PST explosion threatens email management

Gartner has found that that the most difficult aspect of email management is establishing and enforcing email retention policies, in new research that looks at the best practices in eliminating local email archives.

To underscore its analysis, Gartner cites data on PST inventory volumes in a typical 10,000 person organisation from C2C, a provider of email, file and messaging management solutions.

The C2C data identifies that a typical 10,000-person organisation might have the more than 35TB of PST inventory, comprising:
*  25,000 PSTs for current employees;
*  10,000 PSTs from former employees;
*  Average PST size = 1GB;
Of these:
* 11,000 PSTs are on desktops or laptops (total size = 11TB);
*  5,000 PSTs are orphaned and have no apparent owner;
*  20,400 are on intended PST file storage; and
*  3,600 are scattered on other storage.   
"Most mail retention guidelines (created a decade ago) were designed to maintain small server-side mailboxes so the IT group could meet backup windows, assure system availability and fast recovery, as well as minimising the need to buy more disk space," said gartner analyst Matthew W. Cain.

"Consequently, the compromise was to allow users to create personal (not server side) archives stored on their PCs or on network file shares. These small mailbox/personal archive policies were typically put in place when the role of email in litigation was minimal and the application of records management discipline to email was not a consideration.

“The consequences of this approach to email retention have been profound. In 2012, many organisations have large repositories of messages that go back a decade or more in personal archives such as Outlook PSTs."

"As identified by the Gartner case study, organisations need to carefully plan and execute their email retention policies to successfully serve the needs of legal personnel, records managers, IT administrators and end users," said Dave Hunt, CEO of C2C.

"The size of the challenge can be massive when you take into count the pure volume of both known and unknown PST files throughout an enterprise. Thankfully, PST remediation doesn't have to be a complicated undertaking. By following best practices and using an automated solution that will discover, manage, migrate and eliminate PSTs based on company policy, it can be easy to serve each audience effectively."

C2C's PST Enterprise(TM) solution is a strategic software tool which allows organisations to manage the elimination and migration of Microsoft Exchange PST data throughout their entire network. PST Enterprise supports a range of actions once PST files have been discovered to help email administrators best manage PST data for simplified administration, eDiscovery and overall corporate data protection.

The C2C PST Enterprise solution operates as a stand-alone product which can be used alongside existing email archive software products or in combination with the C2C ArchiveOne Enterprise email management, eDiscovery and retention solution.

A trial version of PST Enterprise is avilable at