Exchange 2010 - Need some input on archiving

Have a law firm client. They have every email since the dawn of time. Total database size for 42 users is just over 130gb. There are multiple users with mailboxes in excess of 20gb. Some of these users open other users mailboxes that are in excess of the local OST can reach 50gb+. It has gotten to a point where I cannot throw anymore horsepower or RAM at the server to increase speed. I figure I need to look into some sort of archiving.

The only real requirement is that EVERYTHING must be SEARCHABLE! I cannot stress this enough. I think they spend more time searching their emails than anything else.

I am curious what will happen to local cache files should some sort of archiving policy be put into place. Will the OST shrink? Will they have access to archive items if they are totally offline? Can I roll this out for a few beta test users?

They do have Exchange Enterprise licenses and everyone is on Outlook 2010. There is ample space left on the server should I need to set up another mailbox store or whatever. I would like to have a plan of attack. Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Hi there,
You are pretty lucky running Exchange 2010, cause this will realy help :-).
in my opinion you got two options:
 -  Exchange Online Archiving - this is really what you need but not sure about the extra cost :--)
 - Personal Arhive - this will not add extra cost, but for sure you will take care about the space.

Please check this link to a technet artickle.

there you had:

Understanding Personal Archives
Learn about the new personal archive feature, which allows you to provision an on-premises archive mailbox for your users.

Understanding Exchange Online Archiving
Learn about the new cloud-based archiving solution for your Exchange 2010 on-premises organization.

Configure Exchange Online Archiving
Learn how to setup your on-premises Exchange 2010 organization to use cloud-based archives with Exchange Online Archiving.

Archiving Terminology in Exchange 2010
Learn about the terminology used for archiving in Exchange 2010.

Managing Archives
Learn how to create and manage personal (on-premises) and cloud-based archives for your users.

(hope i did not violate some process by pastiong what could be found followign the link)

For any information about archiving Exchange 2010, you can also check this post. Hope it answers some of your queries.
A common option now is to use Exchange 2010 Journalling to make a copy of EVERY mail which passes through your HT servers, to a single mailbox. I would strongly recommend that you have this mailbox at the very least on a separate DB, but ideally on different hardware and storage. You then ARCHIVE from this mailbox using something like Barracuda.
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mvalpredaAuthor Commented:
No need for journaling in this case. I think that the online (local - not cloud) archive is going to be the way to go. I figure this should be set up on another data store. I just want to know how that is going to affect users local store with their OST, etc.

Will the OST file shrink after an archive? Should it be deleted and re-created? What kind of performance should I expect from the archive mailbox? Will the folder structure be the same in the archive?
you are safe about .ost:

"Outlook doesn't create a local copy of the archive mailbox on a user's computer, even if it's configured to use Cached Exchange Mode. Users can access an archive mailbox in online mode only. "

there is another importatn note:
"Personal archives are a premium feature and require an Exchange Enterprise client access license (CAL)."

good luck
dont ruid your weekend reading about this :-) Monday is always good day to start

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mvalpredaAuthor Commented:
I do have Enterprise CALs for this client. I'm just hoping that when I start archiving it will cut down some of these local OST files that are 50gb+.
yes it will help but anyway you should archive the mailbox of one user and test it. dealing with important information should also be done in most safe way

you also migh need to use the "compact now" function
mvalpredaAuthor Commented:
I set up a new database for my archives. I took a test user and enabled archive and pointed the archive to the new mailbox database. The icon changed in Mailbox under Recipient Configuration. I started Outlook 2010 SP1 as the user on another machine and I don't see any difference.

What do I need to do to get the archive mailbox to show up in Outlook? I see it in OWA. Does not show up in either cached or uncached mode in Outlook 2010 SP1.

What do I need to do to move emails over 1 year old to the new archive mailbox?
mvalpredaAuthor Commented:
Going to close this question and open another one for my new issues.
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