The Best Alternatives to Archive Office 365 Mailbox

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Best Alternatives to Archive Office 365 Mailbox

Posted by Rahul Gupta
From many years, users are involved in the habit of archiving the emails. The reasons might have changed and the new technologies have invented. 
Alternatives to Archive Office 365
But, the question is whether it is relevant to archive Office 365 mailbox? Should this practice needs to be continued? What are the other alternatives that are much more reliable and feasible?

The article deals with the following questions:
  • History of the Archive Mailbox?    
  • Difference Between Archive Mailbox and Primary Mailbox?    
  • How does the need to archive the mailboxes arises?    
  • Other features to keep the Emails saved    
  • Retention Policies
  • Professional Solution to backup Office 365 mailboxes    
  • Time to Wrap up

History of the Archive Office 365 Mailbox?

Consider a scenario:
You had a mailbox in the Exchange 2010 with a maximum storage space you are provided with is 200MB-600MB. As the data needs to be stored increases, storage space starts becoming an issue for both client and the server. The users were left with no choice but, either to delete the mailboxes or move the mailboxes to some other location. This is the time when the new concept of “archive mailbox” is introduced.

Difference Between Archive Mailbox and Primary Mailbox?

Whenever the user refers to as “Personal Archive”, “In-Place Archive”, or “Online Archive”, the archived mailbox is nothing else but, a second mailbox for the user. The two main differences between the primary and archive mailboxes are:

The temporary files of the archive files are not made up in the OST
The storage capacity of an archive mailbox is unlimited for users with the E3 licenses.

How Does the Need to Archive Office 365 Mailboxes Arise?

There are many reasons which lead a user to archive mailbox Exchange 2010. Some of them are explained below:

Cache Purpose: The OST cache in Outlook can cause serious problems if it has the excessively large size. So, if the users create archive mailbox, it is not cached to the OST file. Thus, it makes sense to reduce the size of the OST file by creating the archive mailbox. This method opted before the Outlook 2013.With the upcoming of Outlook 2013, the storage issue of OST file is solved from the client side. 
Storage Capacity: Office 365 offers the storage space of 50GB. A few years ago, this storage space was limited to 25GB. At that time, it was required to create the Office 365 archive mailbox. But, 50 GB is a pretty large space. If still, 50GB is not enough to save all the desired messages, the archive messages permit the user for unlimited email hoarding. This unlimited feature is only valid for the users with the E3 license. 

Users can also create the archive mailbox with the E1 license. But, in the E1 license, the size of primary mailbox along with the size of archive mailbox is limited to 50GB. So, E1 license does not allow any user to avail the benefit of additional storage capacity even after creating an archive mailbox.

Other Features to Keep the Emails Saved

Office 365 enables its users to be safe keep the emails without creating the archive mailbox. If the user wants to store emails for a certain duration of time, they can make use of these features: Litigation hold or In-place hold. These options equip the user to retain the emails even after the emails are deleted from the mailbox.

Retention Policies

“Retention policies” is a term related to archive mailboxes. In Office 365, users can use the retention policies to perform the activities like archive any mailbox after a fixed duration of time or delete any mailbox after any specific duration of time. In other words, there is a maximum number of days till which any email is kept. When users want to ensure that how long any message will reside in the mailbox, they can use already mentioned Litigation Hold or In-place hold.

For example, if the user wants to store any email for three years. At that point, the user has to use a combination of the Litigation hold or in-place hold and retention policies.

Professional Solution to Backup Office 365 Mailboxes

To archive Office 365 mailbox, users can go with an automated solution. This can be done with the help of a third-party tool like SysTools Office 365 backup software. This is the best and trouble-free answer for Office 365 backup solutions. 

The tool helps to archive the mailboxes present in the Exchange online and save them in PST file format at the local system. This feature of the tool helps in freeing up the storage space in 365 account. According to the experts, it is the master tool which has left other technologies far behind.

Time to Wrap up

With the increase in the size of the mailboxes, a user needs to delete their data or move their data to some other place outside the mailbox. Considering this point, a new concept to archive Office 365 mailboxes was introduced. But, it was realized that are some alternative features like litigation hold, in-place hold and retention policies which enables any user to view the Office 365 mailboxes even after deleting them.


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