How to Archive Microsoft Exchange Emails

Despite the popularity of cloud email platforms like Office 365 and Gmail, Microsoft Exchange is still the most dominant enterprise email server platform in the world. In recent years, Microsoft has added several business-centric features like native archiving, as well as adding many welcome features to Outlook, its popular email client.

With the release of Exchange 2016, Microsoft has made improvements to its In-Place Archiving for Exchange. These improvements include:

  • Integrated public folders into the In-Place eDiscovery and Hold workflow
  • Use of the In-Place eDiscovery to search public folders
  • Ability to put In-Place holds on public folders
  • The addition of the Compliance Search, which is a new eDiscovery search tool with improved scaling and performance capabilities
  • No limits on the number of mailboxes for a search, or number of searches that can be run simultaneously (for In-Place eDiscovery in Exchange 2016, the limits are the same as in Exchange 2013: you can search up to 10,000 mailboxes in a single search and your organization can run a maximum of two In-Place eDiscovery searches at the same time.)

Is Exchange Archiving Good Enough?

With these improvements, Exchange In-Place Archiving is much better than previous versions. For organizations that only need to archive Exchange email, this solution might be OK. However, most organizations like yours use more than just email for collaboration and communication, right. Your employees also use other communication systems like social media, and mobile text messages. All this data must be archived, not only for compliance and regulatory purposes, but just as a business best practice.

Here are a few other great articles we have put together that explain the who, what and why about archiving business communication:

This is where the In-Place Archiving in Exchange cannot meet the archiving requirements of many businesses. Exchange archiving only archives email. It does not capture all your business’s electronic communication mentioned above. And even if it did, with In-Place archiving you end-users each create and store numerous PST files on individual machines scattered throughout your PST file mess can be a nightmare when it comes to eDiscovery and searches. Think of how hard it will be to search across your entire organization to first find all of these PST files, then to collect them all, then you must search through each of the PSTs to find the content you need…not to mention sifting through the umpteen duplicates of the same email thread saved by various end-users in their “archive”.

We are here to help! Check out this blog post to see why PST files are a horrible method to “archive” and how you can eliminate PST files! But wait…there’s more…

Increase Microsoft Exchange Archiving Capabilities and Add Value with Third-Party Software

Because of the need for archiving email, social media, and mobile communication, many companies choose a third party archiving solution that will support all of these platforms. A third party archiving solution can add value to your Microsoft Exchange investment by allowing you to archive Exchange, in addition to other collaboration tools.

One of the only archiving solutions on the market today that does archive Exchange email, social media, and mobile communication is Retain by GWAVA. Retain integrates directly with Exchange, via EWS impersonation, the Microsoft Recoverable Items Folder, or journaling. Plus, for those organizations that have a mixed email environment, Retain also archives Office 365, Gmail and GroupWise email, as well as  social media, and mobile communication data.

Retain adds value to your Exchange investment, while archiving all of your collaboration data in the following ways:

Built-in Litigation Support with eDiscovery and Redaction – Retain features built-in litigation support tools for performing eDiscovery, searching, placing litigation holds, printing,  and forwarding. Plus, Retain features redaction, allowing you to redact items that should not be included as public record, or as part of the eDiscovery information request in the case of litigation.

Archive Mobile Device Communication Data – Retain archives Android, iOS and BlackBerry mobile communication data to ensure mobile communication management and compliance. Retain archives SMS/MMS, and phone call logs for Android, and BBM, PIN, SMS/MMS and phone call logs for BlackBerry. Additionally, Retain archives all encrypted SMS/Text messages and dedicated business phone number data for iOS, via the secure communications server. Retain also features policy-based mobile call recording and archiving.

Multi-Platform Email Integration – Many organizations operate different email platforms in various locations or departments. Retain archives all of your email data, regardless of the email system you are using. Retain integrates directly with Office 365, Exchange, GroupWise, and Gmail to archive email, as well as tasks, folders, notes, calendar items, shared calendars, appointments, files, deleted items and attachments, into one central platform agnostic database. This provides your organization simultaneous email archiving support.

Easy Migration – Because your email data is stored in a platform agnostic format, Retain makes migration quick and simple. If your organization decides to migrate to a new email platform, just implement your new email system, tie that system to Retain, and you are set! Retain will archive the new system alongside the old system data, allowing you to access all your email data from one central archive.

Increased System Performance – Retain increases the performance of your Exchange system by enabling archived messages to be deleted from your email system. This allows Exchange to run more efficiently, as the email server is not bogged down with countless messages, attachments, and appointments.

Single-Instance Storage Archive only one copy of a message or attachment, reducing storage requirements and increasing system performance. This is critical functionality as Exchange 2010,  2013 and 2016 do not support single instance storage this drives up your storage costs exponentially.

PST File Management – Retain can help you manage PST files and Personal Archives, by first, archiving your scattered PST files or Personal Archives into one central archive, and second, by eliminating PST files and Personal Archives in the future, by archiving messaging data in the unified Retain archive.

Employee Requests – Allow employees to find their own archived data quickly and effortlessly by providing them a Google-like search for all email communication, social, IM, and mobile message data from one location.

Complete Data Export – Retain allows you to export archived items to PDF, PST or the Stand-alone Archive Viewer, whereas Exchange only supports PST exports.

What Now?

The Exchange In-Place Archive may be enough for your company. But if you use anything other than Exchange for collaboration, it probably isn’t. So you need to look for a third party solution. Although Retain is the best solution to archive all of your email, social media, and mobile communication in one central archive, make sure that you evaluate the solution that is best for you. Just make sure that, whatever archiving solution you choose, the solution supports all of your collaboration platforms and that it has the functionality to ensure that your archive is complete and compliant.

Next Steps

  1. Learn more about PST files and Personal Archives
  2. Get more information on the archiving improvement in Exchange 2016
  3. Schedule a demo of Retain, to see how it can help you manage all of your collaboration data
  4. Learn more about the need for third party archiving in Exchange by downloading this whitepaper, The Need for Third Party Archiving in Exchange
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