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Thread: Backing up local Outlook folders

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    ewilen's Avatar
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    Default Backing up local Outlook folders

    Okay, this is (somewhat) Zimbra related, but it's not directly connected to ZOC so I'm putting it here.

    I'm just wondering what other sites do when it comes to performing network backups of local outlook folders (.PSTs) that people use either to manually file mail or as targets for Outlook's auto-archive feature.

    Apparently Outlook doesn't let backup programs touch the .PSTs while OL is open. I've seen some add-ons that get around this by periodically making local copies. Or do you just tell folks to close Outlook when they leave for the day? What about laptop users?

    Another issue is the growth of PSTs and the fact that whenever a message is added/subtracted/modified inside of one, the whole file is going be backed up by the incremental. Do you just figure that Zimbra server storage is cheap and discourage use of offline stores? Do you backup PSTs on a reduced (e.g. weekly) schedule? Does use of PSTs drive your need for backup capacity? Or are PSTs just not a big deal?

    Would love to hear other people's experiences and strategies for dealing with this.

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    kirme3 is offline Trained Alumni
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    One thing you may want to look at for .pst files is
    Personal folder files are unsupported over a LAN or over a WAN link

    We don't really have any major policy on them here, but a lot of our support is decentralized to different groups, so it is really up to them. Some people save them on a network share, knowing full well to be sure and close Outlook. Some only have them on local disk and make personal backups on occasion. We even have some with logon scripts that automatically copy the most up to date version of it to a network location.

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    ewilen's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. I did find some other info. The most elegant options seem to be either disabling PSTs altogether or investing in a backup system that only copies the portion of files which changes from version to version. As for the way that OL locks PSTs, it seems some backup systems have features such as "open file support" (Tivoli) or VSS (Bacula).

    We're investigating the marginal cost of a backup system with the necessary features, although I suspect server-based storage/backup is the cheaper approach.

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