Outlook XP & Exchange 5.5 poor performance

Posted on 2005-03-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-08

I am using Office XP pro on my laptop. Outlook XP is configured to access an exchange server 5.5 via a WAN link.  Several times an hour it will appear that Outlook will freeze while accessing e-mail (with or without attachments). Moving from one exchange folder is another exchange folder may take up 50 seconds. Often times Outlook will display a pop=up that there is a delay sending/receiving e-mail.

The WAN is Private Network (PRN) provided by QWest. My site's VPN connection into the prn is rated at 512, while the Exchange server's site VPN into the prn is T1 (1.5 mb). Pinging the exchange server, while Outlook is frozen, shows a response time of less then 100 ms.

While outlook is frozen, I use a terminal server to check the connection.  Outlook 2000 is loaded on the terminal server. It does not have a problem accessing e-mail or exchange folders.  This indicates to me that the Outlook XP on my laptop maybe the source of the problem.

I would appreciate any tips on improving Outlook XP’s performance.
Question by:hillch
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1 Comment
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Accepted Solution

traval earned 1500 total points
ID: 13451786
I don't think there is really any problem with Outlook on your computer, you are just going thru a relatively slow (for outlook-exchange communication) connection.  The bottle neck of 1/2 mb for the VPN is going to cause performance issues because of the flurry of RPCs that occur between an Outlook client and the exchange server.  This is exactly why companies with branches put an exchange at each location and connect them with the site connector, the RPC traffic is simply unfeasable when you are not on the same LAN as the Exchange Server.

My first recommendation would be configuring Offline Folders (OST file) which creates a mirror image of your mailbox on the server that you work out of, and you could then synchronize the OST file with your mailbox as needed.
How to use offline folders in Outlook 2002 (286038)

If that's not an option two other possible solutions:
1.  Use OWA, won't be blazingly fast but will be faster than Outlook Client to Exchange connection over VPN
2.  Use POP3/SMTP mail services and store Outlook data in a local PST file rather than Exchange Server mailbox, will be very fast but having the data on a single computers harddrive is a dealbuster if you absolutely need to access the info from multiple computers

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