Outlook problems



  • We have been having some issues with Outlook lately.  Our connection to the Exchange server comes and goes, mail gets held up for hours, it even refuses to queue some messages.  I am no system admin, but I have heard from one guy over there that part of the problem is the 8GB Public folder that everybody stores everything in. 

    Described to me was: "when you have 1k employees opening and closing an 8GB file all day long over the network, this causes problems."  Simple logic, sounds reasonable.  How to fix the problem?  Well, one senior director had the following solution:

     

    <font face="Arial" size="2">Everyone,<o:p></o:p></font>

    <font face="Arial" size="2">Can you please have your teams stay off of email until 4:00pm today?  Please have your staff use the phones or walk over to have discussions.  I would like everyone to stay off of email (and even close out Outlook).  I know it might not make a big difference but it might.  I know this is not optimal but let’s see if it helps our businesses at all.<o:p></o:p></font>



  • Ahh .. problem solving by wishful thinking! What a great solution.



  • So is the problem the fileserver is also the exchange server, or does exchange have some fileserver functionality I am not aware of (not wanting to discount this as exchange is basically the anti-christ in mail server form). Wouldn't there be a pretty good business justification at this point to just get rid of the file share on that machine without even waiting for a replacement to become available? Even non-technical people can just create file shares on their own machines with some documentation.



  • @Dudehole said:

    So is the problem the fileserver is also the exchange server, or does exchange have some fileserver functionality I am not aware of (not wanting to discount this as exchange is basically the anti-christ in mail server form). Wouldn't there be a pretty good business justification at this point to just get rid of the file share on that machine without even waiting for a replacement to become available? Even non-technical people can just create file shares on their own machines with some documentation.

    I assume the public folders are refering to Exchange's public folders. Think of shared personal folder. "A public folder is basically a repository for information, and can be used to store messages, files (as message attachments), calendars or contacts. The idea behind a public folder is that if your organization has information that everyone needs to access, it is sometimes easier to place that information in a public folder so that it is available through Outlook than to put it in a normal file share."



  • @Buzer said:

    @Dudehole said:
    So is the problem the fileserver is also the exchange server, or does exchange have some fileserver functionality I am not aware of (not wanting to discount this as exchange is basically the anti-christ in mail server form). Wouldn't there be a pretty good business justification at this point to just get rid of the file share on that machine without even waiting for a replacement to become available? Even non-technical people can just create file shares on their own machines with some documentation.

    I assume the public folders are refering to Exchange's public folders. Think of shared personal folder. "A public folder is basically a repository for information, and can be used to store messages, files (as message attachments), calendars or contacts. The idea behind a public folder is that if your organization has information that everyone needs to access, it is sometimes easier to place that information in a public folder so that it is available through Outlook than to put it in a normal file share."
     

    That's exactly what is going on here.  People are storing a lot of information (including all attachments) in the public folder.  I understand that there is a need sometimes to share email.  One person put it like this: "if a coworker is out and I need to access information on one of their loans to close it, I can't do that if they are out, so I need to have their email regarding that loan."  Alright, sure, but DELETE THE ONES FROM 2005!!   Or at least archive them in a local PST.

     



  • @amischiefr said:

    Alright, sure, but DELETE THE ONES FROM 2005!!   Or at least archive them in a local PST.

    PSTs are evil (backups get harder, corruption is likely etc. ). I would rather archive the old ones on a seprate folder in the person's mailbox, so they could access it if they need to. The only downside is that the mailbox stores grow quite a bit (and thus also full backups), but compared to managing PSTs, that is a small problem.



  • I highly doubt having that much in public folders has much to do with the performance.  Exchange is powered by a backend database and you don't open the full 8Gb when you browse it.  Just like any normal system, Exchange just sends the header info and then sends the details when requested. I would suspect the problem is either because the server is inadequate for the load or some other issue like the database needs reorganized.

    That said, when I was an Exchange admin; I specifically denied write access to all but a few users and admins. When asked, I replied "You can use public roads, but can't create them."

    And as far as PST's go, they should be banned in corporate environments specifically because they bypass email/data retention policies and that may have serious consequences during legal proceedings.  For example, if you email gets sequestered, it's much easier to provide a copy of the backup tapes of the email server vs rounding up all the distributed archive files saved on PCs and servers.  In some cases, any equipment that has email on it might be seized if there is a fear of willful destruction - that could be quite costly if it is every PC/server in your topology.


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