Email archiving and culling Exchange SBS 2008

Posted on 2011-03-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have an SBS 2008 server which receives a lot of email with large picture attachments - sometimes the pictures are upwards of 10MB big. Over the years, our exchange databases have quickly grown upwards of 60GB big, most of this we believe is picture attachments from those old emails that never got deleted.

Our server has fairly expensive SAS drives, and we only have about 100gb of space to work with, we're constantly tightening the belt with our own company data files but the constantly growing exchange database is slowly taking over the whole server, and upgrading the hard disks isn't feasable at the moment.

Is there some way to archive emails in Exchange? What kind of option are there for culling the attachments out of old archived email messages, or archiving email onto some other removable storage or elsewhere on a NAS. If we can archive old mail to another storage device, how do we view it later when we need to go back into the records?

I'm not sure what the "Microsoft" way of solving this problem is, I would appreciate some feedback!
Question by:Frosty555
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
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 74

Accepted Solution

Glen Knight earned 500 total points
ID: 35117908
There is no quick fix for this one.  If the emails cannot be deleted then they need to be stored somewhere.

You could try GFI:

Or Symantec:

Expert Comment

ID: 35122419
I am wondering why you don't do the archiving at the user (Outlook) end of things? You could archive all the old emails to PST files then store them on some kind of NAS or USB storage attached to the server?

How much total storage do you have on the server? Have you looked into all your options for moving Exchange data store to a different partition, deleting SBS log files, etc?
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 35122454
For a start network stored PST files are unsupported and cause major network issues.   The other problem is if you extract to PST it's no longer available centrally through Outlook Web Access or Outlook unless it's got the PST attached.
Technology Partners: 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!


Expert Comment

ID: 35122479
But I thought you wanted to archive these which I thought would imply you don't need online access to them? But maybe I am misunderstanding what you are asking.
LVL 31

Author Comment

ID: 35129001
We would not need online access to the emails after archiving them, but this company has already gone through the PST-archiving route and it didn't work well. PST files got corrupted, people don't save them in the right place, and even today we still have gigabytes of PST files floating around that we don't know if it is really useful mail or not.  Our whole reason for moving to Exchange in the first place was to centrally store and manage our mail.

Our server has 1x disk for the OS, and 2x disks in a RAID1 array for all the company data - 167gb is available for exchange and our data combined. Our data consumes about 60gb of that, and the Exchange database is quickly starting to push upwards of 50gb, so it won't be long until the server runs out of storage. Like I said we've tightened the belt as much as possible but ultimately trying to free up space on the disk isn't a long term solution to our growing exchange mailboxes.

I've looked into GFI MailArchiver and it looks pretty good, but I don't understand really what kind of archiving solutions it supports (not very clearly explained on the website). What storage formats can it archive to? It looks like it uses a SQL database for storage, but does this mean the archiver should reside on a different server than the Exchange server? What kind of storage options does it support?
LVL 31

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35475227
No followup to explain the product in more detail, but ultimately found gfi to be the appropriate solution.

Featured Post

Are your AD admin tools letting you down?

Managing Active Directory can get complicated.  Often, the native tools for managing AD are just not up to the task.  The largest Active Directory installations in the world have relied on one tool to manage their day-to-day administration tasks: Hyena. Start your trial today.

Question has a verified solution.

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

This article aims to explain the working of CircularLogArchiver. This tool was designed to solve the buildup of log file in cases where systems do not support circular logging or where circular logging is not enabled
This article describes how to import an Outlook PST file to Office 365 using a third party product to avoid Microsoft's Azure command line tool, saving you time.
This video shows how to remove a single email address from the Outlook 2010 Auto Suggestion memory. NOTE: For Outlook 2016 and 2013 perform the exact same steps. Open a new email: Click the New email button in Outlook. Start typing the address: …
A short tutorial showing how to set up an email signature in Outlook on the Web (previously known as OWA). For free email signatures designs, visit If you want to manage em…

734 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