How Can I check the degree of fragmentation in Exchange 2003 database?

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Tags:
Exchange performance
Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2007 Upgrade
Exchange Server Upgrades
Exchange upgrades
Microsoft Exchange 2003
Microsoft Exchange migration
We are currently migrating over 6000 users from our existing Exchange 2003 environment to our new Exchange 2007 implementation. We have moved approximately 30% of our users, however, performance in the Exchange 2003 environment has degraded during this time period. We are running nightly maintenance, however, my exchange admin is unclear how to determine the level of fragmentation within the database. Specifically, how can one determine the level of fragmentation currently present within the Exchange 2003 database?

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I would not worry about taking the database offline on Exchange 2003 and running a defrag on it. This would mean downtime if your database size is very high. Since you are migrating to Exchange 2007 the whitespace left behind on Exchange 2003 should not be a place of worry as once the mailboxes are moved, the DB would not be having any information left. Still if you would like to run a defrag, follow the method as described by “technochic”.

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Please check below link

http://www.msexchange.org/articles/Exchange-Databases-Disk-Consumption.html

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To be more specific, as you move people out of the Exchange 2003 databases, the space left behind remains just that, space. Until you do an offline defrag that space, known as “whitespace” will remain. Let’s say you have a 60GB database on your EX2003 server. You move half the people off and now your database is still the same size, 60GB. It’s about half whitespace. Run your offline defrag using the eseutil /d command and it will remove all that whitespace for you.
~ technochic

Dont quite me on this but isnt there a perfmon setting to determine the amount of whitespace to be recovered?

http://www.msexchange.org/articles/Exchange-Databases-Disk-Consumption.html

if this is any help?

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  • Jsingewald
    Thanks for the link, however, this doesn't really answer the question with regards to identifying the amount of fragmentation. The "whitespace" that you mention will definitely occur as we migrate users, but what is the performance impact of this "whitespace"? I was hoping to be able to determine if there was an on-line utility that could be run to determine the current level of fragmentation to see if we can identify if this is in fact the contributor to the performance degradation we are seeing.
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  • Technochic
    Well of course the more whitespace there is, just like a fragmented drive, the more space exchange is going to "look through" which will impact performance. This is why an offline defrag is recommended after large scale move of mailboxes. Exactly what percentage that is going to effect YOUR system is highly subjective to the hardware configuration including RAM, number of processors, cores and speed, etc. As far as I know there is no on-line method to determine exact amount of fragmentation except good old-fashioned math. How large was the database before moving mailboxes? How many GB of data were moved? Subtract data moved from size of database and you get amount of fragmentation. Unfortunately even this is not exact because when you move mailboxes they grow in size due to the breaking of the single instance storage involved within the old database. If you have a spreadsheet of the mailbox and can calculate how much space they are taking before they are moved you will get a more exact figure.
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