Email archiving

Hello dear fellow LESbians :)

I would like your precious feedback on the "Email archiving" subject. The need is to keep all domain emails (Inbox, Sent + User folders) archived centrally for future reference.

Current setup

Domain email is setup on @jarland 's awesome service. Six users (currently but expecting the number to grow) connect via Microsoft Office Outlook POP3 and download their emails. All messages are saved locally on Outlook .PST (which is a PITA to manage and backup). This setup is problematic both because of PST management and issues with mobile devices (IMAP devices don't see Sent emails that were sent from Microsoft Office Outlook).

What I would like to accomplish

  1. Keep Microsoft Office Outlook (since they don't want to switch to another email client) and setup all clients to use IMAP.
  2. Setup a "solution" that will archive all emails for all users on a device within the business (not on a cloud service). Older emails (definition of older to be decided) will be removed from the IMAP server and only kept on archive.
  3. Users or/and the IT admin will need to have access to the archive, whenever needed.
  4. The "solution" should be able to archive directly from IMAP server (all main folders like Inbox, Sent, ect + any user created folders)
  5. The "solution" should be able to be scheduled. Probably quite a few times per hour.
  6. I would prefer a "solution" that does not require to create a catch-all mailbox. Just the users' mailboxes (no need to worry about changing passwords, because the users can not change it).
  7. For starters the "solution" should support 10 users (expecting to grow)
  8. Easy to backup the "solution" (like copy files, (my)SQL backup, etc. NOT something ugly like .PST)
  9. The "solution" should be able to work without any email client installed on the machine (since it will not be installed on users' computers).
  10. Linux or Windows (but preferably Windows)

I am evaluating both free and paid solutions.


What I have seen so far:

https://www.mailstore.com/en/products/mailstore-home/
Pros: Free, Windows, Really (really!) easy to use, Easy backup of archived data, additional feratures
Cons: Scheduling via Task Manager is impossible (or very hard even - found the way to run it through TS but the process remains running (so it doesn't run the next schedule).

https://www.mailstore.com/en/products/mailstore-server/
Pros: Same as above
Cons: 295€ for just 5 users and the price increases as the number of users grow

https://www.mailpiler.org/
Pros: Professional email archiving, Open Source
Cons: Needs extensive setup, needs addition catch-all mailbox, not very user friendly, needs resolvable hostname on the running mailpiler server

imapsync
Pros: Easy to setup
Cons: Needs to setup an additional IMAP server (within the business) to copy messages to, which I would rather avoid.


How would YOU handle such a case? Thoughts, opinions, discussion....

Tagged:

Comments

  • This is something I am also trying to do.... lost years and years worth of Yahoo emails due to not logging in the account... (lost it couple years ago, so if there is a legit way to get past emails restored, even for a payment, please advise)

    Also heard multiple reports that Gmail accounts have been disabled without notice, so better to have a backup...

    Don't mean to hijack OPs request. Thanks!

  • bdlbdl OG
    edited November 17

    I use http://www.offlineimap.org/ and rclone :) I like extracting to mbox as easy to search and efficient to rsync/rclone to storage

    (and http://gmvault.org/ for gmail)

    Thanked by (1)MaxKVM
  • beaglebeagle OG
    edited November 17

    I always found this Qnap solution very sleek but never found an open source alternative:
    https://www.qnap.com/solution/qmailagent/en/

    Maybe NextCloud, but its email app doesn't seem as polished as Qnap's:
    https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/mail

  • no need to worry about changing passwords, because the users can not change it

    This is a disaster waiting to happen. If a user's account is used to send illegal email (e.g. leaking corporate secrets), the user can deny they ever sent such email because they could argue to the court that someone else knows the password.

    The "solution" should be able to archive directly from IMAP server (all main folders like Inbox, Sent, ect + any user created folders)

    You can build a proxy IMAP server that automatically archives the email. Users will connect to the proxy IMAP server; the proxy connects to the original, and also saves a copy of any email passing through.

    If you keep the proxy open source, the user cannot deny they sent certain email by arguing someone else coded a backdoor in the proxy.

    Thanked by (1)Not_Oles

    https://yoursunny.com/ stallion coder; push-up specialist
    Using boxes from SmartHost, Gullo, Evolution Host, MaxKVM, Virmach, summer-host.

  • @yoursunny said: This is a disaster waiting to happen. If a user's account is used to send illegal email (e.g. leaking corporate secrets), the user can deny they ever sent such email because they could argue to the court that someone else knows the password.

    Totally agree with you on that. But on such a tinny scale, the chances of something like that happening seem to be slim :)

    @yoursunny said: You can build a proxy IMAP server that automatically archives the email. Users will connect to the proxy IMAP server; the proxy connects to the original, and also saves a copy of any email passing through.

    Quite right. The thing is that the "solution" needs to be setup locally. And since the users will use mobile devices outside the company, will bypass / never use the proxy on these devices :(

    @beagle said:
    I always found this Qnap solution very sleek but never found an open source alternative:
    https://www.qnap.com/solution/qmailagent/en/

    Synology (which they are using) seems to have a similar app. Worth looking into that :+1:

    @bdl said: I use http://www.offlineimap.org/ and rclone :) I like extracting to mbox as easy to search and efficient to rsync/rclone to storage

    Will look into that too.

  • edited November 17

    https://www.mailstore.com/en/products/mailstore-home/
    Pros: Free, Windows, Really (really!) easy to use, Easy backup of archived data, additional feratures
    Cons: Scheduling via Task Manager is impossible (or very hard even - found the way to run it through TS but the process remains running (so it doesn't run the next schedule).

    That is not true, I have made an easy script with a scheduler on windows, now it syncs 4 accounts. So it's possible.

  • @Elmo said:

    @yoursunny said: You can build a proxy IMAP server that automatically archives the email. Users will connect to the proxy IMAP server; the proxy connects to the original, and also saves a copy of any email passing through.

    Quite right. The thing is that the "solution" needs to be setup locally. And since the users will use mobile devices outside the company, will bypass / never use the proxy on these devices :(

    You can enforce the users accessing emails via the proxy.

    The proxy IMAP server shall be deployed in the cloud, so that it's always accessible. It streams a copy of every message to the on-premise archive database.

    https://yoursunny.com/ stallion coder; push-up specialist
    Using boxes from SmartHost, Gullo, Evolution Host, MaxKVM, Virmach, summer-host.

  • personally I use imapsync (https://imapsync.lamiral.info) to archive my email weekly. Which I run on my home server and backup the encrypted mail to s3.

    the ugly think about this setup, passwords stored in plain text

  • @royed said:

    https://www.mailstore.com/en/products/mailstore-home/
    Pros: Free, Windows, Really (really!) easy to use, Easy backup of archived data, additional feratures
    Cons: Scheduling via Task Manager is impossible (or very hard even - found the way to run it through TS but the process remains running (so it doesn't run the next schedule).

    That is not true, I have made an easy script with a scheduler on windows, now it syncs 4 accounts. So it's possible.

    Thank you for your comment. I found how to schedule it :)

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