Email Archiving – A customer experience!

In talking to a client about how they use our email archiving solution, MailMeter, I learned some very interesting data points that I wanted to share. Granted, these might not be indicative to MailMeter as much as to archiving in general.

The scenario is that the account had 3 TB (Terabytes) in Exchange 2007 and with around 300 mailboxes that means the average

Archivingmailbox is around 10 GB(Gigabytes) in size. In analyzing their data more, we found some astonishing numbers. The largest mailbox was 57 GB, 5 mailboxes were larger than 40 GB, 42 mailboxes were over 20 GB and 96 or around 1/3 of the company had mailboxes larger than 10 GB. The total message count of data in the Exchange server was 18 million messages. The largest mailbox contained in excess of 400k messages or around 143 KB for the average message size.

The organization knew their data was out of control and just getting worse as people sent more and more messages around.   Also, the resolution and file size for pictures, videos, etc. that were emailed around was growing at an alarming rate. It was not unheard of to have several MB of attachments sent around.

The window they had for backups was slowly shrinking and full weekly back-ups were bleeding into Monday morning sometimes. They were literally a ticking time bomb.

They took a two prong approach:

  1. They implemented an attachment stubbing rule of all attachments older than one year, that  were then shortcutted to lower tier storage. Since they had users with over 10 years of data they were hoping for a 90% reduction. Based on the fact that recent emails are so much larger than older emails, and because some users had deleted aged email, they got a 66% reduction or about 1 TB.
  2. Because the email messages themselves remained intact in the Exchange server, they were still seeing performance issues with Outlook opening for several users. They decided to implement a mailbox management policy across the board for deleting sent and deleted items after 3 years. They left emails that had been categorized into folders and the inbox. They leveraged the web based ISR individual search and the Outlook add-in for power users allowing them to find aged email that had been removed from the Exchange server. The paradigm shift that occurred was when users realized they could quickly find older emails, they were actually more aggressive of manually deleting more recent email that they felt they didn’t need anymore. With this approach they reclaimed another 425 GB.

Both of these approaches together reduced the full Exchange back-up time down to less than 6 hours. For the first few weekends they checked on Saturday morning and everything was complete after kicking it off on Friday night.

Why not see what MailMeter can do for you!