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In today’s highly-regulated business environment, having an email policy is no longer optional. You must have an email policy to ensure that your organization is protected against litigation and is compliant with the statutes governing your industry. It is also a good idea to have an email policy to help protect the performance of your email platform and to reduce the storage cost associated with your live email data.

Netmail Archive enables organizations to implement corporate-wide email retention, storage, and compliance management rules by creating pre-defined archiving and storage tasks called policies. Policies created using the Netmail Administration Console contain archiving and publishing settings which are then applied to selected user accounts in your email system. Netmail Archive supports an unlimited number of policies that enable administrators to set unique email retention criteria for specific groups of users.

These policies are scheduled to run as a server-side process that is transparent to end users. Policies may be scheduled to run once or multiple times. Policies can also be used to carry out run-once tasks. For example, policies can be created to archive the contents of an inactive account, thereby enabling administrators to eliminate that account from the messaging system.

As a starting point to create policies with Netmail Archive for implementing your organization’s email retention policies, you should review your existing email and records management policies. Then you should decide what kind of policies you need to address the long-term records retention and records management needs of your organization.

Policy Overview

There are many types of policies that you can create which may be applied to selected email accounts. The following list is a brief introduction to the types of policies you may want to consider implementing within your organization:

  • Email Usage Policy: An email usage policy should include code of conduct, system usage guidelines, and an email confidentiality clause.
  • Email Retention Policy: An email retention policy is an organizational policy that identifies the retention and deletion requirements for email within the organization. If end users are given the ability to delete messages, then the policy should provide a clear definition as to what constitutes a business record and what constitutes a transitory record that can be deleted.
  • Email Deletion Policy: An email deletion policy is crucial to an organization unless you plan to keep information in perpetuity. So an email deletion policy takes into account that you will need to delete information when it is no longer valuable or when the regulatory requirements have been met. Your deletion policy should take into consideration all forms of email messages, including corporately archived messages, privately archived messages, and backups of messages.
  • Email Archiving Policy: An email archiving policy is critical when defining the expectations and procedures for retaining and storing electronic messages within the organization. While it is an operational policy, it should take into consideration what data will be stored in your primary messaging systems, what data will be stored on online archive systems, and what data will be stored on near-online or off-line systems.

To start using Netmail Archive, first you must create, apply, and deploy policies. Netmail Archive includes several pre-defined sample policies to help system administrators get started as soon as possible. The sample policies are pre-created policies that are available in the Netmail Archive Administration Console and are provided to you as recommended best practices. You can use these sample policies right away or customize these sample policies to better suit the epolicy requirements of your organization. Sample policies are displayed on the left-hand side of the Netmail Archive Administration Console in the tree under the Netmail Archive  Policies object. To view detailed criteria assigned to each of these policies, click the name of the policy, such as Sample Archive Policy, to open it.

Creating a New Policy

This section describes how to create and manage pre-defined policies for automated or manual archiving of single or multiple accounts. From the tree menu on the left-hand side of the Netmail Administration Console, click Archive > Clusters > <Cluster Name> > Policies to open the main Policies screen where you can create a new policy.

To create a new policy:

1. Click the Create button at the bottom of the screen to open a new dialog box.

2. Under Name, specify a name for the policy you would like to create, and then click Create.

Your policy now appears in the tree under the Policies object.

3. Click the name of the policy you just created to open the policy and begin specifying policy criteria.

Specifying Policy Criteria

There are three different tabs that allow you to configure various policy settings. The settings you apply depend on the type and purpose of the job to which you will assign this policy. Each of these tabs will be described in the same order as the layout of the Netmail Administration Console. By default, when selecting a policy, the Policy Criteria tab is displayed. The Policy Criteria tab allows you to configure the basic message selection criteria for a policy.

Mailbox Quota

Mailbox Quota is used only for Policy objects that you apply to Archive Agent jobs. This feature allows you to use archiving as a means of controlling the size of users’ mailboxes. When you select this feature, you can specify a maximum mailbox size and/or maximum number of days a message can reside in the live mail system before it is archived. Under Mailbox size bigger than [x], enter the maximum allotted mailbox size (including attachments) in MB or GB. Under Messages are older than [x] days, enter the number of days a message can remain in the live system before being archived.

Note:  If both criteria are defined, then both criteria must be met in order for messages to be archived. For example, if the maximum mailbox size has been reached, only those messages satisfying the Messages older than [x] days criterion will be archived. Similarly, messages older than the specified x number of days will be archived only when the maximum mailbox size has been reached.

Message Selection

Under Message Selection, specify the types of messages are to be selected by this policy, and therefore processed by the job to which the policy is assigned.

The following available message types match the Exchange item types:

  • Mail
  • Appointments
  • Tasks
  • Notes

Date Properties

Under Date Properties, specify a particular time period to apply to your policy criteria. Only items which have a Created Date value within the specified period will be selected by the policy, and therefore processed by the job to which the policy is assigned.

Note: For calendar based appointments, the comparison is made to the Scheduled Date attribute rather than to the Created Date attribute.

 You can specify the From date as the Beginning, which corresponds to January 1, 1970, as a number of days prior to today's date (x days ago), or as a specific calendar date. The To date can be a chosen calendar date or a number of days prior to the current date. For policy use with Archive Jobs, the latter option effectively lets you designate the number of days a message is allowed to remain in the email account before it is archived.

Search Scope

The Search Scope settings are used only when the policy is assigned to an Archive Agent Job. They are designed to help optimize the archiving process when it is carried out regularly. Under Search Scope, use the available options to select which messages you want the Archive Job to inspect against the other policy criteria.

The settings are used as follows when processing each account assigned to the Archive Job’s user list:

  • Process all messages: This option, in conjunction with archive job, results in the processing of every item in the mailbox within the specified date range, regardless of its published flag (see below).
  • Process all unpublished messages: This option saves time by making use of the published flag which previous executions of an archive job have set on successfully archived items.  When it is selected, the job first examines published flag on items within the date range to see if they have previously been archived. Only items which do not have the published flag set (i.e., have not been previously archived) will then be compared with the rest of the policy criteria to determine if they should be archived.  Items which have the published flag are skipped.

Important: After specifying your options, click Save to save your settings. If you do not click Save, your settings will not be saved when you click the Advanced tab.

Specifying Advanced Properties

The Advanced tab of a policy allows you to specify advanced message selection properties for the types of messages to be selected by the policy.

Search Properties

Using the available settings under Search Properties, you can inspect many of the other properties of items to decide whether they should be selected by the policy.

Note: When Netmail Archive archives an item from Exchange, it saves the Exchange properties of the item on the archived item. As such, these advanced policy criteria can be used on policies assigned to jobs acting on archive items, such as ILM Agent Jobs and Export Agent Jobs, as well as policies assigned to Archive Jobs. In actual fact, most organizations find that they rarely use advanced policy criteria on Archive Jobs, since they want to archive most or all items, but they do use them on ILM and Export Jobs, where narrower selection criteria are typically required.

The available item properties are:

  • Attachment name: Contains or does not contain a specified string
  • Attachment size: Compared to a specified size
  • Box Type: Incoming, Outgoing, Draft, or Personal
  • Busy Type: Free, Blocked, Out of Office, Tentative (for appointments only)
  • Categories: Matches a specified string
  • From Text: Contains or does not contain a specified string
  • Message body: Contains or does not contain a specified string
  • Opened: True or False
  • Personal Subject: Contains or does not contain a specified string
  • Personal: True or False
  • Private: True or False
  • Read: True or False
  • Sender: Contains or does not contain a specified string
  • Subject: Contains or does not contain a specified string
  • To: Contains or does not contain a specified string

Note: Netmail Archive supports the use of Regular Expression Searching (Regex). Regular expression searching provides a way to match advanced combinations of characters.

Date-based Filtering

For some date-based properties of items, you can specify a specific Date Range to be matched against.

  • Appointment Due Date: This option allows you to match against a date range during which a task in the calendar was scheduled for completion. Select Appointment Due Date, and then click the calendar icons to choose a range of dates (MM/DD/YYYY).
  • Task Completed Date: This option allows you to match against a date range during which a task in the calendar was actually completed. Select Task Completed Date, and then click the calendar icons to choose a range of dates (MM/DD/YYYY).
  • Mail Modified Date: This option allows you to match against a date range for the Modified Date property of the item. Select Mail Modified Date, and then click the calendar icons to choose a range of dates (MM/DD/YYYY).

Important: After specifying your settings, click Save to save your settings. If you do not click Save, your settings will not be saved when you click the Folders tab.


The Folders tab allows you to select which folders in the mail system accounts or archived accounts you wish to include or exclude from item selection.

Folder Selection

 Folder Selection allows you to specify which folders in the mail system accounts or archived mailboxes, depending on the job type to which this policy is assigned, will be processed by the job. You can choose to process items in all folders, or specify which folders to include or exclude in your policy. In this way, you can choose to process items from specific folders only, or to process all folders except for those that have been excluded.

The available folders are:

  • Inbox
  • Calendar
  • Notes
  • Tasks
  • Drafts
  • Deleted Items
  • Outbox
  • Sent Items
  • Junk E-mail
  • Recoverable Items

You can also create filter entries for non-system folders. Simply enter the name of the folder you wish to create in the text field, and then click the + button to add your folder to the list. Folder paths can be specified with a leading “\\” or without (e.g., \\Cabinet\Folder1 is the same as Cabinet\Folder1.

Select Recursive if you want to process a selected folder recursively.

Note: If you specify a non-system folder for inclusion or exclusion, you can alter whether the inclusion/exclusion applies only to the contents of that folder itself, or the folder and its subfolders. Using a trailing slash in the folder path, indicates that only this folder is included/excluded. Not using a trailing slash, implies that this folder and all of its subfolders are included/excluded. For example, \\Memos\Personal will include/exclude the Personal folder within the cabinet plus any subfolders of that folder, whereas \\Memos\Personal\ will only apply to the contents of the Personal folder, not any subfolders.

After making your folder selection, click Save to save your settings.

Important: If you do not click Save, your folder settings will not be saved when you start applying policies to jobs in the next section.

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