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Exchange 2010 Online Archiving Reviewed   

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Outlook 2010 against Exchange 2007 was cool enough (read more about that here).

But one feature that has me really excited is the new Online Archive. This is a server-side archiving solution built-in to Exchange 2010. It requires an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) for each mailbox that is enabled for the online archive.

Deploying it is very simple. Just right-click on the mailbox and select ‘Enable Archive.’ 


Note: Mailboxes that were migrated from Exchange 2007 and had a Managed Folder policy enabled will first need to be removed from the Managed folder policy before the Archive can be enabled. This can only be done using the set-mailbox command in powershell, ex:

set-mailbox jstocker –ManagedFolderMailboxPolicy $null

This is what the Online Archive looks like from within the Outlook 2010 client:


And from Outlook Web App


That’s it!! Easy to deploy – no client software rollout!

Viewing the archive is only possible using the Outlook 2010 and Outlook Web App 2010. Users that have older versions of Outlook can still benefit from the archive by having server-side rules take effect on the mailbox, but they won’t be able to directly view the items that have been archived.

After a mailbox has been enabled for archiving, the user will notice a new ‘Assign Policy’ button in Outlook.


This allows a user to set retention policy on a per message basis, or the administrator can set it on the folder level, ex: 1 year retention for Inbox, Sent and Deleted, etc.

You can also right-click on an email to assign the archive policy too.


If you right-click on the Inbox folder and go to the Policy tab, you can change the policy on a per folder basis. So in this example, I set a 1 year policy for items in my inbox. Any items older than one year will be moved to my online archive.


The next time the Messaging Records Management service runs on the Exchange Server, emails will automatically move from your inbox to your online archive. When working in Cached mode, the contents of this folder are not downloaded to the client, as all this mail resides server-side only. The other nice benefit is that any mail stored in the online archive does not count against your quota. You can drag and drop email from PST files or your Inbox into your Online archive folder. This allows you to completely eliminate PSTs. This also benefits IT and HR so that eDiscovery requests can be comprehensive. It is then possible to disable the auto-archive to .pst option in Outlook via group policy to prevent any emails from being exported to pst file.


Posted by  Joe Stocker  on  2/23/2010
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Luca  commented on  Thursday, March 03, 2011  5:54 AM 
lets say that the archive policy was set to 2 years.
If now I change it to 5 years I see that the emails between 2 and 5 years are not restored into the original folder. Is there a way to do it?


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