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Understanding what’s new in Exchange 2013 for Archiving and eDiscovery

With the release of Exchange 2013, Microsoft has delivered its third attempt at filling the need for email archiving and eDiscovery for its flagship email application Exchange. In the past, Microsoft largely viewed archiving as a curiosity and left it to the domain of 3rd-parties. Beginning with Exchange 2007, Microsoft introduced large, low-cost mailboxes allowing users to keep multi GB’s of mail. They also added basic features to meet compliance related requirements such as multi-mailbox search and legal hold.
With Exchange 2013, Microsoft goes one step further to close the gap with 3rd-party email archiving solutions for archiving and eDiscovery. The question remains whether or not the archiving and eDiscovery features provided with Exchange 2013 are “good enough” or if a 3rd-party solution is preferred.

New Features for eDiscovery

For eDiscovery, Exchange 2013 introduces the ability to search across Exchange and SharePoint with a single search. This new capability partially eliminates the frustration of users having to search Exchange and SharePoint separately for legal discovery. Exchange 2013’s discovery capability still lacks the ability to search PST’s unless they are re-introduced into Exchange, cannot integrate with litigation or case management systems and cannot index or search files stored on network shares. Finally, keep in mind the new SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery Center for searching Exchange and SharePoint only supports the new 2013 versions of Exchange and Sharepoint. There is no support for searching data stored in prior versions.

New Features for Archiving

The archiving features for Exchange remain largely unchanged from Exchange 2010. Large, low-cost mailboxes up to 25 GB remain, as do Personal Archives which have been re-named “In-place Archives”. OWA basic search was improved to include In-place Archives, but In-place Archives remain inaccessible to mobile devices and to Outlook for Mac. Exchange 2013 improves legal holds with a new feature it calls “In-place Hold”. With Exchange 2010 legal holds were placed on an entire mailbox, now a legal hold can be placed on a single item following a query search or based on age or keyword content.

The Key Question

For organizations, the question remains whether or not the basic archiving and eDiscovery capability provided with Exchange 2013 is good enough. The answer of course varies for each organization. An important factor to consider is how your organization plans to deploy Exchange. In the past, Exchange has been largely deployed on-premise. With Office 365, many organizations are adopting a cloud-based email services for its cost and deployment advantages. Organizations with heavy legal discovery loads will favor 3rd-party archives for their ability to search all content – email, files and SharePoint without being restricted to the latest version.


One Response

  1. Well in the case of México the compliance MAAGTIC-SI which has a mix of ISO 27001, ITIL V3, ISO 20000 and so on, doesnt permit to store information out of Mexico, so Office 365 is not a choice.
    Thats a key opportunitie for storage the Exchange data in excelents hws like VNX Series

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