Personal Archive improvements in Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1

Posted: February 4, 2011 in Analysis
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One of the top 10 interesting new features included with Exchange 2010 RTM was without doubt the new Personal Archive which you can read all the glory details about in this recently released white paper, in the Online Documentation on TechNet and several other places.

Although it from a storage perspective makes perfect sense (at least to me) to keep the personal archive in the same mailbox database as the user’s primary mailbox, a significant number of customers/partners asked for the possibility of storing the Personal Archive in another mailbox database than the one storing the user’s primary mailbox. Well, the good thing is the Exchange Product group took this (and many other) requests very seriously, which results in several improvements to the Personal Archive feature in Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1.

One of them is of course the option of storing the Personal Archive in a separate mailbox database, but enterprise organizations will also be able to store the archive in BPOS while keeping the primary mailboxes on premise.

When creating a new user mailbox using the Exchange Management Console (EMC) now includes the page shown inFigure 1. As you can see we can choose to enable a Personal Archive for the specific user(s), but also specify in which mailbox database it should be stored. Also notice, that we can select “Create a remote hosted archive” followed by entering the domain name of a BPOS tenant. As many of you know BPOS is still based on Exchange 2007, but it will be upgraded to Exchange 2010 later this year and by then support this option.

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Figure 1: New Archive Settings page in New Mailbox wizard

If we didn’t enable a Personal Archive for a mailbox when it was created, we can of course do so later on. Just like with the Exchange 2010 RTM version this can be done either by using EMC or the Exchange Management Shell (EMS). To do so using the EMC, we can right-click on the mailbox and select “Enable Archive” in the context menu. This brings up the screen shown in Figure 2, where we have the same options as those presented in the New Mailboxwizard.

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Figure 2: Enabling a Personal Archive after a mailbox has been created

Unlike Exchange 2010 RTM, Exchange 2010 SP1 also gives us the option of importing PST files directly into a Personal Archive.

Finally there’s great news for all those enterprises that are planning to upgrade to Exchange 2010, but doesn’t have any plans of lifting Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010. You know what? Before Exchange 2010 SP1 RTMs an update for Outlook 2007 will be made available. The interesting thing about this update is that users will be able to access a Personal Archive using Outlook 2007. Yes you heard that right!

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