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Managing .PST files effectively

Managing .PST files with Sherpa Software’s MailAttender for Exchange

By Michael Osterman, Network World
December 07, 2006 11:19 AM ET
Michael Osterman

Editor's Note: This newsletter is now renamed Unified Communications. The name change reflects the newsletter's broader focus as we report on the industry's move toward a unified messaging model. We hope you will continue to enjoy the newsletter and thank you for reading.

Microsoft Exchange is the most widely used corporate messaging system in North America, meaning that most organizations have some level of concern about how they manage .PST files. These files can be everywhere in a corporate network, distributed on file servers, local desktop hard drives and laptops. Users create these files to archive their old content or to offload e-mails and attachments when they reach their mailbox quota limit, or when they access corporate e-mail from a mobile device.

Our own research has found that most organizations cannot access the content in locally stored .PST files. This becomes a major issue when companies must access this content, such as when presented with a discovery order to search across all e-mail stores, including those on local .PST files. In such a scenario, an IT organization can spend an enormous amount of time and energy finding all of these distributed .PST files, extracting data from them, indexing it and searching for the required content. The problem will become even more serious when unified communications systems store even more content.

One solution is to use a product like Sherpa Software’s MailAttender for Exchange. MailAttender allows an Exchange administrator to proactively monitor and examine content stored in .PST files, even allowing monitoring of remote .PST files through the use of a plug-in. For example, MailAttender allows an administrator to determine how many instances of a particular attachment exist in all of the .PST files scattered around an organization, the size of each .PST file, specific content stored in each file and so forth.

The advantage of using a product like this is that it allows Exchange administrators to be proactive about how .PST files are managed, it allows them to respond quickly to requests to extract needed content, and it permits overall better management of an Exchange environment.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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