Exchange 2007 Database file system filling up (Whitespace available)

Here is my scenario that I inherited:

i have a CCR Exchange 2007 configuration running on Windows 2008 that wee are getting ready (30-60 days) to move to Office 365.
I have a database that is 639 GB on a drive that only has 650 GB of space.  Transaction logs are on a different drive so that is not an issue.  There is over 50GB of Whitespace.  The only other thing on the drive is the CalatogData folder which is 10 GB.  Yes, there is only 1 GB of space on the Drive remaining.  The good news is that the DB is not growing.  We are slowly mailboxes off the Database to other mailboxes and to Office 365 (But it is going VERY Slowly).  Again, my issue is not whitespace, I don't expect the DB to grow at all.  The company is very short on Storage, so I really can't extend the drive or move the database to another drive.  We also cannot incur any downtime.  I am really looking for a short term solution until we complete the migration.  As we migrate, the database will continue to shrink, but of course the file system will not (and I can't do an offline defrag).  Here are my questions.

1. What happens when the file system drive fills, but the database has plenty of room (Will the database dismount?)
2.  I know that I can disable search indexing on that database and that would give me the 10GB back.  My question is what is the hit on the performance / functionality part.
3.  Can I prevent the Catalog data folder from continuing to grow?  It is growing at about .1 GB every couple of days.
4.  I also know that I can stop the Search indexing service and delete the catalogdata folder, but when I restart the service it will start growing again. Is there a way to move the catalogdata folder to another drive.

Again, looking for a temporary solution that will last 30-60 days that will not require any offline time for Exchange.  The hardware on this server is old and it is very much under powered,


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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
1. The database will dismount.
2. Yes. All users will find any searching within OWA or Outlook in live mode will be slow.
3. No.
4. No.

If the database is no behaving itself, then the usual method to deal with that is to create a new database and move all the users to it.
I would never have allowed a single database to get to that size, it would have been 250 - 300gb at most, which is much more manageable.


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dugger2377Author Commented:
Thanks for the reply.

I would agree that it should never get that size... I inherited the environment. Part of the issue is that taking it offline to defrag or even move would take a very long time for a DB that size.

If I disable the indexing service for this database, will searching also be slow if Outlook is configured to use Cached mode locally, or just when someone uses OWA?

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
In theory, if the client is using cached mode and are on Windows 7 with Outlook 2007 or higher, then it should use the local indexing. If you have anything older then it doesn't.
However I have never disabled the indexing so cannot comment based on first hand experience.

An offline defrag of a database of that size wouldn't even be considered.
Not only because of the size, but also being in a CCR.

dugger2377Author Commented:
Thanks Simon,
That is probably the reason that that the Catalogdata folder is so small.  Everyone is using 2007 or later with the exception of the OWA users which are not that many.

Anyone else have any experience disabling the Indexing Search service on a database?

Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The size of the index search database has no connection to the number of users who are using it. Even if no one uses it then it would be the same size.

However, the size of yours seems very small for a database of that size. I would expect it to be a lot larger than that.
That would suggest that indexing isn't working anyway - probably because of the lack of disk space or the size of the database.

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