To Stub Or Not To Stub, That Is The Question…

By André Franklin


Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of convenient mailbox message stubs,
Or accept the clean simplicity of stub-less archiving…


… well… that is the question…


Ok…enough Shakespeare. What are you talking about?


When email archiving is performed to enable better email management, HP calls it selective archiving. In a word, selective archiving removes mail messages from mailservers. There are two popular selective archiving methods to manage mailservers:



  • with stubs

  • without stubs

So… what is a stub?


A stub is a substitute for a mailbox message that has been removed from a mailserver and placed into a dedicated archive. A stub contains a link to the original message and attachments that reside in the archive. The stub allows the original message and attachments to be retrieved from the archive through a user’s mailbox.


Only after messages are safely archived are they removed from the mailserver. Users remain within their mailbox quota limits as mailserver messages are deleted. This whole process improves email performance and reduces mailserver backup headaches. Assuming archive storage is lower cost per MB than Tier 1 mailserver storage, there are clear capital expenditure benefits for selective archiving.


(Note: archiving strictly for compliance purposes never uses stubs, but compliance archiving can be performed in addition to a selective archiving strategy).


What do I gain with each approach?


Stubbing:


A stubbed representation appears in the same place in a user’s mailbox as the message it represents. It allows for a single integrated list of both mailbox and archived messages. Stub messages are very small in comparison to the messages they replace. When used with policies that automatically remove, archive, and “stub” messages (often based on message age), users can experience a sense of “infinite mailbox”, and without the massive mailbox capacity that would give some mail administrators a heart attack.



Not-Stubbing:


There is no possibility or “stubbing” software causing problems with the mail client. Mail messages and messages classes are not modified. Archived messages that have been removed from mailserver mailboxes are presented to users as a special “archive folder” (no view of mailbox messages).


We’ll look at more of the benefits and “gotchas” of each approach in my next post.


 

Comments
(anon) | ‎10-16-2009 12:12 PM

Hey, that was interesting,

Thanks for the explanations, this has been a really helpful post..

Anyway, thanks for the post,

Keep up the good work

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