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the pros and cons of personal folder vs. information store

Posted on 2007-11-27
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
i am running out of space on my exchange server and was thinking to switch my users to PST files
what is the pros and cons of using PST vs. the exchange information store
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Question by:kokeefe
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10 Comments
 
LVL 104

Accepted Solution

by:
Sembee earned 1000 total points
ID: 20360457
There are three main killers for PST files use.

1. They use at least 3x the amount of space as the data does on the store. So 100mb of email uses 300mb in a PST file
2. You cannot store them on a network share, access them over a network etc. That is not supported.
3. They get corrupted easily, so single point of failure for the data because backing them up is almost impossible.

I don't use PST files for anything but migrations between the domains.

Simon.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20361089
how old is the exchange server? has there been alot of mailbox removed? if you are running out of space you could try a offline defrag using eseutil to free up some space but not a perminant fix

can you not upgrade the server?

i dont like PST either in my experiance its a mission to educate the end use to archive also
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Author Comment

by:kokeefe
ID: 20361136
the srver is 3yrs old, i have less then 1GB left on the exchange partition i did offline defrag with eseutil and freed only 400mb to get to the point of 1GB, i tried to get a budget for a new server but  no luck for the next 6 months.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20361182
can you not just add some new disks for now and move the store to that cheaper then a new server
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Author Comment

by:kokeefe
ID: 20361226
using raid 5 with all the slots on my server are taken
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20361276
well its looking like you havent much choice other then archiving
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:SteveH_UK
SteveH_UK earned 1000 total points
ID: 20361343
To be honest the major issues with PST files are not quite the ones listed above, but they still apply.  In my experience the issues are:

1.  The PSTs are not managed in an ongoing way.  Sometimes you need to remove data for compliance but in the PSTs it is hard to do this.  For instance, they are difficult to search.
2.  They provide users with a method of extracting data from Exchange en-masse, allowing them to take e-mail home or on their laptops.
3.  They cannot be searched directly
4.  They cannot be backed up properly if they are in use by Outlook, meaning people have to have logged out for your backups to be reliable!
5.  You cannot backup/restore individual items
6.  They are low performance
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Author Comment

by:kokeefe
ID: 20361387
i have checked the backup issue with microsoft knowladge base and found a program by microsoft to back pst files
thanks for the input
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20363612
Yes, I know the software, but I do not recommend it.  It really doesn't meet the issues I've already mentioned.

A company I joined two years ago was using that system, but through discussion and use it was clear that it was not a good solution.  If you want to use it, then of course you can, but it provides you with no guarantees of the success of the backup, and it relies on the users specifically choosing to backup.  Also, not all PSTs are automatically backed up.
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