Is an archiving solution needed beyond Exchange 2010?

By Datalink

Microsoft Exchange 2010 was originally released in late 2009. In August 2010, SP1 was released, representing Microsoft’s first offering of an archiving product. Probably the most talked about feature of Exchange 2010 is the ability to create personal archives. I often get asked whether another archive solution is needed given Microsoft’s release of their archiving product.

It really gets down to what your business needs and wants. Examples:

Mailbox management

  • Restrictive email quotas
  • Too much time spent by users managing their mail
  • Exponentially growing servers and storage

Retention, eDiscovery, and litigation

  • Enforcement and control of data archive and retention polices
  • Litigation readiness, cost avoidance, and early case preparedness
  • Preservation of data for litigation hold
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amendments


  • Adherence to regulatory or corporate standards
  • Audit readiness

Operational efficiencies

  • Reduction of backup and recovery times and costs
  • Migration to new version or platform, mail and storage

Storage optimization

  • Storage reduction and optimization
  • PST / NSF migration and elimination

Then it gets down to comparing the  features and benefits of archiving solutions to see which ones(s) best align with your needs. Here’s a sample comparison of Symantec’s Enterprise Vault 9 versus Exchange 2010:

Works with Outlook 2003-2010?
Enterprise Vault 9: Yes
Exchange 2010: No support for Outlook 2003

Access to archived data stored offline?
Enterprise Vault 9: Yes
Exchange 2010: No

Reduces storage requirement (single instance storage)?
Enterprise Vault 9: Yes
Exchange 2010: No

Searchable file types?
Enterprise Vault 9: More than 400
Exchange 2010: 53

Archive and search multiple data types (mail, files SharePoint, instant messages, etc.)?
Enterprise Vault 9: Yes
Exchange 2010: No

You get my drift. While the new release of Microsoft Exchange provides some archiving capabilities, it is limited to Exchange email only. This can provide some assistance with mailbox management issues, but due to the elimination of single instance storage in Exchange 2010, you will now be faced with storage growth and increased backup and restore times.

Feel free to weigh in on your take on the comparison above or your experience with archiving.