Saturday, October 3, 2009

Messaging Records Management (MRM) in Exchange 2010

I've been reading up qutie a bit the last few days about some of the new features in Exchange 2010 when it comes to managing messages in an organization. I'm happy to say that there is finally a viable solution for enterprise customers who want to implement a retention and archiving policy, complete with logging and the ability to adhere to a compliance policy.

I wanted to write a post about the new features and to have this as a reference for myself and others. There are some new concepts which make up MRM in Exchange 2010. Microsoft's Technet web site does a great job of outlining step-by-step procedures for enabling them...but it does take some time to read.


Overvivew
The MRM features of Exchange 2010 consist of Mailboxes, which have Retention Policies assigned to them. Within the Retention Policies there are Retention Tags which define the rules for managing items.




Retention Tag
A Retention Tag is the at the core of your MRM strategy. The tag contains several variables such as it's name, the folder it will take action on (i.e. Deleted Items folder), how long before the policy is applied (i.e. 90 days), and what action will be taken when the time limit is reached (i.e. move to archive). To create a new retention tag using PowerShell:

New-RetentionPolicyTag "RT-FIN-90-DeletedItems" -Type DeletedItems -AgeLimitForRetention 30 -RetentionAction PermanentlyDelete

or

New-RetentionPolicyTag "RT-FIN-365-Default" -Type All -AgeLimitForRetention 365 -RetentionAction MoveToArchive -IsPrimary $true

NOTE: Don't forget to add the "-IsPrimary $true" to your tag if it's assigned to a new retention policy since the policy needs a default tag. If the primary tag value isn't set, it isn't a default retention tag and the policy creation will throw an error.
Retention Policy
The policy contains the tags you define. You can add and remove them to suit your needs. A retention policy can be assigned to a mailbox or distribution group (maybe even a database but I'm not sure yet). To create a new Retention Policy and assign tags to it:

New-RetentionPolicy "RP-Finance" -RetentionPolicyTagLinks "RT-FIN-90-DeletedItems", "RT-FIN-365-Default"

To add tags to the policy:

Set-RetentionPolicy -Identity RP-Finance -RetentionPolicyTagLinks "RT-FIN-90-DeletedItems","RT-FIN-365-Default","RT-FIN-180-Voicemail"

NOTE: When you add tags to a policy, be sure to "Get-RetentionPolicy | FL" first so you don't accidently forget to assign a previous tag. In other words, when you apply the tags to a policy it will overwrite the settings.

Finally, add the policy to a mailbox:

Set-Mailbox "JasonShave" -RetentionPolicy "RP-Finance"

Seeing it in action...
When you've created your tags, assigned them to a policy, and linked the policy to a mailbox. You can run the Exchange Managed Folder Assistant manually to see how the policy affects the mailbox. The command for this is:

Start-ManagedFolderAssistant


(custom tag called "Tag-DeletedItems")


TIPS
  1. Work with your organization's HR, Security, IT teams, etc. to define the requirements for retention and archiving.
  2. Create a naming convention for your tags and policies.
  3. Test the policies on a mailbox with non-critical data first!
My only complaint thus far is that a GUI hasn't been built for most of the new records management features. For example, you can't create/edit/delete retention tags or policies using the Exchange Management Console or the Exchange Control Panel. This is a great step in the right direction overall though.

Cheers!

No comments:

Post a Comment