Managing Exchange Server 2010 : Archiving and compliancy (part 2) - Messaging Records Management

2/5/2011 9:41:13 AM

2 Messaging Records Management

Messaging Records Management (MRM) policies in Exchange Server 2010 are comparable to rules in an Outlook client. With these policies, an Exchange Administrator has the ability to automate the processing of email and simplify message retention. Examples of reasons for implementing MRM rules are things like: your company needs to comply with requirements from Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or the US Patriot Act.

With Messaging Records Management it is possible to:

  • Configure retention policies on users' mailboxes.

  • Configure settings on specified folders so that messages in these folders are sent to another recipient.

One way to implement MRM is by using "Managed Folders," which involves an Exchange Administrator creating one or more custom folders and an associated custom folder policy. This policy can be responsible for, as an example, messages being deleted after 180 or 360 days, but the user is still responsible for moving the individual messages to the custom folder.


Managed Folders and an Archive Mailbox are not compatible. If you are using Managed Folders on a particular mailbox and you want to create an Archive, the creation will fail:

You have to migrate the Managed Folder solution to a Retention Policy solution before implementing an Archive Mailbox.

New in Exchange Server 2010 is the implementation of MRM using "Retention Policies" and "Retention Tags." Retention Tags specify if retention is enabled, how long a message (which can be a note or a contact as well) should be retained, and what action will be performed when the retention age is reached. Messages are processed by the Exchange Mailbox Server based on the retention tags and those tags' content settings. When a message reaches the retention age limit specified in the tag, it can be archived, deleted, or flagged for user attention.

Using Retention Policies, it is now also possible to store only messages with a maximum age of 3 months in the user's mailbox, and store messages older than 3 months in the Archive Mailbox. Suppose there's a Human Resources department within your organization, and all messages older than 3 months should be stored into the user's Archive. The following steps have to be followed:

  • Create the necessary Retention Tags which define when an action should be taken (i.e. when the retention time of 3 months have passed).

  • Create the Retention Policy that defines what needs to be done when the retention time has passed (i.e. move to the Archive).

  • Apply the policy to the mailbox.

Creating the Retention Tags and the Retention Policy cannot be done with the Exchange Management Console, only with the Exchange Management Shell. You'll need to open the Management Shell and enter the following command to create the Retention Tag:

When the tag is created, the results will be shown immediately:

[Edited for readability]

The next step is to create the actual policy that defines what RetentionTags are included with this policy:

Again the results will be shown immediately:

[Edited for readability]

Now the policy with the retention tags needs to be applied to the user's mailbox, in our example, Katy Price from the HR department, and the Managed Folder Assistant needs to be started. To do this, enter the following commands:

When the Managed Folder Assistant has finished applying the policy, you can check the mailbox and its archive. For the user "Katy Price" in our example, the mailbox has shrunk from 1.5 GB to "only" 430 MB. The remaining 1.1 GB of mail data has been moved to the archive.

Figure2. Messages have been moved to the Archive when the Managed Folder Assistant ran the policy.

The Managed Folder Assistant is running on the Mailbox Server where the user's mailbox resides. To change the schedule when the Managed Folder Assistant runs, open the properties of the Mailbox Server in the Exchange Management Console and go to the Messaging Records Management tab. Be careful when you schedule the Folder Assistant to run, especially when a lot of mailboxes are initially managed, and a lot of data needs to be moved.

In that situation, the Managed Folder Assistant will consume quite a lot of resources very quickly.

When creating the Retention Policy Tag using the New-RetentionPolicyTag, the –RetentionAction parameter defines what action needs to be taken when the policy comes into play (In our example, the "MoveToArchive" was selected). The following options are available for the –RetentionAction parameter:

  • move to archive

  • move to the Deleted Items folder

  • delete and allow recovery

  • permanently delete

  • mark as past retention limit.

Whether the tag applies to the entire mailbox or a specified default folder is determined by the tag's Type property. You can create default policy tags of the following types:

  • All

  • Calendar

  • Contacts

  • DeletedItems

  • Drafts

  • Inbox

  • JunkMail

  • Journal

  • Notes

  • Outbox

  • SentItems

  • Tasks

  • RssSubscriptions

  • SyncIssues

  • ConversationHistory

  •  Managing Exchange Server 2010 : Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
  •  SharePoint 2007 : See What Files or List Items Are Checked Out to You
  •  SharePoint 2007 : Publish a File or List Item
  •  SharePoint 2007 : Use the Datasheet View to Add, Edit, or Delete Items and Files
  •  Exchange Server 2007 : Configure the Client Access Server - Manage Exchange ActiveSync
  •  Exchange Server 2007 : Configure the Client Access Server - Manage OWA
  •  Exchange Server 2007 : Configure the Client Access Server - Administer the CAS Role
  •  SharePoint 2010 : Operations Management with the SharePoint Central Administration Tool (part 6)
  •  SharePoint 2010 : Operations Management with the SharePoint Central Administration Tool (part 5) - Reviewing Security Settings in SPCA
  •  SharePoint 2010 : Operations Management with the SharePoint Central Administration Tool (part 4) - Reviewing Backup and Restore Settings in SPCA
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