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Approaches to 'White Space" in Exchange 2007 user Mailboxes.

EV_Novice
Level 5
Ladies and Gents,

I'd appreciate your opinions regarding 'white space' in Exchange 2007 user mail databases.
We use EV 2007 7.5 SP3 with Exchange 2007 SP1.
We changed our EV archiving from quota-based where approx 30% space was maintained in each users mailbox 
to age based archiving, where our users now have the last 28 days of mail in their exchange mail databases.
Everything older gets moved into their EV mail vaults.

While the EV archive partitions have grown significantly, as expected, and the backups for EV now take much longer - no surprise there -
the Exchange backups are still taking as long as they did when we had quota based archiving and must therefore be backing up white space as well as the 28 days worth of mail in each users' mailbox !

According to the wisdom located in Microsoft Technet, we should never ever need to go through the joys of ESEUTIL /D or other approaches to offline defragging, because Microsoft says Exchange 2007 doesn't need it.

I'm sure more experienced MS Exchange Admins than I have other opinions and advice ?

Look forward to your recommendations !

EV_Novice

 
10 REPLIES 10

AndrewB
Moderator
Moderator
Partner    VIP    Accredited
You said you searched technet but this one is straight from the horse's mouth.
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2004/07/08/177574.aspx

MichelZ
Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified
Andrew

He speaks about Exchange 2007, which holds true what he says, I believe.
However, you have to enable scheduled maintenance, I believe.
You should search for how to enable this.

Cheers

cloudficient - EV Migration, creators of EVComplete.

AndrewB
Moderator
Moderator
Partner    VIP    Accredited

it's not something you can enable. you have to take the database offline and run eseutil. i beleive the points in the article hold true for exchange 2003 and 2007 both.
1. if you're going to reclaim more than 30% of the space than it's worth doing. (check for event 1221 regarding whitespace)
2. consider moving mailboxes to a new or another database and deleting the old one

Liam_Finn1
Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified
 I agree with AndrewB

Create a new mailstore and move the mailboxes to that mail store then once they are moved delete the old mailstore.

This will give you the removal of the whitespace and make your backups smaller without having to take the mail store offline

MichelZ
Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified
Keep in mind that moving a mailbox also clears all the user's deleted deleted items. (The one's you can restore from the Exchange Dumpster feature)



cloudficient - EV Migration, creators of EVComplete.

Rob_Wilcox1
Level 6
Partner
In a former life I was an Exchange Admin, and supported Exchange at Microsoft for 3.5 years.  My thoughts on offline defrags vary from week to week :)  However, what you should perhaps do is :-

* Look at the 1221 events from online maintenance.
* Look at the size of the databases on disk
* Look at (or guess) the likely increases in number of users, average message size, special users who need more than 28 days online / non-archived data (because I imagine they might creep out of the woodwork over time).

After looking at those things, work out whether you want to work a weekend and take the stores offline to do an offline defrag.    Can you business users "allow" prolonged downtime whilst you defrag?
Working for cloudficient.com

EV_Novice
Level 5
Thankyou all, for your contructive suggestions. I should have also mentioned - apologies -  that ours is a clustered Exchange 2007 SP1 environment, with Active/Passive nodes. However, we only have the one EV Server.
Your guidance is appreciated!
Please you can advise of a solution that might also avoid weekend or overnight working !

Rob_Wilcox1
Level 6
Partner
Hi again,

If you want to get rid of the whitespace in the mailbox store, the only way is to offline defrag the file.  This takes quite some time depending on the size of the EDB file on disk.

So for each of your mailbox databases, what is the size of the EDB file on disk, and what does your most recent 1221 event say for each?

Finally you can "guestimate" how long a defrag will take per store based on the size, and a bit of testing.

I should add that clustering doesn't help or hinder this particular process.

Working for cloudficient.com

Liam_Finn1
Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified
 Move the mailboxes in batches from one mail store to another. You can do it early mornings, during lunch or just schedule time with the users for the moves.

Rob_Wilcox1
Level 6
Partner
@Scanner01, I've seen an issue "now and again" where cached mode users using Outlook 2003 "early" service packs didn't get their profile automatically updated after mailbox.

So, provided the version of Outlook is Outlook 2007 SP 1, or Outlook 2007 SP 2 and/or there is no cached mode involved, then your idea is pretty good (if you have the space for the transaction logs)

>> This covers the issue I refer to : http://support.microsoft.com/?id=839647

Working for cloudficient.com