This may be a somewhat simplified question, but I've read online quite a bit and have found very little on the comparison. We are a smaller shop, approximately 200 users. Currently our Exchange mailbox quotas are set at 400MB. For as long as I can remember we've had users archive email as they fill up their mailbox, so we have more .psts floating around than we would like. I've looked into the archiving feature of Exchange, and it looks nice, but I'm having a hard time determining why I would go that route (for the cost, would be about 12K for licensing) versus just having more hard drive space on the server and increasing everyone's mailbox limit to 10GB (for example).
I would imagine having their primary mail on one server and archive on another would be ideal for balancing the load/stress on the system, but with our small shop we only have the one server/database and had planned on putting the archive database on the same server anyway. We plan to deploy DAG with a DR site in the near future as well.
So, other than being able to give our legal department more capabilities with the discovery process, is there any benefits I'm not seeing here? Also, we are currently on Office 2007, from what I read a lot of features aren't usable unless you are running 2010, so that would be something else to take into consideration I suppose. But anyway, I would appreciate some thoughts on this from those who have used both ways and are more "in the know" than I am with regards to Exchange/archiving. :) Thanks for your input!