Mailbox Size in Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Explained
Exchange Online comes in a variety of flavours and each subscription offers various addons and features. In this article, we are going to explain the various subscriptions of Exchange Online and the difference between these subscriptions.
For Exchange Online, there are two sections — Office 365 and Microsoft 365. The difference between them is that Office 365 offers mailbox (depending on the subscription), OneDrive, and SharePoint Online. Microsoft 365 offers the same features but it also comes bundled with the Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) and Windows 10 Enterprise. Here are the new plans of Microsoft 365.
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft Business Premium
These plans have all the Exchange Online features. There is another subscription — Microsoft 365 Apps, which does not feature the mailbox. However, most users purchase this subscription to gain the Microsoft Office Applications and the software assurance around it.
The Business Premium package also comes with Advanced Threat protection and PC/Mobile device management to manage the device in your business.
Now in all these subscriptions, the mailbox size is of 50 GB, with an online Archive available with unlimited storage, using the Exchange Online Archiving. This is only available on the subscription of Microsoft 365 Business Premium. The Business Basic and the Business Standard did not include the Exchange Online Archiving before but recently it has been added as well. This can be verified on the service description of Microsoft on the Online Archiving.
The Exchange Online Archiving creates a separate file or database for the archive where emails which are marked as archive or being passed on by a policy in the Information Rights Management (IRM) are stored. In the Exchange Online Archiving, this is stored on cloud and synchronized locally.
If you wish to have more storage on your primary mailbox, you will need to shift your subscription to the Enterprise level. Microsoft 365 Enterprise comes in the choice of Microsoft 365 E3, E5 and F3, which was earlier known as Microsoft 365 F1.
There is a substantial difference in the prices of Business and Enterprise editions. This is because the Enterprise edition offers a log of features which are not found in the Business plans or you need to purchase them separately. Once you move to the Enterprise plan E3 or E5, the primary mailbox size is increased to 100 GB.
The Enterprise plan comes with the installation of a fully managed Windows 11 Enterprise operating system. This is a huge leap as you would have a fully managed operating system with software assurance. Apart from this, you will also get Information Rights Management, Advanced Analytics, Azure Active Directory Premium, Microsoft Defender, Azure Information Protection, and many more features.
If you want some users to have 100 GB mailbox, this doesn’t mean that you need to have all the licenses with the Enterprise model. Microsoft offers the opportunity to mix and match your subscriptions in the same tenant. For Example, you might have first line workers who do not use a computer and access all their needs from a mobile device or tablet. This would not be a sensible decision to go with a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license where most of the features will not be used. You could easily go with a Microsoft 365 F3 or Office 365 Enterprise E1.
It is a good practice that before migrating to Exchange Online, you would do the preliminary work and assessment of the users to identify the use of the mailbox and other features which are needed by the user or department. A clean-up of the current system where you would decide that a mailbox can be migrated to a shared mailbox rather than a full mailbox or the mailbox could be easily converted to a distribution group or Office 365 Group.
Migrations tend to fail at the planning stage. It is a big headache for the users and also to the Exchange Admin, who must orchestrate a smooth migration to limit the disruption to the users and the business itself. With applications such as Stellar Converter for EDB, you can easily open any Exchange Server mailbox database version. You can granularly open multiple databases, browse into them, and export the data to PST and other formats. You can also easily export to a live Exchange Server or Office 365 (Exchange Online) tenant.