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Mailbox size limits and suggestions for Exchange 2007

Posted on 2009-02-10
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Our company uses a designated email address to archive conversations with clients.  This allows us to refer back to a specific client and job and see all correspondence for that job.  In years past, they printed off the emails and filed them.  Since we got our Exchange Server, we organized the emails by clients and would like to keep them all on the server.

After 1yr of this, the mailbox is over 3.5GB.  I don't know if there is any limit on how large the mailbox can be (other than the quote I assign).  Also, if I decide to remove mail older than 'X' days or years; can I do this and move it to another archive or pst so we can still access it?

Thanks for all the help and suggestions!
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Question by:tech1984
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by:L3370
ID: 23604116
For the mailbox that is over 3.5gb:
I'd suggest logging on with that account and setting a rule for messages older than X number of days/years to be autoarchived to pst...or just move the mail messages separately.

As for limit suggestions:
I typically like to limit standard clients/users about 100 to 150mb per mailbox.  Keeps the size down and my blood pressure low. The last thing I like to see is a 3gb mailbox going corrupt.
on Organizational mailboxes, or mailboxes that are used/shared  by multiple people within a department, I like to set it at 1gb or less. I've seen some places where they take old emails and place them on a restricted file share for record keeping.  How you wish to go about this (archive to pst, or moving mail items individually to a different resource) is entirely up to you or your organization.  Different orgs have different records management strategies. Just choose an option that complies with that.

There is also third party products. Symantec Enterprise Vault has built in features for secure email archiving. If you have the budget, this may be an attractive option.
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by:EddyJackson
ID: 23604663
If you can't budget for an email archiving solution, then I would export the older data to a PST file(s).  For PST file limits, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830336.  Make sure all important PST files are backed up.

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by:L3370
ID: 23604739
Take a look at another EE question open right now.  The question asker has another records management strategy in place that might be worth trying.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_24130814.html
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by:tech1984
ID: 23606863
They want at least 3 years of data searchable.  I can't see moving out mail right now so I think I might be stuck with huge mailbox size.  Is Exchange going to freak out?

If I export to pst or copy to secure folder, will this be searchable?
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by:L3370
ID: 23606967
Yes. Be weary of PST's tho. Psts are known to go corrupt easily so that shouldn't be relied on heavily.  Also gives big headaches with permissions... only one person at a time can access the pst, even if everyone has permissions to it.

Saving the emails to a folder maintains accessibility, as long as your users know where to look. In this case, a drag and drop is easily done in a matter of minutes, even with 3 gigs of data.
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by:tech1984
ID: 23611429
L3370:
For clarification, I can drag and drop the mail to a folder on the server and the contents of the mail still be searchable?
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L3370 earned 2000 total points
ID: 23612128
ahh thank you for the clarification. I'll correct myself here.

I guess if you are trying to search message body content thru outlook you will not be able to search the file servers that way.  You could search it thru windows file search, but a standard user quite honestly will not think of doing this so that could be a problem without some brief training.

If archiving emails to a restricted file share is an option you wish to take it is important to have clear records management standards. Making folders for specific subjects, date/time frames has to be in place. (Again read how the question asker in the link i provided above does it).  This would work better for you if you had this started from the beginning.

Another solution is public folders on exchange/outlook.  If you have public folders set up, you can utilize those.  archive the messages in the public folder system and assign the appropriate permissions there.  This way your users can still search for the emails through outlook.  
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