanks for the explanation Adam.
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Adam Farage
    How many you mean? You can create 5 database copies with Exchange 2010 Standard Edition. The size is limit was lifted, so that is not a problem... the "recommended" maximum size is 2TB, as you would have to change around the underlying NTFS structure of the volume (from a regular simple volume to a GPT with mount point, depending on the version of windows server)

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