Why Choose the Office 365 E3 Enterprise Plan Reason #1: Unlimited Personal Archive


Woody Walton 2010

Woody Walton


I was delving through the Exchange Online Beta Service Description and I noticed an often overlooked capability that resides in the Enterprise E3 plan, that bears mentioning.  Incidentally, if you want to download the released versions of the new service descriptions for Office 365, you can get them here.  This gave me the idea of highlighting reasons/capabilities that businesses would want to purchase the E3 plan over the E1 or E2 Plans.  The E1 plan is roughly commensurate with the BPOS plan we have been selling for some time, keeping in mind the updates to the services.

So this is first of many posts of me expounding on WHY one would want to pay more than 10 dollars a month for the basic E1 plan.

First, the Office 365 Enterprise plans.  You can see them all here, but a quick view below gives you the gist of it.


Okay, now I have been presenting this slide for many months, and it does do a good job of hitting the high points.  You, of course, will notice that the E3 plan is $24 per user per month which is fourteen bucks more (lots of KNOWN reasons to consider, some not so known). Equally, you will notice that nothing is called out as being different from the E1 plan other than Advanced archiving capabilities.…This is not the whole story.   You might notice too that the link I furnished above also provides no points of differentiation between email on the E1 and E3 plans in the way of mailbox size.  So it seems we at Microsoft are not too concerned about telling you the whole truth.  Well, you saw my post title and it has stolen my thunder (self inflicted). Still, this lesson tells us not to rely on marketing materials to sell the value of Office 365.  WE NEED TO KNOW IT inside and out as partners!

The E3 plan has an UNLIMTED PERSONAL ARCHIVE!  Let me say that again, …AN UNLIMITED PERSONAL ARCHIVE!!  This is in addition to the wealth of advanced archiving capabilities in the form of compliance and e-discovery options.  Sounds sweet. Pasted below are the relevant points of documentation taken from the newly released service description.


Mailbox Size Limits

The amount of mailbox storage available to a user is determined by his or her user subscription license:

· Each Exchange Online Kiosk user receives 500 MB of mailbox storage. The maximum mailbox size for a Kiosk user is 500 MB.

· Each Exchange Online (Plan 1) user receives 25 GB of mailbox storage, which can be split between the user’s primary mailbox and the user’s personal archive.

· Each Exchange Online (Plan 2) user receives 25 GB of storage in the user’s primary mailbox. The maximum size of the primary mailbox is 25 GB. The user also receives unlimited storage in the user’s personal archive (see the personal archive section of this document for details).

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Size of the Personal Archive

Each personal archive can be used only for storage of one user’s messaging data. An Exchange Online (Plan 1) user receives 25 gigabytes (GB) of total storage, which the user can apportion across the user’s primary mailbox and personal archive. Therefore, the personal archive for an Exchange Online (Plan 1) user cannot exceed 25 GB in size.

An Exchange Online (Plan 2) user receives 25 GB of storage in the primary mailbox, plus unlimited storage in the personal archive. For Exchange Online (Plan 2) users, a default quota of 100 GB is set on the personal archive, which will generally accommodate reasonable use, including the import of one user’s historical email. In the unlikely event that a user reaches this quota, a call to Office 365 support is required. Administrators cannot adjust this quota upward or downward.


NOTE, The plans mentioned in the service description are the EXCHANGE PLANS NOT THE E PLANS, so exchange plan 1 is resident in E1 and E2 plans.  Exchange plan 2 is resident in E3 plans for Office 365.

In reality,  the E1 and E2 plans have a mailbox size of 25GB minus the Personal Archive size, so unless the archive was never employed, one never truly has a 25GB mailbox.

The advantages of the E3 plan unlimited Personal Archive become more apparent when large mail migrations are occurring or when a user wants to leverage and keep safe historical email. Coupling this capability in conjunction with the Connected accounts capability allows ne to truly move to Exchange Online and Office 365 and use it FOR all messaging, past and present.  A little on Connected Accounts:

Connected Accounts

For users who have multiple email accounts and want to interact with all their messages in one place, Exchange Online provides a feature called Connected Accounts. This feature lets users connect external email accounts to their Exchange Online accounts, and use Outlook Web App to send and receive mail from these connected accounts. Administrators can enable and disable this feature for specific users or all users, by adjusting the MyMailSubscriptions role in the relevant Role Assignment Policy, via the Exchange Control Panel.

Learn About Connected Accounts

So now you can migrate the main email mailbox for the user along with all historical email that might be in PSTs, and then use the Connected Accounts feature to aggregate ancillary or personal mailboxes.

Think about it!

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THIS IS SEPARATE FROM THE OTHER ADVANCED ARCHIVING FEATURES AVAILABLE IN THE E3 AND ABOVE PLANS. more on those capabilities can be found within the Microsoft Exchange Online Archiving Service Description located at the aforementioned service description link.




Comments (1)

  1. Paul Beiler says:

    Is there a difference in the SharePoint, between the E1 and the E3?

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