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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    Hi,

    We would like to dedicate a disk on a server to host our users' .pst files. pros of this being that it gets the mail off our exchange server onto a server where we can back them up easily, and not being on the users' local disk means if their machine dies then it's no great loss, well at least to their mail anyway.

    the only con i can see is for off line users. when you add the .pst file to the outlook profile, outlook will automatically look for it each timeit starts, this is not good news if a user is off line or on a dial up connection and connected to our VPN and searching for a 1.5Gb .pst file.

    What i need to know is; can i configure outlook not to look for the .pst file when off line?

    Regards,

    David

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    No-One???

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    A bit of patience, please! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    It's still early in the US.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    Apologies - forgot is was a US based forum.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    There are Loungers all over the world, but the US is in the majority.

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    The only way you can stop Outlook looking for a PST on start-up is to accept a mode which has virtually no functionality: no e-mail, no calendar etc. etc. That would probably be of little use to users. While I'm always prepared to be shown to be wrong, AFAIK stopping the "looking" can only be done manually.

    Are you saying that enforcing an Exchange Server archiving policy is too much of a political hot potato to propose internally?

    HTH
    Gre

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    Personally, I would oppose this if the contents of the PST file were something I wanted to use regularly. Just as it is a grind working with an Access database over the network, it will bog down the program to work with a PST file over the network. Seems better to make backups of the relevant files from the hard drive. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    I don't have access to all three versions of Outlook, so my comment is general. In all three Outlook versions you mention, if an offline storage file (*.OST) is set up, when the PST isn't found the user will be asked if they want to work offline using the OST file. OST files were primarily intended for laptop users but can function as a backup for desktop users when the server is down. In such case the OST file needs to be set up on the local machine to be of use. The process for setting up the OST varies by Outlook version, and perhaps by server version. As I'm only a client user I have no idea how Server Administration would mandate and enforce local OST's for each machine, but I know it can be done in Outlook 2003, because my company did. Also, the folders which are synced to the OST can be varied; again, I don't know if Server Administration can set which foldrs sync.

    I agree with Jefferson's comment that if the PST is on the LAN users are going to find Outlook slowed down considerably, at least upon Outlook startup. My company asks us to keep our PST in server userdrive space for backup purposes, which makes sense, but it definitely hits performance.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7DS

  9. #9
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    Would it not be better to have a small program running in the background whereby the pst's can be back-uped twice a day to the pst server?

    We have the secnario at present whereby we have a little utility sitting in the system tray and at midday and 17:30 the pst is backed up to their folder on the server.
    Best Regards,

    Luke

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Server based .pst files (2000 / XP / 2003)

    Sure, that could work, but if the PST is in use, it's locked, and thus inaccessible. There's also a MS utility to back the PST up at the user level..

    Since this thread developed, I have experienced a bit more from my perspective as a user - I was in a situation where I had a PST on a remote server for a time. Using a PST on a LOCAL server with good bandwidth shows only a little slower performance; as a User the only things I noticed that were much slower were running the Inbox Repair Tool (Archiving is also slower, but it's a background process and so doesn't matter). However, when I had to use my PST on the remote server, i.e., across the corporate WAN, the performance was ABYSMAL; simple things like sending a message would sometimes lock Outlook up for three of four minutes!

    So I don't see a problem with requiring user PST's to be on a local network server, and allowing the standard server backup process to take care of PST backup.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7DS

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