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Saving/Managing Outlook Messages

We are running an Exchange server on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 system.  All of our PCs/laptop systems, both local clients and remote desktop users, are using Outlook 2003 for their mail client.  There are approximately 10 of our users who do not want/need to lose any of their emails (sent/read/deleted/moved to specific folders).  Due to dealing with potential issues with customers several years from now, these 10 primary users cannot afford not to be able to retrieve any message(s) at any given time with very little effort.  They need to be able to look in their inbox, sent items, deleted items, and archived folders and be able to find the desired message without concern that it won't be there.

The "Empty Deleted Items folder upon exiting" option is not checked for these users.  They are occasionally archiving their messages which, as I understand it, is moving these messages from the server to their local hard drive.  This is mainly being done by the local client users.  I'm also using the Microsoft backup tool to backup their archived messages to a specific location on the server in case there is ever a requirement to restore them from the server.

The primary question that I have is where the email messages are stored in this environment - either on the exchange server, on the user's PC, or both.  In my research on this, I seem to recall that with an Exchange server, the messages are stored there on not strictly on the PC.

Also, any additional recommendations on how to store, manage, recall the emails of this importance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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mrgettys
Asked:
mrgettys
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2 Solutions
 
AndreDekoltaCommented:
Hello mrgettys!

The archive.pst is located on the user's PC, the account email is stored on the exchange server until moved or "archived to a local (PC) .PST.

Andre...
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mrgettysAuthor Commented:
Even after the user has opened his Outlook 2003 and all of the folders have been updated, the messages are still on the exchange server until permanently deleted or archived?

Thanks!
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David LeeCommented:
Greetings, mrgettys.

In an Exchange server environment everything stays on the Exchange server unless the user changes their mail delivery location or specifically moves the items from the server (i.e. their online mailbox) to the PC.  Archive files are PST files and will reside solely on the PC unless copied elsewhere (e.g. a backed up to the server, CD, etc.)  If these user's messages are that important, then archiving isn't a safe option.  Too many things can go wrong, and there are too many ways that an archive can become lost or destroyed.  The only absolutely safe mechanism is to use a backup program at the server that does a backup of individual mailboxes or, better yet, individual messages.  The user's will not be able to restore their own messages from a server based solution, but the messages will be far safer than any client based backup.

Cheers!
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mrgettysAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the added information.   The "Deliver new email to the following location" is set for "Mailbox - user name" for each user.  Does this setting still permit the messages to stay on the server after they have been received by a user?
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David LeeCommented:
Yes, the mail will stay on the server unless explicitly moved by the mailbox owner.
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mrgettysAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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mrgettysAuthor Commented:
BlueDevilFan - Can you recommend a backup program that will backup individual mailboxes and/or messages?

Thanks!
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David LeeCommented:
My organization tested CommVault Galaxy (http://www.commvault.com/backup_and_recovery.asp?sid=10143) about 18 months ago and really liked it.
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mrgettysAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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