APG Cash Drawer had hosted Outlook mailboxes of over 300 employees on Exchange Server, which were duly maintained with the necessary backups. The mailboxes of former employees were also maintained as archived data on the server.
APG Cash Drawer needed to restore and rebuild some of these archived mailboxes for gathering evidence to facilitate an investigation in line with a court discovery order. This needed mailbox data restoration — conversion of EDBs to extract the mailboxes as PSTs — from multiple backups on the Exchange server.
This was a cumbersome task, because mailbox database restoration natively needs a lot of time and space to mount the recovered databases, and it can only be done singly - one at a time.
Also, some employees – while leaving the organization – had deleted sections of their mailboxes, which were crucial with regard to this case. This posed a technical challenge, because the Recoverable Items folder (dumpster) in Exchange Server retains the data only for a limited duration, after which it is removed.
APG Cash Drawer tried out a few methods and software to restore and rebuild these archived mailboxes but without the desired outcomes, and therefore decided to go with Stellar Toolkit for Exchange.
APG Cash Drawer faced 3 key challenges:
Exchange Administrators make diligent efforts to maximize server performance. In this regard, it's crucial to restrict the EDB file size within the recommended limits, archive the older mailboxes, and take routine backup of the data.
And that's what the server management team at APG Cash Drawer had been practicing, so they had all the mailboxes (live and archived) available with the necessary backups. However, there were several mailboxes (mostly archived) that were distributed across multiple backup files due to size restrictions.
So, when the need to restore and rebuild the archived mailboxes arrived, it came as a challenge – due to the spread of mailbox data across multiple backups, inefficiency of native methods, and the need for maintaining the restored data integrity. Considering the situation, the APG team decided to explore a more specialized solution to address this problem.
APG's Exchange Administrator decided to take the software route for fulfilling this need. The primary need was to fully restore the specific archived mailboxes -including the deleted mailbox sections -as PSTs, and this had to be done in the shortest duration. Also, the software was expected to function with minimal assistance.
APG purchased the Stellar Toolkit for Exchange (Technician Edition) and used the Exchange mailbox recovery tool to extract the archived data as PSTs. This was done by opening the backup files (EDBs) in the software and accessing the archived mailboxes to get the data. Mailboxes can be exported via the Exchange interface but that takes up a lot of time, especially if the server is at its peak capacity.
Stellar Toolkit for Exchange expedited this mailbox restoration task by quickly scanning the database files. It allowed a preview of all mailbox items to help choose the items that needed to be extracted. The required mailbox data was then easily exported to readable PST files.
The software-based mailbox recovery process involved the following steps:
APG Cash Drawer restored all the archived mailboxes, with minimal monitoring and manual intervention. Also, the mailbox restoration and rebuilding process was completed within the defined timeframe. The Stellar Toolkit for Exchange also helped APG to restore the deleted emails that had been removed from the Recoverable Items folder.