Still celebrating National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17


Users having very large mailboxes

Posted on 2008-06-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi Experts,

Some of my high level users have large mailboxes around 4-5GB. We use Outlook 2003 in Cached Mode  for clients and Exchange 2003 SP2 on the backend. Management refuses to spend money on archiving software. Currently they archive email to their local hard disks, still their mailboxes are too large. Is there a way around this? Thanks,

Question by:abhijitm00
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

jhyiesla earned 256 total points
ID: 21764339
No...since it doesn't seem like you have the ear of the folks with the

I'll tell you what you ought to do, but ultimately it's between you and them. First off a 4-5 GB mailbox is insane. You need to implement a reasonable mailbox size and stick to it. You need to train your users how to cull through their mailboxes and make intelligent cuts. They definitely need to do PST files.  You need to stress the importance of archiving. If you are in the US your company is probably under the "new" FRCP rules as far as email discovery should a lawsuit happen. There is just no way you can easily and efficiently go through that much email in a timely fashion in order to meet the discovery requirements.  Archiving can be done locally with software that isn't all that expensive or with a service such as Postini, which keeps all email sent and received for a max of 7 years.

So, yes, there is a way around it, but your management needs to get their heads out of the sand.

Assisted Solution

raptorjb007 earned 248 total points
ID: 21764375
Policy is top down. If management is unwilling to abide by a mailbox limit there is not much you can do to enforce one.

That being said, exchange 2003 standard only supports up to a 75GB information store and you only get one. If you hit this limit you will have a big problem on your hand. If this is your situation, you may be able to use that to leverage either some sort of mailbox limit policy, or upgrade to an enterprise version of exchange which has no limits on database size.

What is your end goal?
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

kieran_b earned 248 total points
ID: 21765080
I agree with the previous posters - there isn't much you are going to be able to do which is worth doing.  Archiving to the computer is horrible, you may as well kiss that data goodbye, because some of it will definitely be lost.  PST files, or any other archiving solution implemented from the workstations is not only hit and miss, you are going to end up in a position where you have company data on the workstations (which is not backed up) or you are going to have PST files over the network, which is unsupported.

What is the problem with 5GB mailboxes?  For a few key managers, I usually let them go.
Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:Leon Fester
Leon Fester earned 248 total points
ID: 21767478
Yip I agree with all of the above.
The biggest issues you'll ever encounter with Exchange server is the space limitation. Exchange Server STD does have a 75GB limit as mentioned above. Enterprise Edition doesn't have this limitation.

That being try recover/restore or any DR related activity on a database over 30GB and you could be running for 2 days.

You need to explain to your Management team about the issues of space limitation and recoverable option should a DR scenario arise. Just image how upset your management will be if the mail server is down for a day or two.

You'll end up very frustrated trying to recover the system...

w.r.t. Cached're still leaving a copy of the mail on the server.
Have you implemented it as part of a backup solution?

Workstations are generally not backed up so a network location makes your data available for roaming users as well.

I'd suggest that your email usage policy should suggest that users create .pst files on a network share or on their home drives. That way you can include their .pst files in your scheduled backups. It's a slightly better backup solution than saving to a workstation.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 21768358
We have encouraged our management folks and others with real email needs to create their PST files as was suggested above on a shared drive so that they can be backed up.  We had heard stories that putting a PST file on a server share wasn't the best idea in the world. but we have done it successfully for a couple of years without any issues.

When we finally get our archiving in place I hope to eliminate or reduce the need for the PST file as every email will be saved for 7 years and the users will be able to easily get to anything that's ever passed through their in box

But, as has been said many times here, you need to get your management on board. You obviously can't make them, but it's your role to educate them on the possible negative outcomes of not having a good working plan in place. And if they don't want to hear guess is that you'll always be fighting these battles and would you rather work somewhere you can concentrate on giving good IT support or somewhere you have to fight for every single thing you need to do your job?  

Expert Comment

ID: 21834873
Was this information helpful?

Featured Post

Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

How to deal with a specific error when using the Enable-RemoteMailbox cmdlet to create a mailbox in the cloud-based service, for an existing user in an on-premises Active Directory.
The main intent of this article is to make you aware of ‘Exchange fail to mount’ error, its effects, causes, and solution.
The video tutorial explains the basics of the Exchange server Database Availability groups. The components of this video include: 1. Automatic Failover 2. Failover Clustering 3. Active Manager
This video discusses moving either the default database or any database to a new volume.

670 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question