By Janet Bagot, Technical Director
It seems that there has been an issue removing deleted messages and reclaiming Exchange database space if the message to be deleted was currently still open by something or someone else (e.g. when being content indexed). This could be preventing you from reclaiming space after archiving.
Good news: A fix included in SP2 RU1 corrects the problem by adding a cleanup retry mechanism. Now, if cleanup fails because something still has an open reference, the store will periodically retry until it succeeds.
The article from the Exchange Team Blog suggests you should contact your 3rd-party Exchange archive supplier to find out exactly how much space you would expect to save, with the comment that the database overheads for storing small items (stubs) is the same as for larger items.
Well the other good news is, you should still see great storage savings, especially if a high percentage of your emails have attachments cc'd to multiple recipients.
Other key things that will keep your primary Exchange stores to the optimum size are:
- If your archive has the ability to policy-delete shortcuts (stubs) - e.g. stubs over 1 year old.
- If your archive allows you the option to create stubs in Text or HTML format (rather than RTF) as Text and HTML gets compressed by Exchange.
- The ability to leave a full length stub (you might as well have this in order to get the most out of Exchange search, given that a smaller stub will use the same database overheads).
- Also the fact that users will feel more comfortable deleting emails from Exchange in the knowledge that they can still search and retrieve them from the archive service.
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