Exchange 2010 edb file swollen more than double actual usage.

We have an Exchange 2010 with about 70 mailboxes running on Win 2008 R2 server. Although the sum up of all the mailboxes is only about 80G we found out the .edb file is currently about 172G, which is more than double in size. This is the second time in the last two months we found this issue. Last time we moved all mailboxes out to another edb file and delete the old edb.
Obviously there must be a root cause which was not resolved by moving out mailboxes and deleting edb. Can you tell us what could be wrong? How to fix it?
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Exchange database continually grow. So when users get an abundance of email and then delete it, this turns into whitespace. The actual database size NEVER shrinks. It will only re-use the whitespace that it collects after online maintenance happens. It will then use the Whitespace first and then start to expand the EDB file size when there is no more whitespace to use. This is by design.

Ways that you can mitigate this is to use Quota's on mailboxes and also settings limits on message sizes and attachement sizes as well.

The only way you will be able to reduce the actual size of an EDB file is doing an offline defrag. This is however not recommended. The recommended approach would be to move the mailboxes to a new database.


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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
edb files grow from messages coming into them.  Have you had an email storm lately?

Make sure you are on all of the latest Exchange 2010 updates, although I don't know of any issues where the edb files were growing uncontrollably.
AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Creating new Db and moving mailbox is best option, which you already did last time. There is script from MS, which can help you to find the reason. Check it.

Also, reduce the deleted mailbox and item retention period on your database. If you have mailbox set on legal hold you might need to disable it and clean up the mailboxes recover delete items.
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept HeadCommented:
Agree with Amit. creating and moving to a new DB will clear white space and reduce up to 60% of the size
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