The Sherpa Approach - Archive Attender vs Inherent Archiving Capabilities in Exchange 2010

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The release of Exchange Server 2010 and the more recent release of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 has many companies transitioning to this new release; wanting to explore some of the new inherent features within Exchange. Why are people so interested in trying the newest version of Exchange? For one, prior versions of Exchange Server did not have specific email archiving features inherently built in. It actually relied on the journaling features to do the work traditional email archives perform, which was often not adequate for organizations needing to enforce robust policies for legal, compliance or storage purposes. Exchange Server 2010 is the first version of Exchange that has included a native email archiving feature.

It is a Sherpa Software recommendation and best practice that our current and prospective customers look into all the features available to them within Exchange and determine for themselves whether those features will be sufficient. In some cases, they are enough. In many cases, we hear from our customers that the native email archiving features in Exchange 2010 are not adequate for organizations needing to enforce robust policies. As with many first attempts, major limitations to the functionality of Exchange 2010 exist, and therefore, should be understood before deploying it.

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The Sherpa Approach - Archive Attender vs Inherent Archiving Capabilities in Exchange 2010

  1. 1. June 2012The Sherpa Approach: Archive Attender versus InherentArchiving Capabilities in Exchange 2010 The release of Exchange Server 2010 and the more recent release of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 has many companies transitioning to this new release; wanting to explore some of the new inherent features within Exchange. Why are people so interested in trying the newest version of Exchange? For one, prior versions of Exchange Server did not have specific email archiving features inherently built in. It actually relied on the journaling features to do the work traditional email archives perform, which was often not adequate for organizations needing to enforce robust policies for legal, compliance or storage purposes. Exchange Server 2010 is the first version of Exchange that has included a native email archiving feature. It is a Sherpa Software recommendation and best practice that our current and prospective customers look into all the features available to them within Exchange and determine for themselves whether those features will be sufficient. In some cases, they are enough. In many cases, we hear from our customers that the native email archiving features in Exchange 2010 are not adequate for organizations needing to enforce robust policies. As with many first attempts, major limitations to the functionality of Exchange 2010 exist, and therefore, should be understood before deploying it.A Closer Look at To begin with a little background, let’s look at how Microsoft has positioned its new email archiving features in Exchange 2010. According to Microsoft’s website, the key benefitsExchange 2010’s achieved from using the native archiving features in Exchange 2010 include:Email ArchivingFeatures  Users can easily access their own email archives within their Inbox  Automatic archiving eliminates the need to monitor user archiving  Easy to search across multiple end-user mailboxes at once  No need to purchase and maintain a separate email archiving product The most notable addition users will see is the Personal Archive. Personal Archive is a specialized mailbox associated with user’s mailbox structure. It appears alongside the primary mailbox folders in Outlook or Outlook Web App [OWA], giving users direct access to archived email in the same way as non-archived email. For example, users can search both their Personal Archive and primary mailbox using Outlook or OWA. Email items from the primary mailbox can be automatically offloaded to the Personal Archive through automated retention polices, and administrators can also import historical email data from .PST files directly into Exchange. With the flexibility to provision a user’s Personal Archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox; organizations can more easily implement separate storage strategies for less frequently accessed email. Retention polices can be used to apply settings to specific items, conversations or folders in a mailbox. Policies are configured by the Exchange administrator and are displayed in Outlook 2010 inside each email along with a header stating the applied policy and delete date. There are two types of policies available to users: delete policies and archive policies. Both types of policies can be combined on the same item or folder. For example, an email can be tagged so that it is automatically moved to the Personal Archive in 15 days and deleted within 45 days. Administrators can also use archive policies to control when messages are automatically moved from a primary mailbox to the Personal Archive.1 1|Page
  2. 2. Specific But what isn’t Microsoft telling you? The current feature set does not serve a large portionLimitations in of organizations looking to implement and enforce robust email archiving policies. Here are some of the major limitations IT professionals need to know:Exchange 2010 Exchange 2010 approaches archiving from a dual-mailbox approach. It offers administrators the ability to create a second “archive” mailbox that is associated with a user’s primary database. Policies can be created to automatically move items to an archive mailbox based on the age of the item, or users can manually move items themselves. Administrators can set different storage policies on archive mailboxes than they do on primary mailboxes. In theory, the archive mailbox strategy is a good idea. However, there are several limitations that can make implementation more rigid, which is not the way email archiving features should work. Those limitations include: • CAL Restrictions: The Exchange Enterprise Client Access License [CAL] is required to use archive mailboxes and costs 60% more than a standard license.1 If your organization is not using the Enterprise CAL, upgrading for the email archiving Although Microsoft features alone can be very cost prohibitive.will likely improve this • Outlook 2007/2010 Requirement: Outlook 2007 or 2010 must be used to functionality in the seamlessly access archiving mailboxes for a user. Older versions of Outlook do not future, few work with archive mailboxes which can be tricky for organizations with more rigid organizations are upgrading plans. migrating to • No Offline Support: Outlook must be directly connected to the Exchange ServerExchange 2010 solely to view and act on items in the Archive Mailbox. If Outlook is running offline, it for the email cannot access archived data. archiving alone. Andmany who migrate for • End-user Training: End-users can have a difficult time understanding the concept of the archive mailbox, because it appears as a separate set of folders in other reasons realize Outlook. Administrators will need to train end-users on how to utilize the newthe inherent archiving archiving features. features aren’t their best option. In these • Not a Compliance Solution: Archiving with Exchange 2010 personal archive does not ensure that data is not deleted, which can only be done natively by cases, 3rd party enacting a legal hold on a mailbox or using Journaling. Administrators should archiving should be check with the legal or compliance teams to understand what is required of a legal considered. hold before implementing. These are just some of the Exchange archiving limitations IT professionals should consider carefully before upgrading. Although Microsoft will likely improve this functionality in the future, few organizations are migrating to Exchange 2010 solely for the email archiving alone. And many who migrate for other reasons realize the inherent archiving features aren’t their best option. In these cases, 3rd party archiving should be considered. 1 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Archiving— 2|Page http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/en-us/email-archiving-and-retention.aspx 2 Microsoft Exchange Server Pricing— http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/en-us/pricing-exchange-server-email.aspx
  3. 3. Comparing If Exchange’s archiving limitations have you considering complementary archiving products,Sherpa Archive Attender by Sherpa Software is a full-featured email archiving solution. It is designed to selectively move or copy messages from Exchange mailboxes and PST files toSoftware’s any storage device on the network. Archive Attender policies support a flexible range ofArchive Attender criteria to support a wide variety of retention requirements. Whether you plan to archivewith Exchange email for space management or regulatory compliance, Archive Attender can support these2010 needs. As discussed earlier, Exchange 2010 retention policies can be created to automatically move items to an archive mailbox based on the age of the item, or users can manually move items themselves. But most organizations require more refined options when implementing retention policies. Additionally, policies must be developed using the Exchange management shell which is more complex and advanced. Creating policies using Archive Attender is done through a central console where the administrator can monitor all activity. Archive Attender offers a much wider set of policy selection criteria including message age, date, size or subject. It also provides the ability to move archived messages to a storage medium outside of the Exchange data store. Policies may also be applied directly to the mailbox by the administrator on a scheduled basis. When implementing legal holds, Exchange 2010 uses a hold-in-place technique where items are “locked” in the recipient’s mailbox until the legal hold has expired. Oftentimes administrators would prefer to pursue a less obtrusive type of legal hold policy. Archive Attender takes a different approach to legal holds by archiving mail from the Exchange journal mailbox and sequestering it in a designated archive storage location. Doing so will effectively build a central compliance repository that may be used for legal hold and search purposes without impacting (or notifying) the end-user. Finally, implementing a third-party email archiving system like Archive Attender can be more budget-friendly and give administrators greater control over the email archiving process than Exchange 2010 can do natively. This is especially true in organizations on the Exchange Server Standard CAL. An organization using the Standard CAL can add a robust email archiving system for a fraction of the cost of the Enterprise CAL. This is a win- win for any organization looking for an affordable solution along with the robust features of an archiving solution that has been tried and tested on the market for over 10 years. 3|Page
  4. 4. Where Do You Go Every few years, Exchange Server comes out with an updated version. It should be noFrom Here? surprise that in Exchange 2010, they have included improved archiving and email management features. Many companies are considering using the inherent features, and they should. But, Sherpa Software encourages our customers and recommends that any company thoroughly review these features. You should discuss the capabilities with your legal or compliance teams to determine if the email archiving features will be sufficient for your organization. As we mentioned, it’s Sherpa’s perspective that it is rare that the inherent features in Exchange 2010 are sufficient for what most organizations need. Exchange 2010 is improved in many ways, but will only take you so far with respect to archiving. To get more information on Sherpa Software’s archiving solution, or for more on our perspective, contact us at information@sherpasoftware.com.About Sherpa For over 10 years Sherpa Software has provided IT Professionals with award-winning information management software specifically designed to address email management,Software archiving, e-discovery, PST management and compliance requirements for Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange environments. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sherpa’s solutions are practical, reliable and affordable and have been installed at thousands of organizations worldwide. Their products offer flexible architectures that streamline administrative processes without requiring any additional hardware or add-on components. Sherpa Software is an IBM Premier Business Partner and a Microsoft Certified Partner. For more information about Sherpa Software, visit www.sherpasoftware.com.456 Washington AvenueBridgeville, PA 15017www.SherpaSoftware.com1.800.255.5155 4|Page
  5. 5. About the Author Ned joined the Sherpa Software team in November 2010. As the Sales & Marketing Associate, Ned is responsible for marketing, sales, channel and technical support aspects. He oversees all day-to-day tasks concerning software support renewals for the channel sales team while also acting as a liaison between the Channel and Marketing Departments. With the marketing team, Ned’s main focus is content creation. Each month, he writes numerous blog posts, company positioning pieces and his fan favorite “Off the Topic” articles, which are sent to almost 30,000 newsletter subscribers. As for Ned’s technical support responsibilities, you can find Ned chatting with and helping customers via our “Live Chat” function. Overall, Ned accomplishes a wide range of business-critical functions for the team at Sherpa Software. Ned graduated from Duquesnegraduated from Duquesne he received a2010, where he receivedBusiness Ned University in 2010, where University in Bachelor’s of Science in a Bachelor’s of Administration, specializing in Entrepreneurship and new business creation with a minor in Spanish. Science in Business Administration, specializing in Entrepreneurship and new business creation with a minor in Spanish. Ned is an avid sports enthusiast. In his time at Duquesne, he was heavily involved with the Men’s Club Volleyball Team, not only as an active team an avid sportsplayer but also hisPresident and Captain.was heavily involved with Ned is member and enthusiast. In as time at Duquesne, he Ned still enjoys playing in competitive volleyball tournaments during his summers, along with as an active team member and hockey,but also the Men’s Club Volleyball Team, not only other activities like basketball, player boxing, and running. He also loves other languages, cultures Ned stillpeople – particularly Spanish. Ned spent tournaments as President and Captain. and its enjoys playing in competitive volleyball time in Spain where he was immersed in the language and culture whileothertaking classes at the Universidad Pontificia de during his summers, along with also activities like basketball, hockey, boxing, and Salamanca (Salamanca, Spain). He hopes to lovesSpain again in the cultures and its people – particularly Spanish. running. He also visit other languages, future. Ned spent time in Spain where he was immersed in the language and culture while also taking classes at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (Salamanca, Spain). He hopes to visit Spain again in the future. 5|Page

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