Written by Dan Erelis, Microsoft Premier Field Engineer
As I discussed in a previous post on combating PST (personal folder files) infestation, one of the fundamental reasons why organizations look to an email archiving solution is to solve the problems associated with PST storage. There are organizations out there that restrict the use of PSTs, but they are typically fighting other battles such as lost productivity due to the time wasted by users doing email management to work around limited mailbox quotas. While Microsoft Exchange 2010 can help with larger mailbox sizes, let’s save that discussion for another time.
In addition to the fundamentals of email storage there may be many other reasons your organization is seeking new and better ways to preserve and discover the critical business communications conducted over email. Whether your motivation is to lower your storage costs, address regulatory compliance, or meet time tables for legal discovery orders, the integrated email archiving, retention, and discovery, or if it’s simply to rid your network and local drives of those pesky PSTs, features offered in Exchange 2010 can help your organization:
- Deliver a seamless experience without interrupting your users’ email workflow.
- Streamline administrative tasks using familiar management tools and delegation.
- Reduce costs and lower administrative overhead through integrated capabilities.
A different approach to email archiving
Recognizing the importance of deploying an effective archiving and discovery solution, Microsoft has delivered new, integrated email archiving, retention, and discovery capabilities with the release of Exchange Server 2010. These built-in features were designed with an appreciation for the potential barriers that have limited wide scale adoption of email archiving. These can help you preserve and discover email without having to alter either the user or IT professional experience.
Delivering a familiar experience
When organizations have small mailbox quotas in place, users spend valuable time trying to stay below these limits by either deleting email from their inboxes or offloading it to their PCs in the form of .PST files. While .PST files provide an intuitive user experience, their creation isolates this email on individual desktops. Through the introduction of a new, integrated Personal Archive in Exchange 2010, email currently stored in .PST files or other locations can be easily moved back to the server.
The Personal Archive is a specialized, secondary Exchange mailbox that is uniquely associated with a user’s primary mailbox. It offers your users an alternative storage location for their historical email, greatly reducing the need for and proliferation of .PST files. Email items from a user’s primary mailbox can be automatically offloaded to the Personal Archive through Retention Polices. Administrators also have the option to import historical email from existing .PST files directly into Exchange.
Powerful multi-mailbox search
Exchange 2010 simplifies the e-Discovery process with a new, Web-based, easy-to-use Multi-Mailbox Search feature. This capability can be delegated to specialist users, such as compliance officers, who are normally tasked with conducting e-Discovery for range of legal, regulatory, or personnel reasons. Thanks to the new role-based security model of Exchange 2010 you can offload this burden confidently without having to provide full administrative privileges
Third-party email archiving solutions
While you’ll likely find that the built-in archiving and discovery capabilities in Exchange 2010 meet your organization’s needs, Microsoft has also made it possible for independent software vendors (ISVs) to extend its archiving, retention, and discovery feature set through scalable Web services interfaces. Microsoft is working closely with a number of leading archiving and compliance solution providers to deliver additional tools that build upon the functionality delivered in Exchange 2010 to help you address specialized or industry-specific compliance or e-Discovery needs. Most importantly, you will be able to preserve familiar user and IT professional experiences. For more information on ISV partner solutions for Exchange 2010, visit http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010/en/us/independent-software-vendors.aspx.
Some images courtesy of the White Paper: Addressing Email Archiving and Discovery with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.