Using SQL Server® Express

SQL Server® Express is recommended for medium sized organizations (approximately 1-100 email users) with an average mail flow of up to 6000 emails/day.

The recommended setup for GFI Archiver using a SQL Server® Express 2005/2008/2012/2014 database is as follows:

  • Physical HDD 1: Operating system and GFI Archiver installation.
  • Physical HDD 2: Microsoft® SQL Server data file (.mdf).
  • Physical HDD 3: Microsoft® SQL Server log file (.ldf)
  • Physical HDD 4: Mail database indexes.


Ensure that the .mdf and .ldf files are stored in a folder on the destination drive and not in the root directory.

This configuration ensures that different processes are distributed to distinct physical hard disk drives, where email metadata (information about the email) is stored in the database while the actual email content resides as files on separate disk. This eliminates performance loss due to excessive data read/write operations on the same physical hard disk drive. For more information on how to install different versions of Microsoft SQL ServerA Microsoft relational database management system. Express visit the Microsoft SQL Server website.


Archive email auditing feature is only available when emails are archived in SQL Server®. Microsoft® SQL Server with File Storage option is not supported.

There are however a number of SQL Server® Express limitations to consider:

  • Database size has a limit of 10GB (for SQL Server® Express 2008 R2 and later only). This does not affect the amount of data that can be stored in a database.
  • It uses 1 CPU only
  • It uses a maximum of 1GB RAM.

It is therefore highly recommended that:

Option Description
SQL Server Express and file system are used as the back-end database.

This method uses SQL Server® Express as the backend database and a separate location (not a database) for the binary sources files. This saves up on the SQL Server® Express space required for archiving. For example, an email of 5MB is stored by saving the email header (60kb in size) in the database and the actual email content (5MB) in the separate location.

Use only Monthly or BiMontly schedules based on your email volumes

GFI Archiver automatically creates archive stores based on the pre-defined schedule. For SQL Express each database should approximately have less than 0.5 million emails. For more information refer to Scheduling Archive Stores.


If an Archive Store exceeds the maximum database size, GFI Archiver automatically creates a new Archive Store based on the configured New Archive Store Settings. This feature is only available for Archive Stores based on SQL Server® Express databases.


Configure Microsoft® SQL Server® Express to use Mixed Authentication mode for use with GFI Archiver.