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Stale / unused mailboxes

Do stale, i.e. no longer neccesary or accessed mailboxes pose any sort of risk?

We have loads of mailboxes on an exchange 2003 server and just by the titles I am pretty sure they are never used any more, I am trying to build a case whereby they should be deleted if no longer required, but I am trying to justify why, so any key issues/risks leaving stale /unneccesary mailboxes would help me./

Plus anyway to run a report on each of our exchange servers to see which are full as they have reached there storage capacity?
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pma111
Asked:
pma111
3 Solutions
 
endital1097Commented:
the only issues are if you are running standard edt you have the potential to reach the maximum database size
another issue is legal and data retention/discovery

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pclinuxguruCommented:
We avoid the legal/retention side of it by archiving to a different server. If you do not archive your emails then yes you would have to worry about that.

Deleteing the old mailboxes is more for a management than anything else. One is you have a crapload of unused mailboxes which would still receive email (even spam).

We have to do it to reduce the cost of our Anti- Spam & Archiving software as the license is based on the amount of mailboxes.

As long as you backup the datastore you can delete the mailboxes and if needed restore them from a backup.
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dlane2011Commented:
If you have Enterprise Exchange then the limit is only restricted to the disk space, if you are using Exchange Standard then there is 70GB limit. But as the previous person says it will stop spam comming in if you close the non used mailboxes.
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pma111Author Commented:
Are there any other general best practices around data retention when it comes to email as a topic? Just want to ensure I have covered everything...
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pma111Author Commented:
Is there a problem with receiving spam on mailboxes if nobody is opening it?
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pma111Author Commented:
Also, how do you go about finding/identifying stale/unusued mailboxes in your companies?
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pclinuxguruCommented:
We use a product called Datacove from Tangent. It archives all emails both sent and received for the legal reasons as well as for protection against the meat virus.

The only issue spam would give you on those mailboxes is that the mailbox will simply keep growing.

For unused mailboxes we generally start by exporting the list and in that list it shows the last logon. Generally the stale/old ones will be blank or have a really old date.

There are also 3rd party tools you can use to generate a list of all user accounts and the last time they were logged in.

We generally disable those accounts and if no one complains in a week or so we delete it as well as the mailbox.

That is how we do it. There may be better ways though.
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pma111Author Commented:
Thanks

>>For unused mailboxes we generally start by exporting the list and in that list it shows the last logon. Generally the stale/old ones will be blank or have a really old date.

Is this list domain accounts? What about delegate rights whereby other users can view the mailbox from their own domain account, not the mailbox owner domain account?
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pclinuxguruCommented:
No. It only shows you the Mailboxes and the last time someone has logged into it. There is other information like size and stuff.

You would basically export that list and import the csv file into Excel or any spreadsheet program and go over it. If your not sure then you would ask those that are using it.

We have no use for delegating mailboxes as we also use the public folders and lock the specific folders to departments. If there is something everyone needs to see it goes in there. We do it this way because our archiving license is based off of mailboxes and how many we have. No reason in to keep old mailboxes that are backed up twice.

Your situation seems a little different in that they apparently need generic mailboxes other people can see. There are probably better ways of doing whatever it is they are doing.
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pma111Author Commented:
>>We avoid the legal/retention side of it by archiving to a different server. If you do not archive your emails then yes you would have to worry about that.


How does that affect things though if you still technically have their personal emails? I would have thought its irrelevant where it is stored?
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pma111Author Commented:
>>No. It only shows you the Mailboxes and the last time someone has logged into it. There is other information like size and stuff.


Is this a list you are obtaining from exchange? If so can you detail how (exchange 03)
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pclinuxguruCommented:
System manager -> Administrative Groups -> YOUR_ADMIN_GROUP->Servers-YOUR_SERVER->YOUR_STORAGE_GROUP->YOUR_MAILBOX_STORE

Select the mailbox folder in the left pane and left click and select Export List
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pclinuxguruCommented:
meant Right Click on the folder
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pma111Author Commented:
Ah this must be some sort of exchange admin tool I won't have access too
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pclinuxguruCommented:
It's in your start menu under Exchange on the Exchange server
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pma111Author Commented:
Yeah I don't have direct access to the exchange server its another team
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