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Learn How EMC IT Uses SourceOne to Battle Email Storage Growth

EMC IT manages Microsoft Exchange Server for the benefit of 70,000 EMC employees worldwide.  In 2010, the environment consisted of 10,000 users running on Exchange 2003, 50,000 users on Exchange 2007 and 10,000 users on Exchange 2010.  Performance issue cased by storage growth were impacting the overall performance of the Exchange 2007 servers, so in 2012 a new Exchange 2010 environment was build to host 20,000 users taken from the Exchange 2007 servers. 

The new Exchange 2010 environment is located in Hopkinton (primary location with two VBlocks) and in Durum, NC (DR location with one VBlock).   In addition to DR replication, the Exchange 2010 Servers are protected with EMC NetWorker and backups are maintained for 30 days.  The Exchange 2010 Servers can handle larger mailboxes as compared to earlier versions of Exchange, but there are still performance limitations caused by storage growth. 

Mailbox quotes are set at 6 GB.  It is found that larger mailboxes cause performance issues on the client with the OST offline cache and with mobile devices (smart phones) when synchronizing email.  Larger mailboxes, in general terms, mean larger Exchange primary storage which impacts Exchange searches, background processes and backup time. 

Exchange 2010 Archive Mailboxes were not deployed for multiple reasons.  When the total size on Exchange was calculated, the decision was made to not add this considerable storage capacity into Exchange.  It was also felt that the archive email is better protected in EMC SourceOne and EMC Centera, with legal hold capability, as compared to the Exchange 2010 archive mailboxes where there is no data assurance.

EMC EmailXtender was installed in 2004 and continues to support Exchange for email archiving and short cutting.  In 2009, the new EMC SourceOne environment was installed.  SourceOne is installed in a virtual ESX infrastructure.  The SQL database is installed on physical Windows Servers with SAN storage.  The SourceOne backup storage consists of Centera for archive data (250-300 TB) and NAS storage for the index data. 

EmailXtender and SourceOne are both in operation.  EmailXtender manages all archive email and shortcuts collected prior to 2009.  Post-2009, all archive email and shortcuts are collected by SourceOne.  Email shortcuts are implemented after 60 days.  The shortcut removes the attachment only.  As a result the average email size is reduced from 100KB to 30 KB a 70% reduction.  The retention period for archive email is seven years, so in time, the data being stored on EmailXtender will become obsolete.

PST files have not been migrated into EMC SourceOne.  The decision was made to allow end users to continue to have access to their PST files in read only mode, and require approval to write to their PST files or create new PST files.  

End users via Microsoft Outlook access their archive email and shortcuts, both online and offline.   The offline client is managed using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).  SCCM is a valuable tool for managing client installation and upgrades for tens of thousands of clients. 

SourceOne User Directed Archive (UDA) feature is being investigated for 2013.  The benefit is retention, for in reality the seven year retention period is not enforced.  Using UDA, users will be able to store email into archive storage for permanent storage, allowing the remaining email to be purged at seven years. 

The benefits that SourceOne delivers for Exchange are mailbox storage management (with short cutting attachments), retention management and long term archive storage with EMC Centera for compliance.

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