exchange 2013 database size increases everyday

Hi Experts

I am not a Exchange guy and having a very less knowledge regarding exchange servers.
We have exchange 2013 installed on server 2012. The actual mailbox size i get by running powershell command is around 54GB but the size of mailbox folder itself is around 217GB. Please see below the output of powershell command.

 [PS] C:\Windows\system32>Get-MailboxDatabase -Status | Select-Object Name,DatabaseSize,AvailableNewMailboxSpace | Sort-O
bject Name | fl

Name                     : Mailbox Database 0303672096
DatabaseSize             : 54.13 GB (58,124,730,368 bytes)
AvailableNewMailboxSpace : 62.69 MB (65,732,608 bytes)

- Why there is discrepancy of size between Database actual size and folder size.
- what is the solution to overcome this problem

Really need help on this as this server is on VMware and we do not have more space to allocate to this exchange server.

Thanks in advance

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Simon Butler (Sembee)Connect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
The built in Windows Backup will do the job, but it isn't a great choice as it isn't very flexible.
Backup Assist is my usual tool for this task. It is cheap, uses the native writers and generally does the job with no fuss.

A backup will reduce the size of the database directory, because by default Exchange stores the databases and transaction logs in the same place.

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Have you looked in the folder itself?

By default, both the database and transaction logs are stored in the same location. The logs are only flushed when you do an Exchange aware backup of the server. Are you doing a backup of the server using an Exchange aware backup application?

DO NOT DELETE THE LOGS manually. That will cause you more problems. Verify that is what is happening.
If you do have an Exchange aware backup then ensure that it is set to full backup and to flush the logs (not unheard of for people to set it to copy instead).

nocinfospanAuthor Commented:
No i am not taking any backups right now. and yes i checked the folder itself under default path i.e. "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Mailbox".

We did a migration from 2003 exchange to exchange 2013. May be that would add up some size.

What if i create a new mailbox database and move all mailboxes to new database ? and delete the older database once mailboxes are moved to newer one. Will that be a solution ?

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Vaseem MohammedCommented:
As suggested by Simon, you must take backup with exchange aware backup application, that's the correct way to flush the logs for that specific database.
When you migrated exchange 2003 mailboxes to 2013 the move itself generates log files. Every action thats you do in exhange or exchange does results in creation of log file. If you move mailbox from old DB to new that will also create logs.
Bottom line., run full backup.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Creating a new database is not going to help.
If you aren't going to do a backup, then enable circular logging on the databases. You will need to dismount and then mount the database for the change to take effect. That will stop the logs from being generated at all, but limits your recovery options.

nocinfospanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the solutions .
so what i get is that if i take a full backup the logs will flush automatically from the current location and will result in decrease in size of database?
can i use application available in windows server 2012 for exchange backup ?
any useful links regarding the suggested solutions would really help alot.
and thanks again
Vaseem MohammedCommented:
Logs are separate files and does not count to the size of database file.edb. Taking the successful backup will save your disk space.
Reducing the size of database is completely a different task.

Check the link below for an idea about using windows backup
Do some Google search for more info on the same.
nocinfospanAuthor Commented:
Can i take a backup without un-mounting the DB in exchange?
Can i take the DB backup while all the exchange services are running?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Exchange aware backups are designed to be carried out with Exchange operating.
An Exchange aware backup is the only way that the logs will be flushed.

Viral RathodConsultantCommented:
Yes you can take backup while exchange services are running without unmounting database

If you do not want to buy third party backup solutions then go for builtin windows server backup

Here are the steps to take backup on exchange 2013 using windows server backup.
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