DISA cracks down on email storage

DISA cracks down on email storage

The Defense Information Systems Agency recently announced that it will be coming down harder on users who use too much email storage.  Effective Oct. 1, DISA will enforce the existing Department of Defense Enterprise Email (DEE) service-level agreement  mailbox size limit, which DISA says will lower costs and improve efficiency and Microsoft Outlook start-up times.

DISA has not enforced storage limits for users in two categories: the basic class, into which most users fall, and which a maximum storage capacity of 512MB; and the business class, which allows for 4GB of storage.  Despite the majority of the Army’s more than 1.4 million DEE account users abiding by the declared email storage limits, DISA discovered that as recently as July 31, 2015, 75,000 Army personnel were storing more than 4 GB of mail. More than  7,700 user mailboxes exceeded 10GB.  So much email storage negatively affects the entire Army system, rendering it slower and thus inefficient. 

An auto-generated warning will now appear for those at risk of exceeding their storage limits -- warnings for basic users will appear at 410MB, while warnings for business users will appear at 3.7GB.  For those whose warnings go unheeded, a second warning will be sent advising that they will not be able to send emails until space is cleared.  If an archive continues to grow – beyond 700MB for basic users and 4.6GB for business users – a third and final warning will be sent informing those users that they will no longer be able to receive messages until space is cleared.  A non-delivery notification will be sent to those sending mail to an outsized account.

“The warning emails serve as a heads-up for users, to remind them to clear out extra emails before their mailbox size starts to impact their ability to use the email system,” said John Howell, product director, Enterprise Content Collaboration and Messaging.

Users can still store files they had previously, just not in Outlook inboxes, DISA noted.  Emails can be stored in personal folders on local drives.  “We have resources and information available to help individuals who aren't sure how to get a handle on their email's storage issues,” Howell said.

This article was changed Aug. 18 to correct John Howell's title.

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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Reader Comments

Wed, Aug 12, 2015 Pentagon User

Someone just has to say it the Emperor has no clothes. Everything about DEE is a whitewash. They talk about the cost but don't mention many of the costs that the Army as a whole has to swallow. Even the migration to EE forced individual units to cover much of the cost. The reason, they did not want to pay for a product, because that would show up as a cost of DEE and they could not have that because they kept telling people about the mythical cost saving that EE would bring. There should be a congressional inquiry to determine the true cost of EE. I think claims of cost saving will be shown to be false.

Wed, Aug 12, 2015

DISA has already begun removing attachments from mail. They give a link to allow you to recover the attachments, but the link does not work. Very few of the people I have talked to were able to recover these archived attachments. When I complained about this and other DISA EE failings, I was told that complaining about EE was "a career limiting activity." How are we ever going to make the system better if we can't point out its shortcomings? I find it hard to blame those who violate Army regulations and use commercial services, at some point you need to get the job done.

Tue, Aug 11, 2015

DEE was never about savings or support to soldiers. It was about the ego of the former Dep G6 CIO and other crony GO's who have embraced good enough IT. They failed to realize that good enough for them is diff than for those below them. DEE was sold to congress based on bogus CBA that took the desired outcome and created the facts to support it. Those IT professional who disagreed were considered untrustworthy

Tue, Aug 11, 2015 Dumb and Dumber

The original requirements for DEE were that the AVERAGE of mailbox sizes would not exceed 512MB for basic users and 4GB for business class users. DISA has consistently misunderstood what that means, as this announcement confirms. The approach is just plain stupid, since users must now waste their time sifting through their emails and deciding which to archive somewhere else. Deleting emails is a great way to end up blamed for something that you can no longer defend against. DISA is shooting the Army in the foot, once again demonstrating the disconnect between the DISA ivory tower and real world.

Tue, Aug 11, 2015 Dedicated Soldier Washington DC

If state department email is like DEE, then no wonder why Hillary Clinton set up her own email in her house. When they first introduced DEE they said it would have unlimited storage, be cheaper, be better than Army Knowledge Online email, and all DOD will begin using it. Well after using it for almost three years, I have got to say that DEE has failed in all four areas. Of course nobody cares how miserable it has made email for the common soldier and in the Pentagon, they dare not speak about DEE cost over runs and how more and more soldiers are using personal email for Army business. Every soldier used to be able to get their Army email and calendar on their phone using AKO. Now only the leaders can. Us grunts, we still get Army email and calendars on our phones, but we use Google instead. My unit's drill calendar is all on Google since it is the lowest common denominator that everyone can access. Different users have different needs and different access to computers and networks. Going to a one solution fits all approach has set Army IT back years and has pushed under-resourced soldiers (low rank soldiers and members of the national guard and reserves) to commercial services. Bring back AKO.

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