You can’t look at Exchange Server data management in isolation. When you’re planning a management solution, you must consider it in the context of the following:

  • Storage infrastructures are often shared among applications, so Exchange storage allocations and platforms are often affected by other enterprise storage initiatives
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which are tightly coupled with Exchange storage, are influenced by myriad business and service-related factors
  • Exchange storage is influenced by enterprise-wide archiving and compliance initiatives
  • Exchange data management decisions are ultimately derived from business drivers and factors
  • As such, many organizations consider Exchange data management as just one component of an overall enterprise data management framework, which in turn is a component of an overall service management framework.

    Formal guidelines to help organizations craft in-house procedures that help deliver a quality IT service have emerged in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practice recommendations. The ITIL guidelines are part of an overall IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) initiative; organizations often follow these guidelines in conjunction with the relevant standard (BS15000). A full description of the itSMF initiative and its relevance to Exchange data management is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice any organization that is gearing itself towards itSMF certification will need to implement policies and procedures that mandate effective data management. (You can learn more about the ITIL at http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=2261.)