Firstly a bit of context:
I'm managing a business network with 30 windows workstations, each one has Outlook installed and configured for an Exchange account. The Exchange server grant 4G of space per account, but many users will fill up this space quickly. Till now the solution was quick and dirt: a local pst archive where to tranfer all old emails to make room for new ones. It works, but, it's a local archive and need to be backed up regularly to prevent loss of the emails in case of problems with the pc. Backing up a pst file is...tricky, since Outlook need to be closed and a large file must be copied over the network (even 10G for some users) or using some incremental backups like rsync (a pain to setup). This could hardly be done automatically (just because Outlook need to be closed) and not all users are able/willing to.
Yesterday i came up with an idea: Why not set up a local IMAP mail server and configure an IMAP account instead of the local pst file? This way all users could store theirs old emails in this local account that might be easily backed up on the serer.
But...it seem too easy...and i don't find any reference to alike solution till now, so i was wondering:
where is the problem? What am i missing? Do you think that this would be a viable solution?
New facts and problems:
- IMAP is a bidirectional protocol (it permit to upload emails) *;
- Outlook (and other email clients) will force to configure also a SMTP server, this should be solvable using a fake SMTP server (to be verified);
- Upload emails to an IMAP account seem a slow process (to be verified on the local network);
- This method could work, but still seem an overkill
*** Or it use SMTP to upload?