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I bet that he was talking about a Microsoft Exchange email system. That would make sense. Assuming that is the case, while a few days seems too short to me too, he is right; retention times have been decreasing on second tier storage. In general, it is due to compliance, which used to demand longer retention along with offsite tape storage. Now, for the most part that has been replaced with journaling as far as compliance is concerned. It is the journaling that makes it unnecessary (mostly) to keep the longer retention periods.