What I have seen on the servers I manage is that the "Removed" directory contains the last removed copy of a given file/folder structure. That is, the last-removed copy of any given file and folder name will be retained.
So if you rename a file every time you update it (e.g. with a version string), and remove the previous version, then each removed version will remain in the Removed folder. If, however, you keep file names constant, then each removal will overwrite the previous removed copy of that file name.
So it's up to you. Versioned file names mean it might be worth getting IT to check the <fmserverDataPath>/Databases/Removed directory and clean it up. Non-versioned file names mean only the last one will be there, which may or may not be worth deleting.
I hope this makes sense.
Makes perfect sense and I'm pleased that I asked the question and even more pleased that I got such helpful answer.
Another (related) question, now that I'm liaising with IT on some housekeeping: can they just delete these items from the relevant subfolder or are there any gotchas?
My alternative would be to get a list of the contents and then overwrite them with appropriately named, very small files.
Just deleting them is fine. There is nothing in the FMServer admin console interface to allow you to get access to files in there, so it does not complain if you delete them. It's just a holding area that FMServer only touches when removing.
I finally just got access to that folder in the corporate FMS 12 server (\Database\Removed_By_FMS). Housekeeping done - > 11 Gb. (Oops, gotta pay attention to that versioning :-) )
Many thanks, Mardi