Detecting when a mail file exceeds its quota

If quota enforcement is enabled, whenever the Router delivers mail, it compares the current size of the destination mail file against its configured database quota or threshold. If the size exceeds one of these, the Router takes appropriate action.

About this task

While this topic refers to behavior of the Router during delivery of new messages to a mail file, be advised that the Check space used in file when adding a note setting is a server-wide setting that applies to all updates to databases with quotas enabled on the server. For example, when a mail message is sent for delivery and the message is saved in the Send folder, the IBM® Notes® client initiates saving the sent mail message on a server-based mail file, and the server then processes the note update.

When calculating mail file size, IBM Domino® does not take into account the space consumed by a file's full-text index. When setting a mail file quota, be sure to consider the additional space required for both the quota and for the file's full-text index. Over time, the full-text index of a typical mail database can reach a size between 5 and 15 percent of the database size.

You can specify mail file quota indicator settings on the desktop policy settings document. The mail file quota indicator settings designate whether a mail quota indicator is displayed on the Notes client, and if it is displayed, the automatic update interval for the mail quota in minutes and whether the mail quota is refreshed when the cursor hovers over the mail quota indicator.

To specify the method a server uses to calculate the size of a mail file


  1. From the Domino Administrator, click the Configuration tab, expand the Server section, and click All Server Documents.
  2. Select the Server document to edit, and then click Edit Server.
  3. Click the Transactional Logging tab, and in the Quota enforcement field, select one of these methods and then click Save & Close.
    Table 1. Method for enforcing quotas



    Check space used in file when adding a note

    This setting is most commonly used by the Router when calculating mail file size, but it can be used by any process that is updating one or more notes on a server.

    The Router calculates the current size of a mail file from the amount of space that messages occupy in the database and determines whether mail files are in compliance with configured warning thresholds or quotas based on this calculation. White space in the database is discounted. If the user is over quota and quota enforcement is enabled, no new messages are delivered. If the mail file is close to its quota, the Router continues to deliver messages only until their cumulative size exceeds the quota; thereafter, messages are held or rejected, depending on the enforcement setting.

    When a user deletes a message, the space occupied by that message is immediately removed from the calculated size of the mail file. There is no need to run the Compact task to recover space. Users who cannot receive mail because of a quota violation can reduce the current size of the mail file immediately by archiving or deleting messages.

    If transaction logging is enabled on the server, select this method of enforcement, because it does not require administrative intervention to compact mail files.

    Check file size when extending the file

    (Default) The Router calculates the current size of a mail file from its actual physical size. The calculated physical size includes the unused "white space" in a file that results when a user deletes or archives a message. Domino does not immediately recover this white space. As a result, accumulated white space may account for a large portion of the file size, so that the actual mail file size is considerably larger than the combined size of its stored messages.

    The size check occurs only if adding a message requires an increase in the size of the mail file. When quota enforcement is enabled and this option is selected, if a message delivered to the mail file requires an increase in the file size that would result in a quota violation, delivery fails. However, a message is always delivered if there is sufficient white space to accommodate it.

    On servers that do not use transaction logging, users can run the Compact task to remove white space and decrease the file size. However, when transaction logging is in effect, users cannot compact their own mail files. An administrator must run Compact with the -B option to reduce the size of the file.

    Check file size when adding a note

    The Router calculates the current size of a mail file from its actual file size. Both the space occupied by messages and white space in the database count toward the total size.

    This option is more restrictive than the preceding option, because the Router checks the quota every time it adds a message to the mail file, regardless of whether this results in an increase in file size.

    On servers that do not use transaction logging, when quota enforcement is enabled, select this option to eliminate inconsistent behavior during delivery to the mail files of users who exceed their quotas. Because the Router always checks the current file size when delivering a message, after a mail file reaches quota, no new messages are delivered, even if a particular message is small enough to fit within the available white space in the mail file.

    Note: On servers where transaction logging is enabled, selecting this option can prevent a user from recovering from a quota violation, since compacting the mail file does not reduce its size, preventing the user from getting back under quota. An administrator must run Compact with the -B option to reduce the size of the file.

How the configured size method effects over-quota enforcement

About this task

Unless you configure the Router to withhold mail from or send warnings to users whose mail files exceed their quotas or warning thresholds, you won't notice any differences between the various methods for calculating file size. However, the method you select for calculating file size becomes significant if you enable quota enforcement or warning notifications on the server.

When servers are set to use file size to determine whether a user is over quota, a user who is over quota might not be able to receive mail immediately after deleting messages. This is because white space remains in the mail file until the Compact task removes it. As a result, a user whose mail is withheld due to a quota error typically experiences some delay between removing messages and achieving the reduced mail file size required to reinstate mail delivery.

On servers where quota enforcement is set to Hold mail and retry, you choose whether the Router attempts delivery to mail files that exceed quota.

If database usage is enabled as the method for calculating size, message delivery always fails after a mail file exceeds its quota. If a mail file is close to its quota but has not yet exceeded it, the Router may succeed in delivering smaller messages. But eventually the file will exceed its quota, and subsequent deliveries will fail.

Reclaiming space in mail files for which soft deletions are enabled

About this task

When soft deletions are enabled for a mail file, deleting messages from a mail file doesn't immediately reduce its size. Instead, the "deleted" messages are moved to the Trash view until they expire, which is after 48 hours, by default. Only then are the messages permanently removed from the database.

To reclaim space immediately, a user must open the Trash view of the mail file and click Empty Trash or select a message in the view and then click Delete Selected Item.