Exchange Server 2010 Archiving and Retention (06-10-09) Questions and Answers Log

I am very sorry that it took so long for me to get all the questions answered from my webcast.  I do appreciate everyone’s patience.  As there were quite a few repeats on some questions, I chose to answer the first one and deleted the subsequent ones.  If you find that I truly did not answer your question, please feel free to post a comment on this blog and I will address it.  Thank you!

Harold Wong

TechNet Webcast: Exchange 2010 Archiving and Retention

Question: you are great although you reply very late, what is difference the third party archiving and E2K10 archiving

Answer: We’ve heard from customers that other archiving solutions:

• Has a poor user experience: unfamiliar, disjoint search and access experience between live and archived data, and “clunky” integration with OL or OWA.

• Complex Admin experience: client add-ons create install/perf problems for OL, separate archiving infrastructure to manage, search, etc.

• High costs: separate licenses, management and storage costs, etc.

We also received feedback from customers that they would like to have integrated capabilities to preserve and discover e-mail data out of the box. Our goal was not to completely replace solutions from third parties. With that said, it is hard to compare and contrast our out of box solution with third party solutions.

Question: can we send additional questions to the blog?

Answer: You are more than welcome to post questions via my blog or send via email.

Question: Can we import PST's from other exchange groups, organizations, etc to index and run discovery searches on detached from our live mailboxes?

Answer: If you can open the PST and copy the items into the Exchange 2010 database, you can perform discovery searches. You cannot link to other Exchange organizations and perform a multi Org search.

Question: is 64bit HW required for storage improvement?

Answer: Exchange Server 2010 requires 64 bit hardware and a 64 bit OS.

Question: there are other archiving products in market like symantec enterprise vault etc. How different is archiving in Microsoft Exchange 2010 from these products?

Answer: Suffice it to say, we are different. I know these companies will continue to evolve their products as well and will likely enhance what we are doing in Exchange 2010 with their product line..

Question: I was told that Archiving feature is not available in Exchange 2010 beta. Will it be available on R1. If yes, do you have ETA for R1.

Answer: This is correct. The Archive Mailbox did not become available until post Beta builds of Exchange 2010. I do not have an ETA for the next beta version of Exchange 2010 at this time. However, I am working to create a screencast that shows both the administrative and client experience for Archiving so you can see what it looks like.

Question: I was told that Outlook 2010 will be the version of Outlook to access Archiving feature. Will Outlook 2010 in Cached Exchange mode to access archiving mails on Exchange 2010.

Answer: Outlook 2010 will need to have live access to the Exchange 2010 server in order to access the Archive Mailbox node.

Question: As you mentioned, the purpose of archiving is to reduce backup of production database. However, I was told that Exchange 2010 only supports active mailbox and archived mailbox on the same database. Will Microsoft will fix it on RTM Exchange 2010.

Answer: It is true that Exchange Server 2010 requires the Primary and Archive Mailbox to be located in the same database. Per discussions from Tech Ed, we are investigating other options for post RTM.

Question: if we are archiving enable with E2k7 and E2K3 using 3rd paty, can we use the same data for E2K10 archiving. we are using SQL 2008 as Database.

Answer: The 3rd Party archiving tools do not function the same as Exchange 2010 Archiving, so you will not be able to import the data from those tools into Exchange 2010 nor will you be able to natively access those from Exchange 2010 without the 3rd Party component.

Question: archive mailbox is locally stored, like pst?

Answer: No, the Archive Mailbox node is stored on the Exchange Server and is only accessible when there is a live connection to Exchange.

Question: Is the archive mailbox space allocated at time of creating or does it grow dynamically upto the limit set?

Answer: Like any mailbox in an Exchange database, the space is not actually set aside and will grow as the mailbox grows.

Question: What are the changes in terms of single instance storage within Exchange 2010?

Answer: We no longer have single instance storage in Exchange Server 2010.

Question: Can all email both internal and to/from external parties be forced to go into the archive and can users be restricted from deleting email in the archive? For eDiscovery, you need the ability to search across all emails, not just emails users are saving.

Answer: Any email can be archived into the Archive Mailbox. We have a new “Legal Hold” that enables the IT staff to put a user on a retention hold that prevents/captures deleted and edited e-mail items in both their Primary and Archive Mailbox.

Question: does a message have to be moved into a folder to be classified for retention, or can an item be "flagged" in place for retention?

Answer: Unlike MRM, the user can apply Retention Policies on any of their folders.

Question: When you auto-archive a message from a mailbox to an archive, does it keep the existing folder structure?

Answer: Yes, it does.

Question: In order to stop users from creating PSTs on their local Hard Drive, will exchange 2010 take away the outlook archive option from the users?

Answer: To disable uses from writing to a PST, you could use Group Policy to push out a change to prevent the PST from growing.

Question: What do you mean by "Secondary Mailbox Node?"

Answer: The Archive Mailbox is a second mailbox that is created in the Exchange Database. It is not a “regular” mailbox but a special one that is associated with the users Primary mailbox.

Question: What archiving capabilities are available in Outlook versions earlier than 2010 e.g. 2003.

Answer: Outlook 2007 and earlier have the native ability to archive to a PST file. If you implement a 3rd party solution, then more options are available. To access the Archive Mailbox in Exchange 2010, you will need Outlook 2010 or you will need to use Outlook Web Access in Exchange 2010.

Question: What is the secondary mailbox? can a user have more then one mailbox? does AD allows users to have more then one mailbox like back in exchange 5 and 5.5?

Answer: Secondary Mailbox is the Archive Mailbox. Users can have more than one mailbox that they connect to, but it is not the same as Exchange 5.5 and earlier.

Question: Does the Outlook client present two mailboxes, the primary and the archive secondary?

Answer: Yes, for Outlook 2010.

Question: will it prevent the usr from deleting or just remove the auto-delete from policies?

Answer: The user will be able to access the Archive Mailbox in the same manner that they access their Primary Mailbox. This means they will be able to delete emails from the archive. You can use Legal Hold to prevent deletions as I stated in an earlier answer.

Question: Can you also put a Legal Hold on Public Folder emails?

Answer: No, the Legal Hold only applies to Mailboxes.

Question: Got a customer with 20k mailboxes, they have quota of 50MB and 100MB limits, and looking for GB level quotas. Looking for resource management tools that might help also asking how hotmail handles mailbox quotas of >5GB?

Answer: I’m sorry, but I don’t have any insights into what the Hotmail team does. The key to supporting large mailboxes and maintaining a decent level of SLA from a backup / restore perspective, is to ensure you don’t continue to backup to tape, but to use snapshot backup utilities (like DPM).

Question: If a user wants to find a message do they have to search both their mailbox and the secondary mailbox?

Answer: The search allows for searching across both the Primary and Archive Mailboxes.

Question: Are these features available with the standard CAL or Enterprise CAL?

Answer: Currently, the Archiving feature will require the Enterprise CAL. Since Exchange 2010 hasn’t released yet, I do have to state that this can change.

Question: One of the common questions from customers: Why should we sue Archiving that comes with Exchg2010 but not Symantec Enterprise Vault, or another third party . They have more features. Thanks for all the answers

Answer: This question comes up on most features. Ultimately, it comes down to what feature set you need. If the feature that is natively available in Exchange will be sufficient, then go with it. If you need more features that are only available with a 3rd party solution, go with that.

Question: If I need a copy of an email from/to user x’s mailbox and one from user y’s mailbox, will I be able to show one message each, showing which mailbox it is from, or will de-duplication remove this data? contact me at if I need to explain this question more

Answer: Journaling will capture a copy for each user that you are journaling for. In your example, you will have a journaled copy for x’ and y’.

Question: Is or can the primary mailbox be archived as well?

Answer: Absolutely!

Question: Can you use Outlook Anywhere to access your archive mailboxes?

Answer: Yes.

Question: only one policy per item?

Answer: Yes, only one Retention Policy per item.

Question: Is the user's archived mailbox not available when in offline mode with a laptop if you are using cached mode?

Answer: When the user is offline (no direct access to Exchange 2010), they will not be able to access their Archive Mailbox.

Question: Can retention policies be applied to an entire information stores? if so, would they be applied to OWA and Outlook users?

Answer: The Exchange Administrator (IT Department) can apply default Retention Policies on the default folders or custom folders. They can also publish additional policies that can be used to override the default folder policy. In order for the user to specify an optional policy, they must use OWA or Outlook 2010.

Question: can user override expiration/deletion?

Answer: Only if the Exchange Administrator (IT Department) offers a “No Expiry” Retention Policy.

Question: Will any of these outlook fetures be added to Outllok 2007 since Office 2010 is not planed to be relesed untill 2Q 2010?

Answer: Currently, no.

Question: Are there any plans to allow archive mail to be stored offline like the main mailbox for mobile users?

Answer: Not currently.

Question: Will I be able to delete Archived Mails ??

Answer: Yes, the user can navigate the Archive Mailbox just like their Primary Mailbox.

Question: If a user has a primary mailbox with a 1 Gig quota and a archive mailbox of 10 Gig why not just make them a primary mailbox of 11 gig with no archive mailbox since it's all stored on the exchange server anyway?

Answer: That is always an option.

Question: MM search - items extracted to pst? or to archive mailbox?

Answer: From a compliancy search, the items are copied to a designated Mailbox.

Question: Will there by any type of strategy / guidelines for transitioning the archving solution from something like Symantec Enterprise Vault?

Answer: I’m sure we will provide guidance when the product releases, but I’m not sure if we will provide detailed step-by-step guidance.

Question: who are the main partners/products extending legal holds right now?

Answer: I don’t have the answer to this as there are quite a few third party solutions on the market.

Question: Dumpster used to be only visible for all folders by use of a registry hack. Is this still required to view full dumpster?

Answer: Visible to who??? Either way, the multi mailbox search command allows you to specify if you wish to search the dumpster in addition to the Primary and Archive Mailbox.

Question: Does transport journaling, MM search, etc. alter the metadata of the message in any way or is it more of a wrapper approach?

Answer: Journaling is a wrapper approach.

Question: Can you explain in your blog more about what features are dependent on Outlook 2010 ? Were currently in the process of rolling out office 2007 now, but we anticipate upgrading Exchange from 2003 to 2010.

Answer: Boy, this is a tough one. I do not know that we have publicized (officially documented) what requires Outlook 2010 and what doesn’t as of right now. I would highly encourage you to contact your Microsoft Account Team and see if they can delve into this in more detail with you.

Question: can i specify a delete+move policy in migration for each managed folder?

Answer: You can specify an archive and retention policy for each folder. This doesn’t require the custom managed folders like Message Records Management does.

Question: What is the storage over head of using a 3rd or 4th db copy of all our exchange databases for backups? Need to be restore any message that might be deleted in the Archive or live mailbox as long as the mail delete happen in the last month.

Answer: I’m not sure what overhead you are asking about, but from a storage perspective, it is a matter of disk space.

Question: Many of our staff use laptops and PST files so they can take the PST mail with them when off site. I don't see how Archive will eliminate the need for PST files if you cannot access the Archive folder when off site or not connected to the Exchange Server. It seems you need to be able to copy the Archive folder to the laptop; otherwise, users will not want email archived since they cannot then access it unless connected.

Answer: It is true that the user does not have access to the Archive Mailbox when offline. An option would be to set a policy that keeps the content within their Primary Mailbox. If this is indeed an issue and the above option doesn’t work, perhaps a 3rd party solution would be a better fit or the continued use of PST files.

Question: Can I make something that a few of my archive items some MB would be avialable to me even if I'm offline ?? similar to Offline Vault in Symantec Enterprise Vault

Answer: You can move the items out of the Archive back into the Primary Mailbox.

Question: Can I set a retention policy that moves items into a document management/records management system?

Answer: The archive policies I discussed as part of Outlook 2010 and Exchange 2010 are only for moving to the Archive Mailbox.

Question: Can I have “per matter” retention policies (e.g. expire at project close)?

Answer: Yes, you can specify when items expire in your retention policies.

Question: Is there any compression used in archived copy of emails?

Answer: No.

Question: How do these new features interact/integrate with SharePoint?

Answer: They don’t.

Question: Is there an automated pst migration tool?

Answer: No, we do not have an automated tool.

Question: Can you set archive mailboxes for more than one user at a time, e.g. during migration, setting it as a default?

Answer: Yes, you can.

Question: Is it possible to define a "Private" folder and rule like Archive all exept "Private" as we are allowing that have still have Private mails but don't want to archive it.

Answer: You can choose not to apply Archive Policies to the Private Folder. You could also create a “Personal (No Archive/Retention)” Policy that the user applies to their “Private” Folder.

Question: When a user leaves the company and you delete their mailbox does the archive mailbox get deleted as well? Is there a way to keep the archive mailbox if you delete the user's primary mailbox?

Answer: Yes, unless it is on Legal Hold. If you want to keep the Archive Mailbox, then you will want to export those items out

Question: With the personal archive enabled to a primary mailbox, does this creates a larger mailbox store size and bandwidth issue due to each mailbox has a personal archive of about 10GB?

Answer: This does increase the size of the database.

Question: Two users (on the same database) have the same message and attachment information in their pst. IF they move their PST into the archive will the De-Dupe feature recognize this reduce the disk space required to keep the duplicates?

Answer: The De-Dupe feature I spoke about only applies to Journaling.

Question: Can the exchange server hosting the Archieve DB be a part of a DAG? sorry missed the first part of presentation

Answer: Yes, it can.

Question: Can we export to a PST still. or use exmerg?

Answer: We no longer have Exmerge with Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2010. You can export mailboxes to a PST from the Exchange Management Shell.

Question: Is the only technical difference between the main mailbox and the archive mailbox the fact that the archive mailbox is not available offline?

Answer: There is more to it than that, but that is a difference.

Question: Can I set the max size limit of the archive mailbox as the primary mailbox and how ?

Answer: The Archive Mailbox size is set as part of the User’s Primary Mailbox properties. There is a separate quota setting specific for the Archive Mailbox as I showed in the presentation (screenshot).

Question: Are there any features in Exchange/Outlook 2010 that would support importing PSTs to Online Archive folders?

Answer: Currently, we do not have a tool to do that.

Question: Is there any way we can validate that no emails will be lost / deleted in the system - that is, how do we guarantee immutability?

Answer: I mentioned the Legal Hold capability in previous answers. However, this does not “guarantee immutability”.

Question: how does e2010 tie up with Mimosa or other 3rd party vendor in respect of archiving and retention?

Answer: Currently, we are approaching it differently. I expect to see 3rd party vendors come out with products that enhance (add on to) what we have exposed in Exchange 2010.

Question: Our organization would like to apply retention policies to force our users to retain mail based on our policies for each information store.

Answer: You can deploy default policies, but these are not set at the database level.

Question: Can we download this slide deck?

Answer: Yes. I have posted it to

Question: We have a third party Compliance Application that currently gets Journaled copies of messages under Exchnage 2003. Will the decryption described in this presentation allow us to send decrypted journaled messages to this application?

Answer: So long as the 3rd party application integrates with the Transport Journaling feature of Exchange 2010.

Question: Is Microsoft looking in the future at other applications such as File Server, Share Point Archiving to be integrated with the Exchange 2010 Archive?

Answer: Not currently, but who knows what will happen in the future.

Question: can you assign the retension policy to a group of users

Answer: Yes, but not based on group membership

Question: what was the blog again? URL

Answered: – Although if you are reading this, you found it already. J

Question: PST import in the new Personal Archive: will that be possibile only through Outlook (so, 1 mbox at a time), or will an administrator be able to perform the task form the EMC?

Answer: Only through Outlook. Essentially, the user will open up the PST and drag and drop folders / items into the Archive Mailbox..

Question: Do you have any court examples of Exchange 2010 standing up in a court of law?

Answer: Since Exchange Server 2010 hasn’t shipped, we do not have any data points like this yet.

Question: so my archives will not be compress when the contents is moved from primary mailbox to archive

Answer: If you are referring to compression like within a PST file, no.

Question: You could use Volume mount points to accomplish this though?

Answer: No, because you cannot split the database location in this way.

Comments (3)

  1. Harold Wong says:

    DOH!  It seems I gave the incorrect link to my Slide Share space.  I made the correction in the original blog post and decided to also add a comment here.

    The correct link is

    I’m very sorry.

    Harold Wong

  2. Ken Hughes says:

    Hi Harold,

    Can you comment on the ‘Store Compression’ feature ?

    I saw from an Exchange MVP that the compression that takes place is for easily compressed things like headers / body text etc – but NOT for attachments (as they are likely to be attached already and the processor overhead for compressing those as they get written to the store is too much)

    Is this correct ??

    Thanks .. Ken

  3. Nic Wise says:

    Hi there

    Any ideas how to get this going in the RC? It says it needs an EE CAL, but I can’t find how to get an EE cal in teh "trial" RC (or any key for that matter!)


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