Story and photo by Dustin Senger
Authorized Army e-mail inbox size limits are set to increase, but first, they must shrink.
An Army enterprise e-mail migration is expanding mailbox storage limits, up to 40 times, while allowing access from any computer with a common access card reader, according to officials at 7th Signal Command, Fort Gordon, Ga. The upgrade is requiring a move from local mail servers to centralized Department of Defense systems.
Network Enterprise Centers are urging Microsoft Outlook users to clean out their inboxes for a smooth succession.
After the migration is complete, standard e-mail account storage will grow to four gigabytes – that’s enough room for more than 2,000 high-resolution photographs. The space can accommodate 100,000 text-only e-mails. What’s more, the new e-mail account limits permit bigger attachments.
The latest system also allows mailboxes to remain active during relocations and improves calendar-sharing privileges and global contact lists.
Kevin Smith, Network Enterprise Center chief of desktop services at Fort Carson, expects to begin switching users at the Mountain Post later this summer. The process will take a week, maybe two, he said.
“The more data on our exchange servers, the more chances for data corruption during the migration,” said Smith. He supervises a team of information technology specialists and system analysts at the Mountain Post.
Many Fort Carson accounts are pushing current storage limits, said Smith. He is encouraging users to decrease the size of their mail server footprint to allow a rapid transition with minimal troubles.
“The most common misconception is that deleted e-mails no longer reside inside mailboxes,” said Smith. “Until the deleted items folder is deleted, the information is still taking up space.”
Sent items folders are another concern and require consistent attention to remove needless clutter.
“We love PSTs,” said Smith, referring to files called “personal storage table,” a Microsoft file format for storing Outlook messages and calendar events. “They remove e-mails from our exchange servers and put them on hard drives. It shifts the burden off our mail servers.”
Fort Carson system administrators will undergo enterprise e-mail migration training, followed by the preparation of information management officers, the trusted first-responders for a unit’s computer problems.
“We’ve done several migrations over the years,” he said, “but this time it’s different since we’ll no longer have control of the exchange servers.
“As long as everyone gets their storage sizes down, everything should be a near zero touch for the IMOs.”
Armywide e-mail migrations are projected to continue throughout the year.