Stu's Techno Geek page

IT Tips,Tricks,News and other neat thoughts to help make life easier for Small Businesses

Thursday, July 07, 2005

E-mail Space, The Reality

Its 9 o’clock on a Monday morning and you need to reply to an important e-mail from your boss and you see an e-mail from “System Administrator” telling you that you are over your mailbox limit. You try to reply and you can’t. Panic comes over you as you realize that this will effect your review AAAARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Alright, so it’s a bit over dramatic. Here’s reality. You only have so much room on the servers for e-mail. Your IT staff also realizes that our business requires you to keep detailed records of correspondence with clients and vendors. We understand, really we do. At my company we allow each user to be able to keep an incredible amount of e-mail both on the server and off. A search on the internet shows that most companies allow between 10 and 50 MB of data on the servers. We allow 400 MB on the server AND allow space on the network shares for the archive folders to grow to approximately 250MB before they are asked to have it placed on CD.

Now for some IT math. Don’t worry there won’t be any tests. An average e-mail without an attachment is approximately 5kb. There are 1000 kb to a megabyte (MB). That means that there are 200 e-mails per MB. Most users then would be able to have between 2,000 and 10,000 e-mails (At 400 MB of space you have the ability to have approximately 80,000 e-mails) inside your mailbox. That is a lot of mail for the most hardcore addict.

I know, I know. You don’t have that many e-mails and you are still out of space. Well there is another factor. Attachments. These files are counted in your use of space. So if you have 10 emails that have 10 MB worth of attachments, guess what, you just used 100 MB of space with only 10 e-mails.

“What can I do?” Ah yes, what can you do……………

1. Delete, Delete, Delete. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. Be honest with yourself. You don’t really need that joke that was sent by your mom from last Christmas. Go through ALL of your folders. This includes Sent Items. Do this on a weekly basis. If you do it regularly you will be surprised how much easier it is to keep the size down.

2. Duplicates are Redundant. Instead of copying everybody on your team and each of you keeping a copy, just have one copy besides the one in your sent items. Copy your team e-mail address instead of individual users if it really needs to be kept for the whole team.

3. Attachments KILL. We all get ‘em, we all need ‘em, what do we do with ‘em? Here is what you do. Save the attachment to a team shared drive and remove it from the e-mail. You shouldn’t work from the attachment while in Outlook anyway.

4. CD’s aren’t just for Breakfast anymore. More and more machines are coming with a CDRW as standard equipment. Break down your Auto-archive folder or Personal Folders (.pst file) into logical time periods as different files and burn the old data to CD. Use more than one file at a time if you need to, they don’t cost anything. Now that your data is in a logical time order, let ‘em burn baby, let ‘em burn. You can always pull it back off of CD if you need to get to it.


With a little diligence you will never have to worry about those nasty warnings again.

22 Comments:

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