AutoArchive vs. Retention Settings in Outlook

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tmiller112



I know this is very basic, but I'm not quite getting the AutoArchive vs. Retension settings.

I want to set group policy to archive. That is straight-forward. Except: Can I force ALL folders, even those new folders users create? I don't see this in the policy.

But I don't understand how retension settings override those. Say I have auto-archive turned on for a folder, moving them to an archive.pst when they are older than 6 months. I apply that to all folders. Now I enforce retension settings, and I set the inbox to 360 days. Does this simply mean that items will be archived along the same schedule (ever x number of days it runs), but they will stay for 360 days rather than 6 months? Though you can still simply delete the items.

It just seems like I'm missing something. Otherwise, Why wouldn't they just give me a more detailed AutoArchive policy that allows me to have different "retention" for different folders, and leave it at that?

Even after I set both of these settings against myself, I see that I still have some folders that say "do not archive", and I have the ability to control that. It just says that Retension Policies over-ride autoarchive settings. However: The Retension Policy states gives you control for Inbox, Calendar Items, and " all other folder being AutoArchived". I guess, if I understand that rention simply controls how long they stay before being archived... then what's the point if the user can simply turn off the archive for a given folder.

Appreciate any clarity. I'm having trouble finding clear definition (I think everyone but me see's it clearly). Thanks!

Tim
 
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AndyD_ [MVP]



I think for true archiving capabilities you should set those at the server side in Exchange rather than relying on Outlook.

Exchange 2010 has come a long way in that regard.
 
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tmiller112



Thanks. I'm pushing for the exchange upgrade. Unfortunately I'm not able to for the time being. I'm still on Exchange 2003, and likely to be stuck there for a year or so. We are at a point where I have to take this subject more seriously (database pushing the max). So I need to make due with what I have.
 
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AndyD_ [MVP]



So you are running standard 2003?

You can of course have a max 75GB store. Are your send and receive limits set with that in mind?
 
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tmiller112



Nothing... I'm at 71 right now. The only restriction I've had to date is a very large 30 MB sending / receive limit.

Needless to say, it's time to change. The way we've elected to make that change is to archive sooner. Some are holding onto things for a year or more. Setting the limit across the board to 6 months should buy me a year or more. But I have to know it's happening, which I'm hoping policy can do for me. As I started looking at this closely, I came up with the questions.
 
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AndyD_ [MVP]



Another option is to simply set the mailbox send and receive limits to something reasonable - forcing those users to archive messages themselves to a pst and then they can choose which ones they want to move.
 
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tmiller112



I appreciate the advice. The email size issue is difficult in our industry. It makes more sense for us to enforce a limit on how long they hold on to emails in their mailbox. Reducing it to 6 months across the board should be reasonable, and make a big impact, buying me plenty of time. Eventually we'll be putting 2010 in. And aside from a much bigger database limit... depending on how effective new 2010 tools are, I'm looking at central storage archive solutions.

For now, I need to make this archive policy work. I'm just not understand the relationship between retension policy vs. Auto Archive policy. It appears that even with Retension policy, it only works if a given folder is set to auto archive, and the user still has control over that. Just seems to defeat the purpose of making group policy control, so I'm hoping that I'm missing something.
 
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