Exchange 2013 Archive / Delete Policy

Hi everyone. I currently have a policy set up where our Exchange 2013 Enterprise Server archives any messages that are over 1-year old. Now that there are people here a number of years we would like to add a policy that will delete anything over 3-years old from the Archive folders. I was under the impression (which is probably incorrect) that the policies only impact regular mailbox folders not archives. Is it possible for me to do this? If so, how? Preferably without using anything 3rd party.

Jon DeVitoCTO / CIOAsked:
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Todd NelsonSystems EngineerCommented:
As I understand, it depends on what retention tags are applied in a retention policy.  The "default" retention tag is applied to all folders in an entire mailbox--regardless if it is a "regular" mailbox or its associated "archive".

Based on your description, I assume all mail items are moved to the "archive" after 1 year (365 days) and then permanently deleted after 3 years (1095 days).  Is this correct?

Again, I assume you want no mail items older than 3 years in any mailboxes (regular or archive) that have the retention policy assigned.

If my assumptions are correct, then the retention tag to delete all mail items older than 3 years will not effect the "regular" mailbox but only what is in the "archive" as the "regular" mailbox should not have any mail items older than 1 year in it.

Am I understanding you correctly?

Unfortunately, the retention tags do not allow us to target folders only in the "archive", and we are unable to assign multiple retention policies to a mailbox or a separate retention policy to target the "archive" specifically.

I hope this helps.

Jon DeVitoCTO / CIOAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot Todd. I actually tried adding a retention tag to a default policy & it doesn't seem to work on Archive mailboxes.
Yes all assumptions above are correct.
Not sure if I need to turn something on to make it look at the Archives or even if there was a way to make the archive delete the oldest items when it hits the limit.

Todd NelsonSystems EngineerCommented:
Personally, I wouldn't use the default policy; "Default MRM Policy".  I recommend making your own (custom) retention tags and retention policy.  Then set the retention policy for all or individual mailboxes...

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited | Set-Mailbox -RetentionPolicy "RETENTION_POLICY_NAME

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Set-Mailbox -Identity "USER_ALIAS" -RetentionPolicy "RETENTION_POLICY_NAME"

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After the policies are set, the policies have to be enforced for all or an individual mailbox to run...

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited | Start-ManagedFolderAssistant

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Start-ManagedFolderAssistant –Identity “USER_ALIAS”

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If you have a user mailbox that has been enabled for in-place archive, then the retention policy will be applied to both the user mailbox and the associated archive.  There isn't anything different or more that needs to be done to configure retention settings for the archive.

"When you enable a retention tag, you must specify a retention age for the tag. This age indicates the number of days to retain a message after it arrives in the user's mailbox."

You don't have an in-place hold set on the mailboxes you are testing the retention policies with, do you?

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Jon DeVitoCTO / CIOAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot. I think it took some time to kick in but may be working. I asked this person to clean out their old stuff so to be positive it wasn't them that deleted everything I applied it to a few of the old mailboxes. I'll let you know shortly if its all good. Thanks again for the help.

Jon DeVitoCTO / CIOAuthor Commented:
Looks like its working. Thanks for the clarification. Any idea if there is a way to see the process or the queue of whats left to be done? We have so many huge mailboxes that the "pruning" is taking a long time & really bogging down the servers.

Thanks again!
Todd NelsonSystems EngineerCommented:
The initial processing of all mailboxes will take a toll on the server but, by default, are throttled automatically.

The Managed Folder Assistant, a mailbox assistant that runs on Mailbox servers, processes mailboxes that have a retention policy applied.

The Managed Folder Assistant applies the retention policy by inspecting items in the mailbox and determining whether they're subject to retention. It then stamps items subject to retention with the appropriate retention tags and takes the specified retention action on items past their retention age.

The Managed Folder Assistant is a throttle-based assistant. Throttle-based assistants are always running and don't need to be scheduled. The system resources they can consume are throttled. You can configure the Managed Folder Assistant to process all mailboxes on a Mailbox server within a certain period (known as a work cycle). Additionally, at a specified interval (known as the work cycle checkpoint), the assistant refreshes the list of mailboxes to be processed. During the refresh, the assistant adds newly created or moved mailboxes to the queue. It also reprioritizes existing mailboxes that haven't been processed successfully due to failures and moves them higher in the queue so they can be processed during the same work cycle.

- Retention tags and retention policies ...

If you want to immediately stop the processing of retained items look at Stop-ManagedFolderAssistant ...

Otherwise, you can configure the Managed Folder Assistant ...
Jon DeVitoCTO / CIOAuthor Commented:
Awesome, thanks again for the help!
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