To stub or not to stub?

February 12, 2009 - 12:00

Over time stub files will impact negatively on Exchange Server performance

Most companies have never considered the impact one, untraceable email can have on an organization or an individual’s career. With so much information contained within email, it is not surprising that industries and governments are insisting that all email should be retained for legal and compliance reasons. Not only, but a proper email set up solves major problems for systems administrators.

A survey carried out by GFI showed that just over 51% of SMBs do not archive corporate email with 33% using their email client and PST files to store email correspondence. This approach to email archiving creates massive problems for administrators who need to search through PST files on individual workstations for emails while the unreliability of PST files can prove to be a serious legal liability.

The task of managing email is often split between the system administrator and the end user however relying on end users to backup corporate email is risky to say the least. The optimum solution, which gives administrator full control over corporate email management while allowing users to keep and access old or deleted emails, is to use email archiving.

There are a number of archiving technologies in use today and solutions that integrate with Microsoft Exchange Server and the Outlook client predominantly use stub files to archive their emails. According to an August 2008 paper from Microsoft, the use of stubsdoes not, however, really avoid the problems that stubbing was meant to prevent.

The use of stub files may address one’s email archiving needs but it also creates thousands of small stub messages that affect both Exchange Server’s storage capabilities and overall performance. Using Exchange’s journaling feature, however, not only eliminates the need for stub files but it also improves performance. GFI is today issuing a White Paper whichexamines these two types of archiving technology and explains why IT administrators should stop using stub files to archive email.

 “Over time, an archiving solution working on hundreds of mailboxes will create thousands of small stub messages. Each of these stub messages may be between 2 and 15 kilobytes and still amount to a performance hit since item counts is the primary performance driver for the Exchange store rather than aggregate size,” GFI states in the white paper.

To download a copy of the white paper, please visit

For information on GFI’s email archiving and email management software, GFI MailArchiver™, visit

About GFI
GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. With award-winning technology, an aggressive pricing strategy and a strong focus on small-to-medium sized businesses, GFI is able to satisfy the need for business continuity and productivity encountered by organizations on a global scale. GFI has offices in the US, Malta, UK, Hong Kong and Australia which support more than 200,000 installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with over 10,000 partners worldwide. GFI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. More information about GFI can be found at