Outlook Response Times Very Slow when selecting messages and opening - depending on file size - not bandwidth related (directly)
Posted on 2005-03-04
Hi all. I have several remote branches that are complaining about slow access. I got a first hand look yesterday. Let me start with network configuration so you have facts -
-This remote site has 256 Frame connection - bandwidth meter for all PCs read above 200kbs. This is low, but not the slowness they are complaining about.
- PCs are at least 2GHz in speed and 256MB RAM
- Various versions of Outlook are being run - anywhere from Outlook 2000 (no SP) to Outlook 2003.
- Back at our centralize derver environment we are running Exchange 2000 Enterprise with several clients (180 locally) running fine.
- All PCs are running Symantec Corporate real time file scan
- Not all PCs in the office operate like I'll describe below, but it is the majority.
My problem is that when a user is in the Outlook inbox and clicks on a message - the application will take a variable length of time to respond based on the message size (including size of attachment if appliable). So if I click on the message (while in inbox view) I will wait 3seconds for standard text only message to 10 seconds for a message 20K insize and 30+ seconds for 500K (and obviously several minutes for a 2 MB files which are common). This click is simply to select the message - not access it. Even if I have preview turned off I have a lag.
Now if I click to open the message I have to wait times a little longer than previously mentioned for a new window to present itself on screen. And if there is an attachment, when I click to open that it takes the same time duration again. This means that to get to an email with an attachment I have 3 time windows of LAG. It may be 10 minutes to get to see what is even in an email. If I close the attachments and the emails and try to re-enter them - same result. If I save the attachments locally - opening the local files is performed without delay. So it appears to be within the Outlook application. Internet speeds and page rendering is great (for a 256 connection) and other software functions are without delay.
I do have workstations that work 'normal' at the same location. The only slowness would be the initial download of the message from the Exchange Server. After that, clicking on the messages and opening attachments work within normal operating speeds and is highly responsive.
At first I thought this maybe a issue of all of the mail messages for the 'slow' clients remain on the server and every click has to go a verify content (over the 256 Frame). I do not know how to verify this or if this is possible. I also think that NAV may play a role in this, but all PCs in the office have identical configurations so that is a puzzle to me.
We are not opposed to sending Outlook 2003 (or version service packs to the remote offices), but I don't like guessing at solutions. I like to know root cause.
Any advice is welcome. Thank you for your time.