If you use Outlook you know what a pain it can be to manage PST (personal folders). PST files were created by the Exchange 4.0 team to allow users who did not have access to an Enterprise class email system to locally store email from source such as POP3 or IMAP.
However since they are easy to create users started using them and over-using them. They started using the PSTs as a mean to store data easily, but some ended using them to defeat the quotas that administrators had put in place. Well there are issues with that. CC Hameed pointed it out in 2007, and even today it’s still a bad idea from the technical end and the records management end.
For starters, here are some of the behaviours of .pst files over WAN and LAN links:
- All operations take longer, which will lead your users to complain,
- Write operations can take approximately four times longer than read operations. (Article ID: 297019), which will lead your users to complain,
- Outlook has slower performance than the Exchange Client, which will lead your users to complain,
- Not to mention the possibility of data corruption, Which will lead to the users crying,
- And the potential liability and management issues that the use of PST to store data outside of the control of IT can bring. ( I wont get into the management end of things…. that will be for another post)
Because of these behaviours, The use of .pst files, .ost files and .pab files accessed over a network share are unsupported configurations.
In July 2011, as I’m going through my RSS feed I stumble across an article from The Exchange Team. Coming Soon: PST Capture Tool.
Alleluia!! I screamed… (well not really but I’m telling a story here. )
The Team had indeed listen to the prayers of so many Exchange Admins and provided a tool that could help them discover and import .pst files into Exchange Server and Exchange Online.
PST Capture would helps gain and retain more control over their email data repositories letting the Exchange servers hold all the data. Finally administrators will be able to determine where .pst files are located and who their file owners are.
Well you can get your hands on that wonderful tool right here. http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28767
Go ahead! Get a handle on those .pst files… BE DA MAN!! Or DA WOMAN!!
you could save yourself some future headaches.