Email size limitations and performance

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    I’m sure there are similar posts somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find anything that quite describes my dilemma. I handle IT for a company and at the current time we’re running Imail from Ipswitch. The users are on Outlook and many of them are also accessing email with a variety of handheld devices. For quite a few years it has been a stable email system, but recently I’ve started having problems with performance and IMAP service shutdowns. Imail stores messages in MBX files and I have users with 3+ GB files with one at over 6 GB. I’ve hounded these users for years about the issues associated with using email as a file server and have pleaded with them to keep their folder sizes down to a reasonable level. They resist and in some cases simply refuse to heed my warnings. The owner and her daughter tend to be the worst offenders, especially when it comes to the resistance.

    Anyway, Imail support deems an MBX file over 2 GB as a problem and I’ve embarked on a quest to get users if they are going to keep large amounts of email to organize it separate folders by year or even months if the file sizes are still not low enough. My target size for these files is no larger than about 500 MB. While I do have some of them complying, the couple that are most resistant are of the opinion that I don’t know what I’m taking about and a switch to Exchange will solve all their problems. I’ve been resistant to moving to Exchange not because Exchange is bad, but that the Imail works fine for them as long as they are compliant with best practices and they don’t need all the other features of Exchange. But, they keep hearing Exchange hype and are determined to prove me wrong about the Imail performance by exploring on their own an Exchange migration.

    So, I guess my question would be what kinds of issues does Exchange present when saddled with users that simply will not get rid of tons and tons of emails and are resistant to organizing it in a more sane manner if they are going to keep tons and tons? What are the issues with trying to migrate tons and tons of email to Exchange?

    BTW, I have tried to convince them to at least archive and no dice.


    Exchange copes well with large mailboxes – I support users with 20Gb or more.
    IMHO it is better to keep emails (even large volumes) on the server since you are then in control and can back it up etc. If you try to keep users under a limit, particularly if they have Outlook as their client, you descend into PST hell, where users store business critical emails anywhere they like (local drives – so not backed up, network shares – unsupported for PSTs, and anywhere else they think they can).

    Migration – mainly time to move everything to the mailboxes, and user education to throw out the ancient jokes, cat videos and all the other “critical” emails they will hold in a death-grip

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