Exchange 2010 SP1: Personal Archive Improvements

I’ve spent a few years running a small Exchange 2003 organization and now’s the time to start thinking about upgrading. At one point I was deciding between Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010, but with improvements slated for Service Pack 1 for Exchange 2010, I’m sold. Granted, SP1 isn’t out for general release yet, but I’m willing to wait on my upgrade until it is. Here are some of the killer features for me:

Personal Archives – Introduced in the RTM of Exchange 2010, the personal archives act as an alternate location for users to store mail outside of the main mailbox. Service Pack 1 introduces the option to store the archive in a different database than the main mailbox, finally bringing home the chance for users to store ALL their mail on the server, without affecting the time needed to restore their main mailbox in a recovery scenario.

PST Import – One you are using that personal archive option for users, its possible to put back all that mail that users have already moved out to PST files. The import tool helps streamline this process.

Better Discovery – Improved multi-mailbox search features and search “preview” options will provide a basic “e-discovery” solution for companies that aren’t quite ready to invest in a full blown archiving and discovery product.

I’m looking forward to SP1 for Exchange 2010 as the chance to to bring some new and valuable features to our existing mail infrastructure and take the leap from Exchange 2003. A day where I don’t have to help users keep track of PST files is a day I’ll be breaking out the champagne.

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