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Exchange Archiving

Discussion in 'Software' started by dales, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Well I've been studying my new AD/Exchange based pad now for a week or so and looking at their email system they could do with some archiving. We are a fairly small but growing company and currently have around 70 mailboxes.

    I was wondering if any of you who are in an exchange 2007 environment could provide any feedback on any archiving software you use. I've used quest before at the old job which was fine, although a bit of a struggle for some users to get to grips with. I have been looking at the GFI mail archiver program because it seems to integrate with outlook which would make retrieving archived items seamless. Also being a small company cost is going to be a factor as well, but if you can give me any feedback on how archive systems work in the real world then that would be appreciated because I never trust the sales pitches.
     
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  2. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Archiving apps like eVault and co are typically somewhat expensive and require a certain number of man-hours to manage.

    Default Archiving and Journaling options with Exchange 2007 and 2010 may be the cheaper option overall, and there's a few more unique features for 2010 users, but your question is still a little vague regarding what it is you want to provide the company and end-users in regards to archiving.

    With larger mailbox support, you could start swapping in massive disks and simply provide the users with larger, and larger mailboxes which mitigate the requirement for archiving, unless there's a legal or regulatory requirement to do so.
     
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  3. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the reply, as far as I'm aware default outlook archiving wont work in our environment because our users are on thin client and can logon to any of 3 servers. PST's are not supported over a network so archives would not be available if users logged onto a different TS server the next day. I am looking into archiving because a good few mailboxes are currently in the multi-gigabyte range so would like to trim that down at bit, it looks like the gfi product would be about £18 a mailbox which isn't too bad I thought.
     
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  4. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    I used mailstore at my last place. Was pretty good and I think they've improved it a lot over the last 2 years.
     
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  5. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    What archiving do you need? Over what time period and is it internal\external email?
     
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  6. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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  7. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I am actually in the same boat as you, looking at Exchange Archiving solution. Right now the project is on hold until we get upgraded to Exchange 2010 SP1. I am curious to try the Exchange archiving feature, but the only downfall is that exchange does not offer offline archives. The other one I was looking at is Symantec Enterprise Vault.
     
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  8. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Just got a NFR key for that last week. Need to try and get it rolled out in a lab environment.
     
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  9. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    I don't really see why Terminal Services would impact email Archiving in any way... unless we're talking about some completely different form of archiving here.

    But anyway, eVault from Symantec is a very powerful application and I've both worked at companies that use it, as well as having seen it at my most recent clients as a Microsoft consultant. Right now I'm documenting a Archiving and Journaling for a rather large customer of ours and it's all quite interesting when you see how each company goes about implementing the rules and regulations for doing just this. However, these companies also find that not only is eVault kinda costly in terms of licenses, it also requires a certain amount of man hours to manage.

    Now I have never implemented eVault myself, nor have I ever managed an eVault server so I do not know how legit these opinions are, but it seems like whilst this application is very powerful, it also requires some participation from the org admins to maintain.

    As such, it works very well with Microsofts journaling options since Exchange 2003 and may be the leading archiving software out there. However, do take what I say with a grain of salt, I have not seen all these apps and it's simply impossible to be an expert in all of them... I'm only providing an opinion from personal experience.
     
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  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    One question I would have to ask is are you currently using any form of shared storage? If you are do they provide any sort of archiving solution? I know for example that EMC have SourceOne for email archiving so if you're using a shared storage platform that may be the way to go.

    Another thing to take into consideration is for the potential for growth and what kind of retention periods you need this to cater for, eVault is one of the market leaders when it comes to Archiving but they certainly aren't the only player out there.

    One thing to note however is that a decent Archiving solution isn't usually cheap.
     
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  11. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    AFAIK and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong archiving still relies on PST files. As our users can logon to any one of 3 terminal servers (these are not connected to each other in any way other than domain membership), then this would cause a problem. If you logged onto server1 and let auto archive do its thing, it would archive the emails into a PST in the users profile. The user logs off and then connects onto Server3 for example and hey presto no access to the PST.

    My users do generally need to keep all emails for various legal and financial reasons so I would like something that seamlessly integrates with outlook as the users are... well.. users and rather reluctant to learn something new.

    Thanks boycie I'll take a look at the product, this is a slow burning project there are loads of more important things to do but i would like to take a few of the users mailboxes down to a more sensible level if possible.

    Edit: Simon thx for the comments, we do not currently have any shared storage which is something for another day I think, as the company seem to be expanding quite rapidly now and the infrastructure is managed in a small scale way which is why they took me on
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
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  12. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    I think you must be talking about some other form of archiving here. PST files are not needed when using Exchange 2007/2010 archiving/journaling solutions, and neither is it requires for using eVault. In fact, policies can be used to disable PST file use entirely.

    You must be talking about the Outlook archive files which is something entirely different and should ideally only be used as a temporary solution if your Exchange server runs out of disk space, as those files are usually stored locally in only one instance. If the client disk goes boom, you lose it all.
     
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  13. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    This ^

    I've done some research on my own and I have to agree with what Shinigami said. However keep in mind that even eVault is not seamless to the user, they will notice the icons change when the email is archived and also depending on what version of exchange and outlook you're running, you'll notice more issues with some than others. Another thing to keep in mind is by doing archiving, you're simply moving the data over to another server so in retrospect, the problem isn't really solved but instead moved to another location and now you're managing two applications instead of one.

    I've seen demo's of eVault and the things it can do is pretty interesting, however it's a heavy product and does require thorough configurations and maintenance done.

    Like I said, I am in the same boat and I am honestly glad that it got put on hold because this is something I'll need to put a lot of time and effort into getting it right. Another reason why I want to look into Exchange Archiving.
     
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