Exchange Server 2010 has built-in archiving features to help manage user mailbox sizes. The Personal Archive is essentially a second mailbox assigned to the user. Mailbox content is then archived manually, via rules, or using Retention Policies.
The Exchange 2010 archive mailbox can be located in the same mailbox database as the user's primary mailbox, however Exchange Server 2010 SP1 added the option to store the archive mailbox in a different mailbox database.
There are several benefits to locating personal archive mailboxes in a dedicated archive mailbox database.
- Maintain smaller mailbox databases for primary user mailboxes, allowing for faster backup and recovery of the more important mailbox data
- Exclude archive mailboxes from Database Availability Group replication
- Use a different backup schedule for archive mailbox data
- Consolidate archive mailbox storage to a single database or single Mailbox server
- Store archive mailbox databases on separate storage
Although some people might think that archive mailboxes can be stored on cheaper, slower storage, remember that Outlook clients do not cache the archive mailbox and so the I/O load on the archive database could potentially be very high if it is being accessed by a lot of users simultaneously.
Creating an Exchange Server 2010 Archive Database
To create an archive mailbox database in Exchange Server 2010 start by simply creating a new mailbox database.
Next, use the Exchange Management Shell to disable automatic mailbox provisioning on the new database.
[PS] C:\>Set-MailboxDatabase "Archive Mailboxes" -IsExcludedFromProvisioning $true
This will prevent the mailbox provisioning load balancer from choosing the archive database when creating new user mailboxes.