Mac mail - icloud / exchange / backup / archiving

I am managing an SBS 2011 network. 1 user has a mac and uses mac mail for exchange and a @mac.me ? account as pop and has folders that talk about icloud.

I know very little about mac / icloud.

He talks about wanting to backup and archive mail.  He has 1 GB of mail in the icloud inbox and 2.5Gb on the exchange inbox (both under the main inbox folder in mac mail).  For both, the mail goes back 1 1/2 years

He wants to drag all the inbox things to folders farther down on the left that says 'icloud' and then a couple folders under that to 'archive' them / get them off his machine but keep them available.

I know about outlook and the OST / mail is stored on the server.  But what about the imap .me account / icloud. Does mac mail keep all the mail on his laptop like the OST even though it's imap?

Does what's in the icloud / .me inbox get backed up with time machine? When he fires up time machine, it says you have to restore to see the emails? So that will mess things up to restore just to see if the imap emails are in there.

I keep saying with 1 GB icloud and 3 GB exchange, that he really doesn't have to do anything.  Maybe make a new folder and have less in the inbox, but he's not going to gain anything trying to move things around / archive them (and when he says archive, he means he wants to get mail off his computer but keep it available).

Any advice?
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strungCommented:
iCloud is basically an on-line storage and syncing solution. It is great for things like contacts and diaries. I have the contacts and diaries on my MacBook Pro linked via iCloud, so exactly the same information shows up on my wife's MacBook, our iPhone and iPads. So all those devices have the exact same address book and diaries. Whenever one is changed, it automatically syncs with iCloud, if it is on-line, and iCloud syncs with all the other devices.

I do not sync my IMAP or Exchange mailboxes with iCloud because that would be redundant. Exchange and IMAP work basically the same as iCloud, syncing everything with the Exchange or IMAP server. Syncing twice, with iCloud, would make no sense and needlessly use up bandwidth.

With IMAP and Exchange, all mail is stored locally but synced with the server. If you were to delete an IMAP account on a Mac or PC, as soon as you re-created the account, it would re-populate from the server and nothing would be lost.

If the user is using Time Machine, in addition, the mailboxes are backed up incrementally to the Time Machine volume every 5 minutes, so even if the IMAP server was destroyed, the mailboxes would still be available through Time Machine. (Time Machine works much like MS Server's Shadow Copies or Volume Snapshot Service)

iCloud:  http://www.apple.com/ca/icloud/

Hope this helps.

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