The Exchange Team first indicated it was coming back in July 2011. We’ve been anxiously awaiting it ever since, and it has finally arrived. Microsoft’s free PST Capture Tool is available for download now.
This tool is designed to hunt down PSTs on your network and provide administrators with a management console which will enable them to either migrate the content to Exchange 2010 on premise, or to Office 365. It uses a client-server approach, requiring a management console to be installed on a server, and agents to be deployed to all systems which you want to scan for PSTs.
To use the tool you must first install the PST Capture Console onto a workstation or server with Outlook 2010 (64 bit) installed. During the install you specify the service account to use, and the port the service will bind to if you don’t want to use the default 6674. Then you install the PST Capture Agent on each computer that you want to search for PSTs. During the install of the agent you specify the FQDN of the Capture Console, and the port if you changed it from the default.
You’ll also need a service account that has been assigned permissions based on the import scenario you want to implement.
|Installing PST Capture||
|Searching for PSTs||
|Importing PSTs to mailboxes in your Exchange Online (Office 365) organization||
|Importing PSTs to mailboxes in your Exchange Online (BPOS) organization||
|Importing PSTs to mailboxes in your on-premises organization||
|Importing PSTs to archive mailboxes in your on-premises organization||
Running import operations can be bandwidth intensive. The agent will copy the PST files to the server running the management console. Then the management console server will either copy the data to a CAS server which will then copy it to a mailbox server, or if the destination is in Office 365, the management console will copy the data directly to Office 365. If you were keeping count, that means a PST might transit the network anywhere from two to four times, depending upon the source of the PST (local hard drive or network share) and the destination. It’s recommended that the management console server be local to the CAS server as well, and in the case of Office 365 customers, close to the Internet egress point.
With the release of the PST Capture Tool, admins now have a free tool to help finally eradicate PST files. Good hunting!