Ask the Expert

How to approach white space during an Exchange server 2003 migration

Is it possible to clean up white space in an Exchange Server 2003 environment while it's being migrated to either Exchange Server 2007 or 2010? Our new Exchange environment will be on different storage and space efficiency is desired. We'd also like to avoid the use of ESEUTIL with any such downtime.

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When you think of white space, you should think of the high water mark in a glass of water. At times, the glass is full but if you take a few sips, the water line drops. The delta between the current level of the water and the highest level is analogous to the white space in an Exchange database.

When you pour the water from one glass to another, the white space stays in the original glass. All you're moving is the actual water (your Exchange data.) So unless you're temporarily moving mailboxes around a lot in your target environment, you shouldn't have any major post-migration white space.

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This was first published in April 2010

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