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Managing Managed Folder Retention

Created: 19 Sep 2012 • Updated: 20 Sep 2012 | 8 comments
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I'm trying to do something that MAY be out of scope.  Either that or I don't FULLY understand how to configure everything with managed folders, so here's the scenario:

We're running an Exchange 2010 sp1 environment and EV 10 here, and want to create two new folders that we archive off and then delete on a time limit.

Folder one: Users move things to this folder, and it's archived after 6 months.  After 4 years, we delete items from the vault, never to be seen again.

Folder two: Users move things to this folder, archived to vault after 6 months, then items stick around until the end of time or the user decides to delete them.

Inbox and all other folders: No action required by the user, items stick around for 6 months then get archived off.  After one year, they're deleted from the archive. 

I THOUGHT the best way to do this was to set up managed folders in Exchange and have EV run off of the settings from there for the first two folders, but with MSFT moving away from managed folders, this seems less feasible.  Also, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the rules.  Can anyone provide a good answer to this?  I'm likely overthinking it, but it's always great to get other opinions.

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JesusWept3's picture

So basically in Exchange 2000 and 2003 you had Exchange Mailbox Manager
You could tell it to go ahead and delete items from certain folders after a certain period of time.
For instance anything in \Inbox keep for 6 months, anything in \calendar keep for 2 years etc

In Exchange 2007 and 2010 they replaced the EMM with Managed Folders.
Managed Folders , among other things, allow for "Retentions" to be placed on the folder
Meaning that you can have
\My Folder 1\ --- have things stick around for 6 years before exchange deletes it
\My Folder 2\ --- have things stick around for 4 years before exchange deletes it.

The way enterprise vault works is it can do one of three things
1. Archive the folder as it would any other folder and don't worry about it being managed
2. Archive the folder and copy the items retention
3. Do not archive the folder at all

So in your case what you would do is you would have your main policy set to archive anything older than 6 months, and then set the archive policy to treat Managed Folders as "Managed" (as opposed to normal or do not archive)

Then what will happen is EV reads the managed folders retention and copies it in to Enterprise Vault and anything archived will be given that retention period

So for instance say with Exchange Managed Folders you gave everyone the following

\1 Year\   <-- with a retention of 1 year
\3 Years\ <--- with a retention of 3 years
\7 Years\ <--- with a retention of 7 years

If you were to set that as "Normal" for managed folders, then EV would give it the default retention for the archive (for instance maybe "3 Years" for all items regardless of folder)
If you were to set it as "Managed", then EV would copy the retention given, 1/3/7 Years, and assign it respectively

As for moving away from managed folders, i cant say i've truly been keeping up with whats happening in the next versions, but I have not heard this, but with the push for their own archives, it does not surprise me

Jeff Shotton's picture

You can do this. Your archiving rules seem consistent so all you are really managing is the retention, which can be set on the managed folder and is synchronised by the provisioning task.

See chapter 20, p345-349 of the administrators guide :

Alternatively you could use EVPM to set the retention policy on the folders (EVPM can also create folders) for a non-exchange managed folder solution.

set your default retention to be 1 year, and set a filter on the other folders to override the system default settings.

NB you cant use both methods together on the same folder - EVPM based filters are incompatible with managed folders (i.e you have to remove them from the target folders first)



Jeff Shotton

Principal Consultant

Adept-tec Ltd

Website: here

Nufane's picture

Thanks Guys,

Just so I make sure I'm understanding this correctly, even though the retention periods will be different for the managed folders, it's still going to archive after 6 months, but won't delete items from archive until after the managed folder retention period expired correct? 

I don't want things hanging out in Exchange for years until the retention period expires.

JesusWept3's picture

you would set up Exchange Managed Folders to have a retention for what you want your archived items to stick around for (for instance 4 years)....
you would set your archive policy to archive items after the inactivity period (for instance 6 months)
And then you would set your archive policy to do shortcut expiry to delete shortcuts in the exchange mailbox after a certain amount of time (for instance 2 years)

So in this scenario you would have say

\Inbox\3 Years\ <-- Managed Folder with 3 Year Retention
My Archive Policy <--- Archive anything older than 6 months, and delete shortcuts after 1 year

\Inbox\3 Years\My Message    (sent 06/01/2012)

12/01/2012 "My Message" gets archived and turned in to a shortcut
12/01/2013 "My Message" shortcut gets deleted (if it hasnt been manually deleted already)
12/01/2014 "My Message" is deleted entirely from Enterprise Vault due to expiry

Ovi One's picture

Will you have a large amount of items moving from regular folders under managed folders? I'm courious how that will go. I'm planning for something similar, did the testing and everything works as expected for 1 user. Meaning items are moved and retention updated to match the managed folder. For 2500 the story is going to be different. They will have one month to move emails/shortcuts since I provide the managed folder until I implement a new default retention. I expect A6 to be high for a very long time.

Nufane's picture

Hey Ovi, We'll probably have about 400 users with approx. 15 years of old e-mails to purge.  There will be a LARGE number of e-mails leaving the servers, so I expect this to take a while.

Follow-up question, when building the policy for our one Managed Folder, I need the retention to be infinite.  I know this may not be the right place to ask, but do I just NOT set a retention tag on it?

Ovi One's picture

You have to put something in (if you talk about exchange setup). I had to go with 9999 days since that's what Exchange allowed me as max. If you don't check the "Lenght of retention period", EV will not sync with Exchange and no retention policy will be automatically created for that managed folder. I have no idea what the impact would be with such a config and your mailbox policy set to "Managed".