The Problem with PSTs
You probably know that Messaging Architects offers Netmail PST Radar, a PST management tool designed to solve the PST problem. But you may be asking yourself, "Why are PSTs such a big problem?"
First, let’s review the basics of PSTs. PST, an abbreviation for Personal Storage Table, is a file type used in Microsoft software including Exchange; the file extension is .pst. To store important information received via email, an Exchange end user can save an email record as a PST file. The end user has good intentions: he sleeps well at night knowing his essential data is safely retained in PST format. Also, space gets freed up in his mailbox (because the PST file gets removed from his mailbox quota). The end user is well-intentioned, but what looks like a solution to the end user is actually a big problem for the IT department!
Firstly, while the size of the end user’s mailbox decreases when a record is saved as a PST, the organization’s overall storage demands do not decrease. The PST file is still stored somewhere on the network. (The operative word is somewhere --- we’ll get back to this in a minute.) Sure, an end user might eventually delete the PST file or remove it from the network on a flash drive, thereby freeing up storage space, but this demonstrates the second big problem with PST files: the use of PST files can lead to loss of data from the email system, which can result in fines, sanctions, lost time and productivity, and more.
Ultimately, the problem with PST files is that they are not centralized. They are somewhere on the network, but where? They contain important data, but how do we find the data? They take up storage space, but how much? And how much is that storage costing?
In today’s world, it is necessary for an organization to archive its email system. To be successful, email archiving must be a planned and policy-based initiative that includes correcting the PST problem.
Tune in next week for Part Two of my three-part series on PST files. Now that we understand the PST problem, we’ll delve into ways to correct the problem.
Don’t forget to watch our brand-new "Netmail PST Radar Overview" on YouTube!
– Jane Bolton Lacombe
Jane is the Product Marketing Coordinator at Messaging Architects.