Email Attachment Size Issues

Posted on 2013-01-25
Last Modified: 2013-08-16
I have a client who has a need to send 50 meg files by email and have a huge message store for some users.  This is a law firm who sends  attachments back and forth and wants to track revisions.  They will keep the attachments in exchange rather than delete them once they are downloaded so they can track revisions.  They are not flexible.  

Currently they are using SBS 2003 which wont cut it.   I am thinking that even SBS 2011 wont really let them do what they want.  I need some suggestions on what to do next that I can present to them.  One thought is an exchange hosted account which has large or no limits.  The other is to have our own exchange server.  (I have no idea what having your own exchange server looks like or costs.  I have only done SBS.  Perhaps there is another way that I am over looking?  

For whatever it is worth they insist on doing it through Outlook and Exchange.   Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.  

Question by:chuckkotler
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Accepted Solution

Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 38819150
SBS and a dedicated Exchange server are the same.
A hosted Exchange platform isn't going to be viable. I haven't seen any that offer attachment sizes of that size - 20mb is the normal limit. Therefore an internal server is your only option.

Is this 50mb internally or externally? If internal then Sharepoint with revision control would be a better option. Otherwise you just end up with bloat and tracking revisions becomes difficult. They almost need a change management system as used by developers!

LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 38819302
Don't you love when non-IT people tell IT people exactly how things are supposed to work? I agree that a Sharepoint system would be so much better. Their insisting on using Outlook and Exchange beyond the capacity it was designed for is setting themselves up for a major fail. Be ready to run ScanPST quite often.

One possible suggestion would be to teach them how to compress the files. If it's just documents then you might be able to reduce the file size if they put them in a .ZIP or some other format.

Author Comment

ID: 38819307
Actually the 50 MB is external.  Documents go back and forth by email, with edits.

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Expert Comment

ID: 38819366
What about FTP server.

Author Comment

ID: 38819607
I am feeling like I am missing something.   One attorney used to work at another firm and she says she never had a bounced message becasue of size and her email store was over 10 Gigs.  She emails sometimes 30 different attorneys in the same matter the same attachement.  FTP wont work as described.  
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 38820243
The size of the store and the size of the mailbox database have nothing to do with it.
It may well be at the other firm they removed the limits. However removing your own limits is not enough, the other side also has to be able to accept the higher attachment sizes. Most systems, particularly in a default configuration will not.

Although when a user says "X used to work like Y at my last company" I tend to ignore it. Users are usually wrong, and/or will say anything to get what they want.


Author Comment

ID: 38820365
I tend to ignore it too.  In this case the user is telling management that it worked perfectly at her old place. Management is drinking her cool aid.  I am caught in the middle.  I referenced the mailbox size becuase she has a crazy amount of data.  She tried to import it into our message store and crashed it.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Diverse IT
ID: 39413878
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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