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Exchange Mailbox Database is Expanding (Alarmingly)

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  • Exchange Mailbox Database is Expanding (Alarmingly)

    Hi all,

    About a month ago, I noticed that the disk on which my Exchange (2010) database is stored was starting to get a little low. No biggie, I can expand it (a little). BUT over the subsequent week, I noticed that the available space on that disk kept getting less and less and less. So I then spent a week watching closely and what I'm seeing is the Exchange db growing by anywhere between 200-400MB per day.

    While that may not be crazy in certain environments, it's quite alarming in our case. Historically we've not been very email-centric and have about 180 mailboxes. Recently, we've gone more heavy towards email usage (social media initiatives, accepting online/email resumes/etc, but that's the only change recently. And while I can't fathom those initiatives sending the size overboard so quickly, I can't think of anything else.

    So my questions are.. What can I do to figure out WHAT is causing the db to expand like this? How can I check to see what mailboxes are growing at what rate? Can I see mailbox histories? I can't view the logs... But they seem to be just 1MB txt files. Do I need some kind of viewer program? Will the logs tell me anything like this anyway? Log files are saved on a different disk, so they're not part of my size problem anyway.

    I'm by no means an Exchange expert (as you can probably tell), so I could use some genuine handholding here. Any thoughts? Thanks!


  • #2
    I wrote a whole screed about log files, then spotted they are on a different disk, so as you say not the problem. Regardless, it is worth checking log files are being truncated with every backup. You cant open or view the log files - they are copies of the information going into the databases

    tbh, in these days, a mailbox database growing by <gb per day is normal, its only about 2Mb per user, after all.

    You can impose quotas, or (subject to licensing) give them an archive mailbox on a different database with more space, but really it is user education to delete the jokes, cat pictures and all the other crap they get!
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


    • #3
      you can get some stats here:


      • #4
        I found that users using mobile devices with wrong sync time ranges can cause a large amount of transaction log generation. Usersought to only sync the last 3 days work, not a week or certainly not unlimited. A tool such as Exchange User Monitor will help:
        Moving the transaction logs on their own disks will help a lot.