Outlook Mailbox CEM Best Practices for Large Mailboxes

I wanted to know what the best practice would be for this:

Running Exchange 2003 SP2 Ent/Outlook 2007 SP2 clients. A handful of users have 5-10 GB mailboxes and are running in online mode. Would it make sense for me to move them to Cached Exchange Mode (local OST) so that they are not hitting the server and bogging down the network all the time.

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5-10GB mailboxes are problematic. If the user closes their computer while outlook is still closing you can corrupt the mailbox. Rebuilding can take 20+ minutes. The key is to make sure in Task Manager that the Outlook process closes. If you can't teach your users to check this then you will fight the corrupt mailbox problem. At least that's been my experience.

Change them to cached exchange mode for sure but also show them how to archive and/or user personal folder files.  Performance has to be very poor with that large of mailboxes cached or not.

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RTM2007Author Commented:
Due to compliance there are large mailboxes/items that must be retained or a few years so removing them is out of the question. Archving works but it still leaves the item there, it is just due to the sheer amount of message traffic and attachements
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I would highly recommend you get an archiving solution in place.  Leaving the messages in the mailbox is not compiance as users can delete at any time.  Compliance requires you produce ALL messages on demand.  There are many solutions out there but I prefer an archiving appliance.  An mail archiving appliance will take the load off your exchange server and take retention/deleting out of the hands of your users while guaranteeing every message that enters or leaves your company is retained (real compliance).  Coupled with a network retention group policy you can keep things running much smoother.  For small or medium businesses this is the solution I recommend.

RTM2007Author Commented:
We do have an archiving piece on the backend that users are using (EMC EX), but there are still sheer amounts of items in the mailbox.

Compliance is done on the back end with EX compliance acc to keep the messages and not allowing anyone to remove/modify contents.
From the description for EMC Ex EmailArchive includes it doesn't sound like you have it configured correctly. (see http://bisok.com/EmailXtender.html#two ).  One of the benefits is to offload your exchange server.  If your mail is being archived then probably need to define retention policies in Exchange to keep the sizes smalll since all mail can be retrieved from the archive.
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