Sprout IT look at; storage, mailboxes and why size matters

With storage being reasonably inexpensive these days, it’s easy to think that it doesn’t matter if your mailbox grows to several GB’s in size.
While you’d be right in thinking that Microsoft Exchange Server is perfectly capable of dealing with huge mailboxes these days (it is, given the right processing and memory resources), keeping email mailbox sizes under control is still as important as it ever was.
Though there are options now (well, since 2007 in fact) for making Exchange highly available with ‘Database Availability groups’ (multiple copies of your databases), many organisations still rely on a single copy of Exchange to run their email systems.
“But we have a backup of our email server…” 
Backups are great for protecting your data, but how long is it going to take you to restore an email server that has grown unchecked to 1tb in size?
What are your business continuity plans for interim email communications during an email server outage?
When was the last time your backups were fully tested?
A large or even medium sized Exchange Server can take many tens of hours to restore, and this can be limited hugely by the backup product you are using, the media that the backup is stored on, the storage you are restoring to – to list just a few.
Having backups is great, but they are less useful in a disaster recovery (DR) scenario when they are not easily or quickly accessible, due to them being stored on tape (yep, people are still doing this), on slow USB disks, or in a completely different location.
Sprout IT can assist with strategies for automating email database size management, archive policies and business continuity.
Using Mimecast, you can hold all of your emails, forever! They are stored securely in Mimecast datacentres and can be easily accessed from within Outlook, on your smartphone, or even from a web browser.
Implementing Email Archiving from Mimecast will reduce the size of your mailbox databases, whilst retaining an accessible copy of all emails you’ve ever sent or received (even if you delete them from Outlook!).
“Business Continuity or bust”
Mimecast also provides business continuity in the event of a mail server outage.  Using the Smartphone app, Outlook plugin, or Web portal, you are able to send and receive email even if Exchange is offline.
So for whatever the reason you have suffered an outage in the first place, the fact that your staff are able to access emails during the event, means that your business can continue to run.
Of equal importance, is that due to there being less data stored in your Exchange Server in the first place, you can get it back up and running and at full capacity in significantly less time!
Consider more than the price tag 
So storage – Yes, it is inexpensive these days; but the other fundamentals around the transfers of data still remain and it is prudent to manage data quantities so that they don’t grow to an unreasonable size. You’ll be grateful you did so!
Sprout IT offer the full complement of Mimecast services, as well as managed backup and DR solutions.  We can provide strategic advice and services to minimise your risks, and maximise your confidence and investment in IT. –Richard Broadfield, Technical Director. 


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