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We have a client (C) who was recently required by the parent company to move their e-mail to the parent company (P) Exchange system. Users of C generally have large mailboxes and previously made use of a server-side mail archiving system complete with stubs and all.

Now, the mail policy of P is to not use archiving and the mailbox limit is 1GB. The recommendation from P is for users to use PST files.

This is going to be a real headache! Not least because the majority of users at C run on Citrix thin clients and so we also need to figure out how to get this to work with PSTs as the PST path defaults to the C drive and users are going to find it tough to manually relocate this to a network share. We have got a NAS drive that can be used as dedicated PST storage.

So, firstly - is there a better way of doing this that doesn't involve PSTs or server-side archiving? Short of training the users to constantly clear down their mailboxes (which realistically won't work long-term)

Secondly, if PSTs are the only way to do this, how can we get Outlook 2007 to automatically link to a network PST in Citrix since the profile gets cleared down at logoff? I can't seem to see a relevant GPO for this (though you'd have thought one would exist...)

Thanks!

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3 Answers

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What a horrible spot to find yourself in. What we've done for our PST-dependent users is to set them up so that their Outlook PST archive copies locally from a network source on login, and is then copied back to the network source when Outlook closes. That way the PST files are only accessed locally, and if that session were to crash horribly, the network version isn't trashed. It isn't a good solution, but it's the best we have right now.

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Thanks - best idea yet but still tricky as PST files grow. Especially as 150 citrix users logon at 9am with massive PSTs :-( –  George Hewitt Jun 23 '10 at 10:20
    
I hear you, really. We're pushing hard for a real archiving program but the money just isn't there. –  sysadmin1138 Jun 23 '10 at 16:03
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Never store PSTs on a networkdrive! I have been useing serverside archiving with great success (eg Enterprise Vault). I guess everybody in both companies would benefit from that.

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He said the network drive is a NAS. If it's not a Windows-based NAS, like a NetApp, it won't have the PagePool depletion issues that a Windows server would, while serving up PST files. It's probably still a bad idea, but I honestly don't know of what specific troubles hit non-Windows fileservers hosting PSTs. –  mfinni Jun 22 '10 at 22:44
    
I am well aware of the dangers of PST archiving for so many reasons. The problem (as I suggested in the question) is that we have no control over the mail server now. The parent company has dictated no server-side archiving and 1GB limits. –  George Hewitt Jun 23 '10 at 10:18
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  • Beware the legal requirements. Many juristictions require communications to be kept for at least 7 years for legal audit purposes. You cannot ensure this client-side and you do not want to fall foul of these laws. If something like this applies in your client's location, and the 1Gb limit can't be altered, then you need to implement a seperate (server or gateway-based) solution to the issue. Client-side is not acceptable including client-to-server PST backups (because they are vulnerable to interference from the client, which renders them invalid from an audit perspective). For solutions to this, look at:

  • For a soft solution to the problem of mail limits causing problems for users, you can usually make massive savings on mailbox sized by stripping attachments from the 'Sent Items' folder, or even from received mail. For outlook, you just open up the 'Sent Items' folder, organise by file size largest-to-smallest, and save/remove the attachments from the top of the list, working down. A few minutes of doing this can often recover half your mailbox space. I normally maintain a How-To for our users, which I mail to them if they have any issues with Quota limits. 5 minutes work for a user to fix the issue themselves.
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I'm sorry, what do you mean here? "Many juristictions require communications to be kept for at least 7 years for legal audit purposes." This isn't true in the US, at all. I know the OP is from the UK, and I see you're from NZ - but to my knowledge, things like data retention are industry- or domain-specific. If you're in e.g. drug manufacture, retention is tied to expiration date of drugs. And it's not for "all communications", it's for relevant records. –  mfinni Jun 23 '10 at 1:59
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"Section 802 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires auditors to retain auditing information for a period of 7 years. The information refers to all records relevant to the audit or review; this includes workpapers, memoranda, correspondence, communications, and electronic records (including email). In fact, Section 802 makes it a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in jail, if auditors of public companies fail to maintain such correspondence.". You're right about it not being as much localtion-specific as industry-specific. Even some UK companies with US ties fall under the SABOX stuff. –  Chris Thorpe Jun 23 '10 at 2:50
    
That's for auditors, not the company being audited. Very narrow requirement. –  mfinni Jun 23 '10 at 13:07
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