In my opinion, good messaging professionals don’t view the limit their responsibility as the messaging ‘infrastructure’, they take a much more holistic view.
They don’t just cover the nuts and bolts (and chips and disks) of the email servers, but look at all messaging in the organization. That includes everything from the MX records, the antispam service/software, the email footers/disclaimers, the email servers, the archive solution and PST files on the clients.
Yes, you heard me, it also includes PST files on the clients.
All to often I hear messaging teams saying the PSTs are a desktop team issue, because the file sits on the client workstation. Then I hear the desktop team saying it contains email so it’s a messaging team issue. Ultimately this just leads to no one taking responsibility for them and the ball gets well and truly dropped in the big gap between the messaging team and the desktop team.
This, flawed, strategy can work for a time, in many cases it works (or has worked) for years. The servers and infrastructure are all running fine, mail is flowing, life is good (while we turn a blind eye to the end users experience corrupt PSTs and lost email when their drive fails and the PST has not been backed up).
Where it all comes crashing down is when you get a discovery request – “find me all the email relating to X subject between this list of custodians”. Easily done for the ‘on the server’ email data, not quite the case for lots of custodians, each with lots of PST files. How many desks can you get around to in a day? Copying PST files from each one, having to find disconnected (no longer in use in Outlook) PST files some of which might be on the client workstation, others that might be on a fileserver somewhere.
It doesn’t take long for it to become obvious that there is a huge risk – remember you could have as much, or more email in PST files than you have in the Exchange server.
Are you going to tackle this proactively ? It’s not as difficult as you might think…