If I am to roll out Zimbra Desktop as a replacement for Outlook for our Windows XP and Windows 7 workstations, one of the major factors is the ability to backup a user's "local" mail storage.

Currently, we do this by simply copying their local .PST file(s) to their private network drive. They typically have a PST file per year.

From what I have read, it is not recommended to simply copy Zimbra's local data folders.

Is there a way to automate the export process of the local folders?

Does this automation require Zimbra Desktop to be running or shut down?

If the export can create a file similar to C:\Users\username\zimbrabackup\username.tgz, I can configure our Login scripts to pull the current user's archive from the local system to their private drive.

However, the ideal situation would be a local storage folder structure that I could "sync" with a network location. New messages would be new files (or at least minimized such as all messages for a day going into a single file for the day, etc.) and thus, only changes would be copied rather than copying a potentially HUGE archive over and over. A single archive for every user, every day could put considerable strain on bandwidth for data synchronization to remote sites as the data grows.