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C2C Guide To Eliminating PST Files On Outlook

C2C Systems : 09 May, 2011  (Technical Article)
E-mail archiving specialist provides insight into the archiving and elimination of PST files on Microsoft Outlook
C2C Guide To Eliminating PST Files On Outlook

C2C has released the second in their new series of PST Top Tech Tips to help IT managers take steps to eliminate burgeoning PST files.

There are several reasons why IT administrators tolerate personal storage (PST) files, but for many organisations, the only acceptable solution to PST problems is to eliminate them all together. PSTs proliferate on networks when mailbox quotas are imposed or when the Microsoft Outlook’s AutoArchive feature is used. Hard to locate and notoriously unstable, PST maintenance and recovery incurs high costs that are rarely covered by company compliance policies or included in security and backup processes.

C2C recommends the following PST elimination tips be deployed:-

1 Discovering PSTs

After seeking out PSTs on local and remote servers, desktops and laptops with one of the C2C management tools available, the size and scope of the problem can be identified. How many PST files exist? Where are they? Who owns them? What content do they contain? How large are they? These factors will help determine the appropriate next step. There are two possible courses of action to take in advance of removing PSTs: move them back into the Exchange server, or archive them. Migrating PST data into Exchange is the simplest option but will result in a considerable increase in storage usage. If the key driver for creating PST files in the first place is to avoid IT-imposed quotas, this is clearly not the best approach.

2 Archiving PSTs

A typical PST archiving solution first collects PSTs into a known location and then ingests them into an archive. This process can be time and resource consuming if there are a great deal of files to move, so larger organisations will require more comprehensive and advanced email archiving solutions. In this case, PSTs can be migrated directly to an archive, which ensures minimal effort, no manual moving of files and no risk of human error. Select the PST files for priority action, schedule remaining data for migration, and move stubs back to Exchange once the migration is complete. When data is removed, PST files can be compacted to free up the white-space, as the PST will only contain messages with stub files. The risks of potential corruption are reduced and company information is incorporated into a secure store.

3 Eliminating PSTs

To remove the dependence on PST files entirely, import the remaining data (the messages with stub files) back into the user's mailbox. This process can also be automated and centrally managed. The original folder hierarchy as found within the original PST will be retained for the user’s benefit. Once completed, the empty PST file can be automatically removed from the user's Outlook profile. The final step in getting PSTs under control is to set policies for retention and ensure they are enforced.

“There are many valid reasons to eliminate PSTs, from capacity management to complying with company or regulatory policy, but the process is not without its pitfalls,” said Dave Hunt, CEO of C2C. “When used to eliminate PSTs, C2C ArchiveOne® PST management solutions reduce corporate risk and improve efficiency in terms of both time and storage demand.”

ArchiveOne PST Manager gives administrators the control they need over PST files, whether they are on a laptop, desktop, remote computer or server, loaded in Outlook or not.

C2C’s ArchiveOne solutions are simple yet sophisticated tools that are field-proven to help organisations with archiving, retention and eDiscovery of email and files, compliance management, intellectual property containment and storage management tools. ArchiveOne employs Zero-Training User DesignTM and is completely transparent, installing in about one hour. ArchiveOne for email provides secure access to archived emails through iPhone or BlackBerry devices and through web and web service technologies for offsite workers. Advanced PST management allows administrators to discover, search, delete or consolidate PST files across the organization. ArchiveOne is not dependent on SQL databases, so it offers best-in-class flexibility and scalability, as well as reduces risk, speeds backups, and improves system usage. A live online demonstration, references from ArchiveOne users, and a 30-day trial are available.

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