Did you know that you can apply retention policies against your Archive Attender archives, or that you can remove stub links in Exchange once they reach a certain age? There are several features within all of our products that many customers are unaware of at this time- but it is our goal that once you are finished reading this series of articles, that you will have a better understanding of some of these lesser-known features. We’ll start with Archive Attender.
Managing Archive Locations
Each archive location has properties that determine how it will be managed by Archive Attender. First, Cleanup Settings allows an administrator to manage the content within the archives; this ensures that the organization’s retention policies are enforced, and that once archived messages have exceeded their lifecycle, they can be periodically purged or moved. Once you specify the conditions of the Cleanup Settings, you can choose to either delete these messages or move them to a new location. As seen below, this cleanup will delete anything three years old or more, based on the received date of the archived message:
The Archive Attender Hub Service will periodically check this setting and automatically apply any cleanup that has been specified.
Second, Archive Limits allows an administrator to restrict the volume of messages saved to a specific archive location. Although there is no recommendation for how large an archive location should be, Archive Attender is generally more efficient with several smaller archives than a few larger ones. This is due to the fact that administrative tasks, like that of rebuilding the map index, take considerably longer with larger archives. Therefore, if you want to ensure that these tasks do not take too long, you can limit the archive size.
Archive Limits are based on either the age or size of the archive location. Once a limit is met, Archive Attender will automatically create a new archive location based on the settings specified. For instance, the settings below will force the archive location to rollover into a new location once it reaches 200 GB:
Managing Archived Messages in Exchange
Once you archive a message, you have the option to leave it in Exchange, replace it with a “stub” or remove it altogether.
NOTE: A stub looks like an ordinary email from within a mailbox folder in Exchange. However, the actual content of the message and/or its attachments have been replaced with a link. When an end-user clicks on the link, it will open the archived message from the archives.
If you choose to leave anything in Exchange (whether you leave the original message or replace it with a stub), you can always change it with a Stub-Aging policy. A Stub-Aging policy allows you to manipulate a message in Exchange that was already archived. It will not manipulate a message if it was not already archived.
For instance, you could have a regular policy that archives all messages that are one week old and leaves the original message in Exchange. Then, you could use a Stub-Aging policy to change the original message into a stubbed message after it is a year old and subsequently remove the entire message from Exchange after it is three years old as seen here:
By using Stub-Aging policies, you can further mitigate the amount of data being stored in Exchange as well as ensure that the archived messages within Exchange that have exceeded their lifecycle are periodically purged.
There is another process within Archive Attender that will ensure other archived messages within Exchange are also purged. Let’s say you are using Cleanup Settings to purge the archived messages that have reached a certain age, but those messages still have their corresponding stub links in Exchange. These stub links in Exchange are considered to be “orphaned” (i.e. the message no longer exists in the archives but its stub link still exists in Exchange). If you run the Stub Maintenance process, it will remove these orphaned stub links. Stub Maintenance searches a user’s mailbox for stubs that no longer map to a message in any archive location, and then remove those stubs.
It is recommended that you verify what will be deleted prior to actually deleting it. Stub Maintenance Safe Delete is an option that allows an administrator to generate a report of the orphaned stubs rather than deleting them (i.e. it will list what would be removed with Stub Maintenance, but does not actually delete these messages). Once the report has been reviewed, you can re-run Stub Maintenance with this option disabled to perform the actual deletion of the stub messages.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you with your Archive Attender product. If you are interested in viewing Archive Attender, click here for a free 30-day trial. Or if you would like to learn more or to speak with a representative, please contact Sherpa Software.