Exchange 2010 Mailbox Archive Enabling Retention Policies

We are in the process of planning for mailbox archiving for our Exchange 2010 Standard environment.  Our goals are to implement a 45 day retention policy, so anything that is older is moved to their archive mailbox.  We have a fairly large environment currently, with 5 databases in a DAG, each around 1Tb in size and about 1700 mailboxes.  I had specific questions about the behavior of enabling such a retention policy in such a large environment, and how it would behave? Once the policy is in place, what course of action is taken by Exchange to move mail - is it done on a per mailbox basis, where it will process one mailbox then move to the next or will it be doing this to all mailbox simultaneously? If it is multiple, is there a default max limit, or is there a away to limit a range to be performed simultaneously? Also any other caveats to watch out for with this process?
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The Managed Folder Assistant (yes, even though it’s not really the same Managed Folders from Exchange 2007) runs daily (by default between 1am and 4am) to process all of the messages.  It either tags items with the right Retention Tag or it executes the item’s retention action for those that have passed their retention age.

Exchange 2010 Retention Policy is a collection of Retention Tags that are applied to mailboxes. Each mailbox can have a maximum of one Retention Policy associated with it at a time.

And, the Exchange admins have three types of Retention Tags they can implement with :

¿Retention Policy Tag (or RPT) – for setting retention policies on default folders (e.g., Inbox, Junk Mail, Sent Items, etc.).  All messages and items in this default folders will inherit the folder’s RPT. Users cannot change the RPT, but instead can apply a different “Personal Tag” (see below) to items that live inside the default folder. So, if you have a RPT set on the Inbox folder of “Delete in 60 days”, any message in the user’s Inbox will automatically be tagged with this policy (i.e., “Delete in 60 days”).  Each supported default folder can have up to one RPT linked to it in a single Retention Policy.

¿Default Policy Tag (or DPT) – for applying retention settings to “untagged items”.  Basically, if there are messages that have not already inherited a Retention Tag from the folder it’s located in or the user hasn’t explicitly tagged it with a “Personal Tag” (see below), this is your policy.  It’s hugely recommended you only have one of these in a Retention Policy.

¿Personal Tags (or Personal Tags) – here’s where you can created additional tags that your users can apply to their own customer folders (as well as individual items).  They can do this in either Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App. In our demo environment, we have created such tags, like “Acquisitions, keep for 5 years”

Though you can also check you might get lots of article on this.....
fireguy1125Author Commented:
Thanks, so I'm more interested in the behavior of the Managed Folder Assistant. When we have the retention policy tags in place, no mail will move moved until the Managed Folder Assistant run between 1-4AM.  Does it run simultaneously on all mailboxes or one at a time? Will it run until it completes, or will stop at what it can accomplish in 3 hours, and continue the next morning? My concern is for the large size and number of mailboxes and disk i/o during this process. It's not uncommon for user mailboxes to be 8-12GB in size, with a majority of their mailboxes having large size content older than 45 days, how long it would take.

As per my understanding the Retention policy works on each mailbox and process to next after completing its work on first mailbox because all in once are done then it will surely be utilizing high amount of I/O and it will impact database.

You can see example on moving mailboxes, when you select 20 mailboxes to be moved then only 5 at a time will get moved and remaining 15 will be in queue and after anyone of 5 is completed first, it will take another mailbox to be moved which are in queue.

Its by design.

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has these been implemented yet ?
fireguy1125Author Commented:
Thanks, it is not, we are implementing in a lab environment at this time to see behavior. We may also perform something different, and have a retention policy of 45 days, and DELETE anything older.  End-users would have to move items manually into their Archive Mailbox if they want to keep anything older.  What would be the best way to achieve this, is there a way to create a blank retention policy, and then when it is time to delete, we change the retention policy to the 45 day rule?
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