Archiving features in MDaemon vs. MailStore

The topic of archiving recently came up in a discussion, and the question was asked, “Why does Alt-N offer a third-party solution when MDaemon comes with archiving built-in?” The answer: to meet the needs of those who want greater control, with the ability to fine-tune access control, storage location settings, retention settings, auditing settings, and much more. Which method you choose depends on what features you want – whether a simple archiving solution will suffice, or whether you want the ability to perform more complex tasks on mail archives, such as auditing, placing a limit on the mail database size, or placing a legal hold on archives for legal discovery.

MDaemon’s built-in archiving feature (located under Setup > Server Settings > Archiving) allows you to choose from two methods to archive mail. The simplest is to archive all inbound and outbound mail to a designated email address. This can be an internal or an external email address. If the address to which you are archiving mail is internal, then the messages will be stored within the Users directory, inside the folder that corresponds with that particular user. Using this method, one could access the archive via an IMAP profile from Outlook or another mail client, or from WorldClient. The other method would be to archive inbound and/or outbound messages to public folders. By default, only the postmaster has access to the Mail Archive public folder, however, you can delegate access for other users via the Public Folder Manager, located under the Setup menu. Whichever method you choose, archived messages are stored as .msg files on the mail server. This is the same format in which all other email messages are stored in MDaemon. All public folders are stored in the same location (by default, the C:⁄MDaemon⁄Public Folders directory). If you would like to archive to a public folder on a different physical drive, you can map a drive letter to another drive on your server or network, then edit the following line in the MDaemon.ini file (located in the MDaemon/App directory):

PublicFolders=C:⁄MDaemon⁄Public Folders⁄

All public folders must be stored in the same location. You can use the Pruning feature (Setup > Server Settings > Pruning) to delete messages from all public folders after a period of time, but this also applies to all public folders, not just the mail archive.

If you need a more complex archiving solution, you can use MailStore. MailStore allows you to archive from MDaemon, Exchange, and other mail servers. You can also configure MailStore to archive mail from email clients, such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, and Thunderbird. Archival of PST, MBOX and other file formats is also supported.

MailStore uses archiving profiles to archive mail. You can configure an archive profile that archives all mailboxes on the server, or just specific ones. You can also archive mail stored in your local Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, or other local clients. MailStore can also archive from a directory file system, PST file, or MailStore proxy. Further, MailStore can be configured to only archive messages that are older than a specific date or time range to suit your specific needs.

Retention policies can be configured so that users cannot delete messages from the archive within a designated period of time. This allows administrators to meet various operational or legal provisions.

Recall that all of MDaemon’s public folders (including the mail archive) need to be in the same directory. With MailStore, your mail archive can be offloaded to a separate physical drive, without having to move your entire Public Folders directory.

MailStore includes legal hold, retention policies, and auditor access. Access to mail archives can be delegated based on role (administrator, login, export, etc). You can also control what user activities are written to the Windows Event Log (when a user has changed a compliance setting, created an archive store, deleted or moved a message, logged on, etc.).

These are just a few of MailStore’s many features, but this should give you a better understanding of which archiving method is right for your company. For many small businesses, MDaemon’s built-in archiving features are sufficient, but if you need to offload your archive to an external database, with all of the extra compliance and reporting features, then MailStore will meet your needs.

You can learn more about MailStore here.

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