You have analyzed your current exchange store and deciding to buy a 3rd party solution so your users can maintain the large amount of emails they are accustomed to and retain all emails for legal/business purposes, and here are the options.
- Buy the Barracuda Message Archiver ( website link: http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/products/archiver-overview.php) which is a really simple installation and maintenance. I have used this before, and it gets the job done. I did have issues with restoring emails after being exported, but after some conversion and importing to pst files it worked. This isn’t my first pick, but is widely popular for message archiving.
- Buy GFI Mail Archiver (http://www.gfi.com/mailarchiver/) which is probably the most popular software mail archiving programs out there. Installation is a bit complex, but not extremely difficult. When purchasing buy at least 1 year of maintenance because you will be on the phone with them for the first month or two after implementation. This has various platforms to run on (SQL only, SQL + File System, and 2 others using SQL Express that you SHOULD NOT use). I wish they would simplify the installation with only one option, because it’s the best in almost any situation. SQL + File System gives the best reliability and scalability.
Using any of the above solutions will work wonders for retaining and keeping a lean exchange store. You will use Exchange’s built-in retention policies to keep all mailboxes at reasonable levels and never again will you have users screaming of slow outlook that is bloated beyond belief. I will mention that doing any of these solutions is a considerable time commitment when you factor importing old emails to these systems. In the end, it will give you peace of mind that you will always have copies of ANY email that your company receives, no matter what the user does with it. All these systems use journaling to essentially copy the message to these systems before the user touches it.