Tips to Manage Exchange Server’s Performance

A helping hand is always worthwhile no matter to whom it belongs.” – is an anonymous saying and I am pretty much agree with the meaning it intends to derive. In fact, when it comes to perform a job that is not feasible for you to do on your own, you must be taking help from anybody whom you think would be right to help you. Likewise, when it comes to do something technical, one often requires experts’ assistance to do the job in the right way.

MS Exchange Server, as you know is the most preferred email server and almost every three out of five companies take their emailing services for information exchange. However, you being the administrator have to manage things for the benefit of the company. In this post, I am going to enlighten some valuable tips that you can put into practice and improve the performance of your Exchange Server. Go through the post for details:

Getting Started with the Application

Microsoft or almost every application requires you to follow the order ‘Plan > Deploy > Operate’ since it is the lifecycle of the products. Besides, since it is best to start from the very beginning for deeper understanding of the product, I recommend getting started with the very first step, i.e. planning.

Planning the Exchange Server’s behavior is a critical step and it decides the nature of the tasks if they are difficult to perform or if they can be done manually with no requirement of any of the available external resources. Mentioned below are some amazing tools that help you ignore the risk of taking bad decisions:

  • Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer
  • Exchange Server Jetstress 2010
  • Deployment Assistant
  • Install Guide Templates
  • Exchange Tested Solutions

Performance plus Scalability

Exchange Server does not require any solution to improve its performance considerably and there are two prime reasons for this, i.e. Exchange Server has inbuilt mechanism to tune itself by utilizing the hardware components efficiently. Since the overall structure of the Exchange Server is quite complex, taking any step to improve its performance most likely will affect the internal structure of the server and their related resources. Mentioned below are some recommendations:

  • Since sizing is the key to obtain high performance, it is recommended to use a commercial tool to resize the partition. Once you are done resizing the partition, you notice considerable change in the level of performance.
  • The default unit size of NTFS allocation should be 64KB, which is recommended to remember while formatting the partition containing Exchange Databases.
  • Though Disk Defragmentation is feasible, I do not recommend choosing it for Mailbox servers.
  • Make sure all the latest device drivers are maintained on the server.

Obedience plus Archiving

Many companies providing archiving solutions intend to give the illusion of infinite mailbox. However, I do not recommend using the same obedience and archiving technique, but focusing on the prime concern, i.e. the performance issues of stubbing (the process of turning large items into smaller one of similar kind.). However, stubbing is best suitable to earlier versions of MS Exchange Server, as the recent versions are able to leverage larger mailboxes. Instead, you can implement the technique called ‘Reclaiming space by stubbing Exchange databases’.


Mobility is a critical term that is associated with almost each business today. It is not the time when there were certain standards for Microsoft ActiveSync Protocol, but is the age of developing new things based on certain requirements. Microsoft ActiveSync is a real standard though; however, the meanings of implementing different protocols are dissimilar in each case. Following are some issues you must be aware of:

  • Missing Calendar items in Exchange Server 2007, although they were already copied.
  • Synchronizing Exchange ActiveSync with a mobile device causes duplication of contacts.
  • CPU usage exceeds on synchronizing Exchange Server CAS with a mobile device.

Outlook Performance

MS Outlook is referred to as the most reliable, secure, and therefore the most preferred email client; however, you sometimes come across a problem that is quite difficult to deal with even at the backend. In such a situation, you must understand the problem and implement the right technique or tool to get the best results. Following are some issues that might be there:

Oversized OST File

Since Exchange Server stores the entire mailbox data in an OST file, the size of the OST file increases gradually with the increase in the size of the mailbox, which actually is a danger to the mailbox that may corrupt at anytime.

  • In case the size of the OST file is up to 5GBs, Outlook performance is flawless on computers with good hardware configurations.
  • In case the size of the OST files in between 5GB – 10GB, the performance of Outlook may remain flawless on SSDs, but you may experience some complications on HDDs.
  • The size of the OST file above 10GB is dangerous for the mailbox as well as for the Outlook app. It may crash and cause a huge loss of crucial information.

Overfilled Folders

Each folder created in mailbox requires the Exchange Server to perform several operations in order to make the contents of the folder available when you open it. In case a folder contains so many items, it takes longer than the usual time to open and Outlook sometimes crashes. Thus, it is recommended to archive the obsolete emails and minimize the risk of Outlook crash and other probable issues.

Though many more tips are yet to be delivered and probably you to know how to manage a mailbox, I want you to share the ones you put into practice with us as well as with others.

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