What can you tell me about Messaging Records Management and Exchange Server 2010?

This was a question from a university in the Midwest.


What is MRM?

Microsoft Exchange 2010 Messaging Records Management provides the following:

  • Keep the messages needed to comply with company policy, government regulations, or legal needs (read archive items)
  • Remove content that has no legal or business value.  (read purge items)
  • Accomplished through the use of retention policies or managed folders

What components make up MRM in Exchange 2010?

  • Retention Policies (new MRM feature in Exchange 2010)

    Use retention tags linked to a retention policy

  • Managed Folders (same functionality as Exchange 2007- I would classify as legacy MRM)

    Use manage folders and link them to a managed folder mailbox policy

Which one should I use Managed Folders or Retention policies? Can I use both?

No, it is an either or operation. Managed Folders were left in Exchange Server 2010 for interop with Exchange Server 2007 Managed Folders. It is recommended to leverage Retention Policies for MRM in Exchange 2010.


How does an MRM strategy work in Exchange 2010 using Retention Policies?

Step1: Create Retention Tags – three types: Default Policy Tag, Retention Policy Tag, or Personal Tag  See more here

note: to use Personal Tags requires either Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App to leverage

Step2: Create a Retention Policy

Step3: Link a Retention Tags to a Retention Policies

Step4: Apply Retention Policies to mailboxes (or in bulk via mail enabled groups)

I found this excellent TechNet strategy diagram:


How do I create retention tags and policies? 

You have to use the Exchange Management Shell. You cannot use the GUI.  Here are some sample cmdlets:

Creating a new retention tag:

New-RetentionPolicyTag “Faculty-DeletedItems" -Type "DeletedItems" -Comment "Deleted Items are purged in 30 days" -RetentionEnabled $true -AgeLimitForRetention 30 -RetentionAction PermanentlyDelete


Creating a new retention policy:

New-RetentionPolicy "RP-Faculty" -RetentionPolicyTagLinks "RPT-Faculty-Default","RPT-Faculty-Inbox",“Faculty-DeletedItems“


Linking retention tags to a retention policy:

Set-RetentionPolicy -Identity RP-VPs -RetentionPolicyTagLinks "VPs-Default","VPs-Inbox","VPs-DeletedItems"


Applying retention policies to a distribution group of mailboxes:

Get-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "Faculty All" | Set-Mailbox -RetentionPolicy "RP-Faculty"

Note: The mailboxes in this distribution group must be Exchange 2010 and it will flag a message if they are not.


To list all your retention policies:



If I want to leverage Exchange Archiving what do I get?

I found this nice diagram to net it out.


What does an archive mailbox look like?

  • A secondary mailbox that is configured by the administrator
  • Appears alongside a user’s primary mailbox in Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App.
  • PST files can be dragged and dropped to the Personal Archive
  • E-mail in primary mailbox can be moved automatically using Retention Policies
  • Archive quota can be set separately from primary mailbox


What does E-discovery (multi-mailbox search) look like?

  • With the new role based access control you can provide delegate access to search to HR, compliance, legal manager without providing Exchange administrative permissions
  • Filtering includes: sender, receiver, expiry policy, message size, sent/receive date, cc/bcc, regular expressions, Right Protected items
  • Search all mail items (e-mail, IM, contacts, calendar) across primary mailbox and archive mailbox


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What are some new Journaling Features in 2010?

Transport Journaling

•Ability to journal individual mailboxes or SMTP address (hosted archive such as Exchange Hosted Archive)

•Detailed reports per To/Cc/Bcc/Alt-Recipient and DL expansion


Journal Report de-duplication

•Customers report up to 40% duplication of journal reports (Example: internal/external recipients on same DL)

•Exchange 2010 creates one report per message

•Can dramatically reduce hosted archive storage costs

Comments (4)

  1. markga says:


    You define a retention policy and then associate retention tags to it. A retention tag can either delete (purge) or archive.

  2. Sherwyn says:

    Is there a way to report or track logs to see if a retention policy was ran?

  3. Bob Hyatt says:

    I'm trying to get a handle on retention and archive policies (tags).  It seems to me they are mutually exclusive.  Yes?  You either use a retention policy to "delete" and item or you archive it.  

  4. Bob Hyatt says:

    Understood Mark, but i guess my confusion was around the context menu of folders.  you can set both a retention policy and an archive policy when in fact only one of them – that with the shorter period – will effect the folder.  At least that's how i see it.  Would seem less confusing to a user if the menu allowed either a retention policy or an archive policy.

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