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Troubleshooter: Automating the Removal of Email Attachments

We have many users who have large attachments in their mailboxes. Do you know of an automated way to remove the attachments without disturbing the original messages?

You've hit on a tricky problem. The easy solution to space-hogging attachments is to get rid of them, either by imposing mailbox size limits or using Mailbox Manager in Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 5.5. If you want to keep the messages, your options are somewhat limited. For Exchange 2000 or Exchange 5.5, you can use a third-party product, such as VERITAS Software's VERITAS NetBackup Storage Migrator (which sweeps attachments to a hierarchical storage-management system) or CommVault Systems' Galaxy Backup & Recovery (which can selectively archive messages based on size).

Alternatively, you can use any number of reporting tools to find the largest messages, then take an automated action, such as deleting the messages or sending the message owner a nastygram. Don't forget to check the Deleted Items and Sent Items folders for large messages; users often forget to clean out these folders.

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