The US Army began enforcing size limits on mailboxes with a deadline of today. DoD Enterprise Email (DEE) business accounts are now limited to 4GB by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) while basic users are limited to 512MB. The 512MB quota for basic users went into effect on March 12th while the 4GB quota went into effect today.
The size limitations are being implemented to reduce costs and improve performance of the email system impacted by large mailbox sizes. Users over 4GB were sent warnings and instructions on how to manage their mailboxes between the program’s announcement and the implementation deadline according to the Army CIO Leader Blog. Additionally, an alert was posted on the Army IT Help Desk page to the email that informed users of the service change:
No later than 1 October 2015, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will begin enforcing size limits on DoD Enterprise Email (DEE) mailboxes in accordance with the Enterprise Service Level Agreement. Its effect will improve email operational performance, the users email experience, and help stabilize storage consumption costs across the Army. To ensure the continued use and performance of your DEE mailbox, it is imperative that each user maintain their mailbox within its size limit. If your mailbox currently exceeds its limit, take the necessary actions to reduce its size to avoid an impact to service.
Impacts to your DEE service as a result of exceeding the size limit:
- You will receive a warning notice to reduce your mailbox when it approaches the authorized limit.
- You will lose the ability to send email when the mailbox reaches its authorized limit.
- If you fail to take action to reduce the size of the mailbox, then:
- You will also lose the ability to receive email
- A non-delivery notification will be received by anyone attempting to send to your mailbox
The last steps will come at the 700MB mark for basic users and 4.6GB for business users.
At least one user posted about their experience trying to troubleshoot a problem that arose due to the quota enforcement. They described a problem on the Army subreddit with troubleshooting steps where an email account was being treated as over the quota limit while Outlook hid the true size with emails being duplicated but hidden.
In an article on Army.mil from early August, a possible solution is to archive folders to a .pst file stored on the local drive or a shared drive.
It is especially important to note that users can still store everything they were storing before, just not in their Outlook inbox. Additional email can be stored in personal folders as .pst files located on local drives or shared drives in accordance with local command policies.
This is a little surprising as offline storage brings its own slew of problems with failing desktop drives and server share I/O and locked files preventing backups from completing. It must be a different culture to be able to say “if you didn’t back it up, it must not have been important.”