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Quota Based Archiving - How it works and why you may wrongly believe it does not!!!

Level 6

Summary of How Quota Based Archiving Works

Quota based archiving will keep a users mailbox below the limit set on the Mailbox through Microsoft Exchange. For example if you have “Issue Warning at 200MB” and the Enterprise Vault policy applying to that particular user is to keep 20% Storage Limit Free then Enterprise Vault is tasked with keeping the mailbox at or below 160MB.

Enterprise Vault has a wealth of different setting that can be configured and the setting to keep 20% Storage Limit Free is only one of those. In brief the following is configurable.

- Archive Unread Items - Yes/No
- Archive Deleted Items – Yes/No
- Message Class of Items to Archive – Configurable.
- Shortcut Expiry
- Start with Items Larger Than – Configurable
- Never Archive Items Younger Than – Configurable.


You may see the following Event at times for one or multiple users.

Type: Warning
Date: 12/12/2008
Time: 02:47:18
Event: 3367
Source: Enterprise Vault
Category: Archive Task
User: N/A
Computer: EVServer
There were too few archivable items available to take mailbox '/o=Test/ou=Symantec/cn=Recipients/cn=Genie' below the quota-free level of 75.

Quota limit: 358400 KB
Quota used: 92547 KB (25 of Quota limit)
Required to archive: 3584 KB
Actual amount archived: 1028 KB

You may need to review your mailbox archiving policies to allow more items to be archived if you regularly see this warning for mailboxes.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

Scenario's that may cause users to go over quota

The question, how can a user be over quota when Enterprise Vault is set to keep the user below quota is one commonly asked and Enterprise Vault is unfairly blamed as not working corretcly when in fact it is working exactly as set. ;)

Scenario 1
Customer has limit set of 200MB in Exchange. EV is set to keep the mailbox 20% less than this so at 160MB. Customer has set do not archive anything younger than 25 days and the above Event is generated.

This is due to the fact that the items in mailbox younger than 25 days equal 170MB and as the policy setting is set to not archive these items Enterprise Vault cannot bring the mailbox below quota.

The solution would be to review the policy in place, perhaps relaxing the number of days or the 20% below quota setting perhaps? Something has to give as in effect the settings contradict each other.

Scenario 2
Customer has limit set of 200MB in Exchange. EV is set to keep the mailbox 20% less than this so at 160MB. Customer has been archiving for some time and now receives the Event above.  The customers policy sets shortcuts to contain a 100 characters after archiving and recieves the event ID shown above.

The user in question has 170Mb worth of EV shortcuts in there mailbox, and as these are items that are already archived they cannot be archived again.

Solution here would be to perhaps implement shortcut expiry to remove older shortcuts.

Scenario 3
Customer has limit set of 200MB in Exchange. EV is set to keep the mailbox 20% less than this so at 160MB. Customer has third party application that creates its own message class for items in Outlook. Again users receive the Event above.

In this case the issue was that the message class concerned was not set to archive.  The mailbox concerned had over 160MB of these items in and again EV was unable to archive these items and thus bring the user below quota.

From the above hopefully you know get the picture that just setting the quota based option to keep below X% is not a be all and end all setting that can overide the opther variables. Ask yourself the question, could any of these settings be causing this?