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Outlook PST best practice and real world

Discussion in 'Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)' started by dales, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Hello,

    Now I'm getting ready to pack up my tools and move on somewhere new I'm back in the horror of managing outlook clients. I'm aware that saving pst's over the network is not supported and easily corruptible but also having them created on the desktop is a stupid idea as well. So what exactly are you supposed to do with them and what may I ask happens in the real world with them.

    When I was working for a large crime fighting organisation we just stuck them on the network and then retrieved them from backups when they occasionally corrupted. Is that still what most people do?
     
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  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    PSTs are a PITA, but when you're working in an organisation where the users are used to being able to save ALL their mail on the Exchange server (and I do mean ALL of it), they're the lesser of two evils when you're trying to be a bit more realistic about things. I tell my users that their PSTs are their own responsibility - trying to explain to them that they can't be backed up if Outlook is left on, changes to them (i.e. more mail being moved into them) will not be retained if the original (i.e. pre-change) PST ever needs to be restored from backup, shouldn't go over a certain size as the bigger the file, the more you lose if it gets corrupted etc. etc. etc. is impossible. Whenever they get sh1tty with me, I remind them that our parent company in the US has a 100Mb limit on their Exchange mailboxes, and that NO assistance WHATSOEVER is provided for PSTs.

    I actually went through this about six months back when I dropped our Exchange SG sizes by about 60%. It was a painful experience!
     
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  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    agreed. avoid them at all costs!
     
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  4. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    wonder if ms are ever going to sort out pst's properly?
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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  6. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    ah oh well, I'll be glad to get back into exchange server much better than the groupwise backend but the gw client I actually think is much better than outlook. Can't have it all I guess.
     
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  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Yikes!

    I have a hard enough time explaining the disconnect between Exchange-stored mail and PST files as it is! 'Online Archive' would confuse the bejesus out of most of the VIPs in my company (and, lets face it, they're the ones who <sarcasm>really need</sarcasm> to retain every single piece of mail they receive and have about ten PSTs knocking around.

    Actually, on the subject of mail archiving, one thing that really, REALLY p1sses me off about Outlook is the continuing unreliability of the Auto-Archive feature. Goddamit, they've had ten years to get that crap right, and an archive by date is STILL unreliable.
     
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  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Agree, it never really has worked for the average end user. I always remember having to archive everything in Outlook 2000 as the archive by date feature just didn’t do anything!

    The old classic “I’ve archived my emails and now I can’t find them” springs to mind as well.

    Not to go too far off topic but has anyone used a third party application for this?

    http://www.symantec.com/business/enterprise-vault
     
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  9. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Aye - at a coupl eof places (back when it was KVS). Too expensive, and suffered from the same thing as Backup Exec did when Slimeantics bought Veritas out - namely bolting on a load of extra sh1te, making it a lot more complicated and less reliable then charging more for it.
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cheers mate. I’ve had a couple of calls to install it for other companies but having feck all experience using it I had to turn down the work.

    The plan was to trial it and perhaps roll it out on one of my existing customer networks. Plenty to pick from with .psts all over the place!
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    On a separate note one of the guys at my work still refers to Backup Exec as Veritas Backup Exec. When I question it he says “It will always be Veritas to me!” :biggrin
     
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  12. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Quite right too ! :p
     
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  13. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    We use eVault from Symantec here. Primarily because some Legal beancounters, eager to justify their paycheck, demanded that we keep every single email.

    Its actually not too bad. Auto-archives emails over a certain size/date into the Vault automatically, and provides access to it as if it were a pst in Outlook (you can use it like that too, so drag/drop functionality still exists).

    In terms of pst's, standard line is not to have them above about 700MB in size (MS might say 2GB, but thats bollocks in our experience. Much above 700 and the likelyhood of failure seems to increase). There is, if you are so inclined, a reg key that restricts the size of a pst. Cant remember it, and have no reason to have it these days, but google around - im sure it will be easy enough to find.
     
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  14. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    It still is here.... Backup Exec 8.6, long may it stay that way, at least it bloody works!
     
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  15. j1mgg

    j1mgg Kilobyte Poster

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    We have users save them locally and then have a backup system that backs up all their data, but we are trying to get away from that by using a document store called meridio, which is an pain in the arse.
     
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  16. mcbro

    mcbro Byte Poster

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