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How to Get Rid of PST Files 

Added: 10/24/2012, Hits: 4,552, Rating: 0, Comments: 1, Votes: 0
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How do you make a room full of Exchange admins cringe? Say “PST” three times fast. PST files have been around since the very earliest days of Exchange, and they have been causing headaches for Exchange admins and loss of data for Exchange users since the day after. PST files were never intended to store critical email, but between Outlook prompting users to “archive” older mail, and Exchange admins having to place storage quotas on users, there are probably billions and billions of emails sitting in PSTs scattered across local hard drives, network shares, USB keys, cloud-based storage services and other even less desirable locations, all waiting to be lost, found by others, or to corrupt. The aspirin for our admins and the solution for our users comes in a neat little service called “email archiving”.

PSTs present a number of challenges to Exchange admins. For starters, as Exchange admins we’re responsible for our users’ email, but a PST file is out of our reach. We cannot centrally manage them, back them up, index them, search them (for compliance or discovery purposes) and so they linger out there beyond our ability to manage. And yet, when they corrupt we are expected to fix them. When they are accidentally deleted, we are expected to restore them. And when we get served with a motion, we are expected to be able to search them. The simple fact is we need to get rid of PSTs!

How we go about that is a two-fold proposition. We need to stop forcing our users into using PSTs against our wishes and their best interests, and we need to provide them with an alternative. That’s where Exchange archiving comes in. Exchange archiving provides users with a location that they can move email to that is separate from their primary Exchange mailbox, but still just as accessible to them. It’s a server-based solution that is centrally managed by the Exchange admins, which means that all of the challenges we face with PSTs are resolved. Exchange archiving data is backed up by us, managed by us, available for compliance searches and discovery activities, and yet is also completely accessible to our users, either through Outlook, or through a web-based portal.

Email archiving takes pressure off of our Exchange Servers by moving older, less used (but no less important) data from the primary mailbox. We keep our mailbox databases smaller (which means we can more quickly back them up), defrags complete more quickly, and it is faster to move mailboxes from one database to another to balance the load. Exchange has email archiving built in, though it does require Exchange Enterprise CALs, or you can purchase email archiving solutions from third party vendors. These often have additional features such as using SQL for storage, single instance storage, the ability to offload attachments, and more. Some even come with tools to help you quickly and easily import user PSTs into their archives, so you can provide better services to your users and get rid of PST files at the same time.

Look into email archiving today to improve your Exchange Servers’ performance, provide more storage for your users, help you avoid headaches and to finally get rid of PST files.

About the Author
This guest post was provided by Casper Manes on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Read more on how to improve your Exchange archiving.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Comments (1)

Review By: DavidScott [10/04/2016]
Review Text: Hello, I will suggest you an advance third party tool Outlook PST Recovery Tool which perfectly repair my corrupted PST data and convert it into new working PST format. To download :-

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