You might have heard that Microsoft recently lifted the 1,000 user limit on its PST Capture tool, which is used primarily for PST migration.  Although this sounds like great news for companies exceeding 1,000 users, you may want to do some research before jumping on the PST Capture bandwagon.  To get you started, I’ve pulled some background information on Microsoft’s tool.

The common misconception about Microsoft lifting this limit is that there would have to be serious architectural changes made.  However, this isn’t the case. From its inception, PST Capture wasn’t very scalable, as the application moves the entire PST file to the network before importing.  This is not the most desired method because putting all PSTs onto your network could seriously affect your network storage and speed, not to mention negatively impacting the overall migration process.  Other arguments against PST Capture include that it only supports Exchange 2010 and above versions.  It also lacks any real reporting features.

This is where I’ll offer my somewhat biased Sherpa Software comparison.  Biased or not, it does raise several concerns you should be aware of if considering PST Capture.  Sherpa Software’s Mail Attender for Exchange product has quite a robust architecture and wide reach that allows administrators to scan, report on, manage and migrate all data stored in Exchange mailboxes, Online Archives, public folders and PST files.

Even with Microsoft’s lift on the 1,000 user limit, Mail Attender still has three important differentiators and advantages that set it apart from PST Capture.  They are:

1) Mail Attender can de-duplicate the PST messages imported
Using an inherent feature, Mail Attender is able to identify and eliminate any duplicate messages prior to them being ingested.  This will save the end user a lot of time and will greatly reduce the storage requirements.

2) Mail Attender has much more flexibility in its import capabilities
Through the use of Mail Attender’s extensive data filtering options, you have the ability to easily move, copy, delete, or exclude any messages and items that you choose.

3) Mail Attender processes PSTs at the message level
By processing at the message level, Mail Attender is able to skip (possible) corrupt messages and easily move onto the next PST.  This same scenario with PST Capture, which processes at the PST level, may actually kill the entire process, which would result in massive setbacks and loss of valuable time.

This is just a start but hopefully it’s helpful in understanding if Microsoft’s PST Capture tool might be right for you.  My advice, don’t be fooled by Microsoft’s abolishment of the 1,000 user limit.  And if you have PSTs that you are looking to migrate, check out Mail Attender for Exchange.  It’s a better, more robust option and should be part of your Information Technology tool kit.  If you have specific questions about how Mail Attender can help with your PST migration project or managing your PSTs in general, please email  or call us toll free at 1-800-255-5155.