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Microsoft Exchange PST Capture

 

Microsoft Exchange PST Capture allows you to search for PST files on computers in your organization and then import those files to mailboxes in your organization. PST Capture works with both on-premises Exchange servers and Exchange Online.

This topic provides an overview of PST Capture. For details about how to install PST Capture, see Install PST Capture.

PST Capture is comprised of the following components:

  • PST Capture Central Service   At the heart of PST Capture is the PST Capture Central Service. The Central Service maintains the list of all PST files found in your organization and manages the data as it’s moved to the Exchange servers or Exchange Online.
  • PST Capture Agent   Discovery of the PST files is performed by PST Capture agents that are installed on computers in your organization. The agents also send the PST files they find to the host computer when an import operation is started on the PST Capture Console.
  • PST Capture Console   The PST Capture Console is the interface you use to configure PST searches, specify the target mailboxes for PST files, and track the status of PST import operations and reports. You can also use the console to import PST files stored on network attached storage (NAS) devices, on which you can’t install PST agents.

For optimal operation, you should install the PST Capture Central Service and the PST Capture Console on a dedicated computer, known as the PST Capture host computer.

Communication between the PST Capture Central Service and the PST Capture agents is achieved through a polling mechanism. Each minute, all PST Capture agents poll the Central Service for configuration updates and any pending tasks by default. If necessary, you can change this polling frequency (for details, see Configure PST Capture Settings). When a PST Capture agent contacts the Central Service, it receives any pending actions, such as a PST search or import operation. The PST Capture Agent then sends status updates from previous actions to the Central Service.

When you configure and run a PST search from the PST Capture Console, a new PST search action is queued for the PST agents that are installed on the computers included in the search. These agents scan the local computers on which they are installed for PST files and then return the list of PST files that were located to the Central Service. For detailed steps about how to perform a PST search, see Search for PSTs Using PST Capture.

When you configure and run an import operation, a new import action is queued for the PST agents that are installed on the computers where the PST files reside. These agents transmit the PST files to the Central Service. The Central Service then logs on to the destination mailboxes and imports the data. For detailed steps about how to import PSTs, see Import PSTs using PST Capture.

When using PST Capture, the greatest impact on network utilization is when the actual PST data is being transmitted over the network. When you import a PST file to a mailbox, it is first copied from the client computer where the PST Capture agent is installed to the staging area on the host computer where PST Capture Console is installed.

If you import PSTs to your on-premises mailboxes, the PST data is sent to your Exchange organization through your Client Access servers. Therefore, as a best practice, we recommend that the network connection between the host computer and your Exchange servers is a low latency, high bandwidth connection.

If you import PSTs to your cloud-based mailboxes, the PST data is sent directly to the cloud from the host computer.

Because the movement of PSTs over the network can consume a lot of bandwidth, you may want to schedule the PST import operations during off hours. This is especially true if you have a low bandwidth connection between the host computer and the client computers, such as branch office scenarios.

PST Capture requires a service account. Depending on how you use PST Capture, a different set of permissions is required for the service account. The following table provides the permission requirements for each usage scenario.

 

Scenario Permissions required

Installing PST Capture

  • Local administrator privileges on the computer where you want to install the PST Capture Console or PST Capture agent.

Searching for PSTs

  • You must be logged on with local administrator privileges on the computer where you run the PST Capture Console.

Importing PSTs to mailboxes in your Exchange Online (Office 365) organization

  • You must be logged on with local administrator privileges on the computer where you run the PST Capture Console.
  • The user account you specify on the Online Connection Settings tab of the PST Capture settings must be assigned the Organization Management role.

Importing PSTs to mailboxes in your Exchange Online (BPOS) organization

  • You must be logged on with local administrator privileges on the computer where you run the PST Capture Console.
  • The user account you specify on the Online Connection Settings tab of the PST Capture settings must be an Exchange Online administrator account.

Importing PSTs to mailboxes in your on-premises organization

  • You must be logged on with local administrator privileges on the computer where you run the PST Capture Console.
  • The user account that the PST Capture Central Service uses must be mailbox-enabled.
  • The user account that the PST Capture Central Service uses must be assigned the Public Folder Management role in your Exchange organization.

Importing PSTs to archive mailboxes in your on-premises organization

  • You must be logged on with local administrator privileges on the computer where you run the PST Capture Console.
  • The user account that the PST Capture Central Service uses must be mailbox-enabled.
  • The user account that the PST Capture Central Service uses must be assigned the Organization Management role in your Exchange organization.
 
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