So it’s been a while since I discussed some of the Exchange 2010 Archiving features here, so the time has come for an update on what has changed or is about to change in this space.  During my recent trip to Microsoft’s TechReady internal training, from regular Microsoft field personnel feedback, it became apparent that there still are a fairly large number of customers looking for information on the native archiving components of Exchange 2010.  In my previous blog post on the archiving features in Exchange 2010 SP1 I detailed many of the big changes that came in that release including things like the ability to host the user’s archive mailbox on a separate database from where the user’s mailbox resides.  So what else is new since then?

One of the big changes that has happened in this space post the release of Exchange 2010 SP1 is full support of Outlook 2007 with the Exchange archive.  Previously, the only way an user was able to access their Exchange 2010 archive was to use either (in order of preference) Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App to view, access and configure the user’s archive.  Included in the December 2010 Cumulative update for Office 2007, is full support for these features.  The main difference between Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007’s support of the Exchange archive is really that Outlook 2007 doesn’t have the ability to have integrated search across both the user’s mailbox and their archive, and there is no ability to create archive policies in Outlook 2007 (though the user could create them in the 2010 version of Outlook Web App.  The Microsoft Exchange team blog has an article that covered this new Outlook 2007 archiving support in detail if you’d like a bit more info.

The other notable change that I mentioned in my previous blog post on Exchange 2010 SP1 archiving features was the ability to have the user’s mailbox on premise, but have their archive mailbox in the cloud.  What’s coming is this will be a supported scenario with Office 365 and is currently in limited beta, with a public beta coming later this year.  (Keep tuned to my blog for future updates on this.)  For those of you who have attended one of the recent TechNet events where I show what this looks like, a graphic of the Exchange Management Console with a mailbox like this is below.

#5 O365 Exchange Recipient Config - on premise view - cropped

This picture comes from a working demo environment where the on-premise Exchange 2010 org is federated with Office 365 in the cloud.  Pretty cool.  The idea here is to offer a service where a company that has invested in the hardware and storage for an on-premise Exchange 2010 environment can extend the amount of available space for users without having to provision more storage in their current environment.

For those of you who were unable to attend the Microsoft TechNet event series “Transforming IT with Cloud Computing Firestarter” where I cover Office 365, feel free to download the PowerPoint Presentations from my previous blog post.

Those customers who are signed up for the Office 365 beta (feel free to sign up and get wait-listed if you haven’t already at www.office365.com) and have been provisioned can test out this scenario today.  For those of you who are currently waitlisted, have no fear, we will get to you before the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year.  Smile 

Feel free to sign up and very soon you’ll get the opportunity to kick the tires!