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Calendar Sharing and resource limits

I have heard that Calendar sharing using Exchange can really bog down the server.  We have 25 users scattered all over the country and we'd like to share everyone's Outlook calendars using Exchange. Anyone have any personal experience with this?  Would a third party product be a better solution?
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wspoulin
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wspoulin
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SembeeCommented:
The only way that calendar sharing will bog down a server is if all the users have everyone's calendar open, so that when Outlook starts, it is opening every other mailbox.

If you are limiting who has access, then having all calendars shared is not a problem - I have a client with over 80 calendars shared.
They use an application called Look which seems to cope very well with this size. Only a few people need to see everyone's calendar - for the rest it is just a subset.

http://www.symprex.com/products/look

Simon.
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wspoulinAuthor Commented:
Simon,

I'm wondering about not using a third party software though.  Can't I share Calendars using the Exchange Server?  I'm wondering why the third party, why not just use Exchange server? Is it too slow or complicated to set up?

Wendy
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SembeeCommented:
What the third party tool does is bring all the information together. You can see at a glance what everyone, team members etc are doing. This tool was used as a driver to get the staff to use Outlook calendar - as it made arranging meetings much easier. The few that didn't use the Outlook calendar were soon feeling left out.

It relies on the calendar being shared - so doesn't bring anything new to the table in that respect. However it does make the information much easier to share and work with.
Using native tools means opening everyone's calendar individually.

If you are implementing shared calendars then make sure that your users are told where the "Private" option is so that the content of an appointment can be hidden.

Simon.
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wspoulinAuthor Commented:
"Using native tools means opening everyone's calendar individually."

Are you saying here that if we strictly use Exchange we would have to have (potentially) 25 Calendars open at once?  Any ideas what this means for the Exchange server?
-wendy
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SembeeCommented:
That is where the problem comes in. I suspect that even with 25 users you would end up thrashing the server.

The question is - in reality who actually needs to know where every person is? Very few - office manager, receptionist etc.
Everyone else just needs to know where their team members are - and perhaps call up the calendar of someone else when required.

This doesn't affect the ability to look at someone's availability in Outlook when creating an appointment - you don't need the rights to do that.

Simon.
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wspoulinAuthor Commented:
thanks Simon!
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