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Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

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  • Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

    Hi,

    I appreciate this can be quite an open question and obviously its down to the organisations policy. But how long generally do you all keep email backups for, for both people who have left the organisation and cycle your backup media?

    Obviously you could have a policy of 3 years and when the time came to it when you needed to refer to something that "might" be in someone mailbox who left years ago its not guaranteed to be there.

    Answers on a postcard or preferably within this forum

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

    A lot depends on country and industry, but I tend to go with 7 years in case of UK tax investigations
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

      So with the likes of email - do you backup acocunts to PST's and then just have those PST files in a central backed up store? Or just leave the accounts but disable them and then hide from the global address book?

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      • #4
        Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

        We use Symantec Enterprise Vault. Good product, but not cheap.

        I try to avoid PSTs at all costs. They have a tendency to spontaneously combust after a while, aren't supported for use over a network, and are a pretty inefficient storage medium.

        Exchange 2010 has some built in archiving (I think it's basically another mail store) or you can archive to Public Folders to keep everything central. Depends on storage and backup capacity though.
        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
        sigpic
        Cruachan's Blog

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        • #5
          Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

          Originally posted by cruachan View Post
          We use Symantec Enterprise Vault. Good product, but not cheap.

          I try to avoid PSTs at all costs. They have a tendency to spontaneously combust after a while, aren't supported for use over a network, and are a pretty inefficient storage medium.

          Exchange 2010 has some built in archiving (I think it's basically another mail store) or you can archive to Public Folders to keep everything central. Depends on storage and backup capacity though.
          So say you have a retention policy of 3 years. You have your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly backups. Are you maintaining a monthly backup and yearly backup for the full 3 years treating your 12 monthly backups as a year rather than backing up at the end of that year before they are added back into the next rolling cycle? Seems obvious to say yes - but am I correct?

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          • #6
            Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

            We only have full weekly, daily incrementals for EV. It archives every night so there's no point in having older backups than that. If it wasn't for the nightly archive runs we'd run full backups every day but there isn't the time window for it.

            Thanks to us having EV, I've never had to decide how we would manage retention periods doing things any other way. Policies set in EV can (if you want) start removing items from the archive as the retention period expires, but we don't use that at present.
            BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
            sigpic
            Cruachan's Blog

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            • #7
              Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

              On the grounds that server storage is cheap (ish) I would use the regular exchange mailbox databases (backed up) but with no special retention period for the backups.
              For some smaller clients, I do archive to PST, then keep server and optical copies of them
              Tom Jones
              MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
              PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
              IT Trainer / Consultant
              Ossian Ltd
              Scotland

              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

                I would add that the technical data retention needs to match the company's policy of data retention. In the US, for certain industries and corporations (like publicly traded ones), keeping email longer than what is stated in the policy could get them in legal trouble.

                For one company I consult for had the requirement to destroy email backups for terminated employees after 1 year.
                Regards,
                Jeremy

                Network Consultant/Engineer
                Baltimore - Washington area and beyond
                www.gma-cpa.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Email retention for people leaving - how long do you guys store for?

                  Originally posted by JeremyW View Post
                  I would add that the technical data retention needs to match the company's policy of data retention. In the US, for certain industries and corporations (like publicly traded ones), keeping email longer than what is stated in the policy could get them in legal trouble.

                  For one company I consult for had the requirement to destroy email backups for terminated employees after 1 year.
                  This is it, I guess its down pretty much to the company's policy and "laws" as such depending on what the line of business is.

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