I have used the free edition to perform this task before and never really had an issue. The only issue I ever faced with the archive system is how the searches are performed. If large date ranges are used the system quits responding - dedicated box with plenty of RAM, CPU and SSD. I cannot recall if it was when trying to download large amounts of emails as a zip folder from the search results or if it was the actual search itself.
I actually had a live server go down before because a client was trying to perform a large search and restore from their archive. To prevent it from happening again I now have a script that moves the .zip and .dat files from the searchable folder and stores them into another folder so that large searches don't bring down the live server. When clients want to perform searches, if they can give me the information they are looking for I restore little by little until finished or if they prefer to search themselves then I move their archived data to another box while they perform the search and then move over any data they need back to the live one.
Just wanted to mention this so that you can check your searches and make sure they don't cripple your server if your client decides to perform a large search. It has been a while since anyone needed to search the archive so maybe this isn't an issue any longer.