How set Attachment size limit and number of recipients?  12mb email sent to 1000 employees!

Posted on 2005-04-28
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Just had an occurance where an employee was under our 20mb attachment limit, but sent it to practically the entire company which brought the network to a screaming halt.  Is there a way in Exchange to limit the TOTAL attachment size which caculates in the number of recipients ie. a 10mb email maxes out at 100 recipients = ~1 gb.  We outsource our Exchange server and they are saying this isnt possible, but it seems like it should be.  Do they just not know how?  I also assume there is a way to stop an email that is sent to everyone with a large attachment?  It took 8 hours before the network speed was finally back to normal...outsourced company said there was no way to stop the email form being distributed.
Question by:Po_Boy
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    You can limit the attachment size, or the number of recipients in a message.  But you cannot have it calculate total size based on both, at least by default.  You would need to write an event sink to do something like this.
    LVL 104

    Assisted Solution

    The reason that the email couldn't be stopped was because Exchange uses a feature called Single Instance Storage. This means that a 10mb email uses just 10mb in the store. Each person just has a pointer to the email. Therefore as soon as the user has sent the message to the server, it will be "delivered" to all the mailboxes.

    If you hadn't outsourced your Exchange server then this wouldn't have been a problem. All the clients would be connected to the Exchange server over LAN instead of WAN and the attachment would have been dealt with quite easily.

    The only other option that should have been offered to you was for the outsourcing company to remove the attachment using some of the tools available. It would have meant that all your users being kicked out of email while they did the work, but as this was causing so much disruption it may have provided you with a quicker resolution than waiting for all the clients to download a copy.

    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Exchange does have funcationality that allows you to limit the number of user that a message is sent too.  how do your users access thier email? Since your Exchange is outsource do you only use OWA, Imap,Pop, or rpc/http?

    Sembee -- Exchange will still perform single instance storage -- I would have to see thier configuration to better understand thier configuration-- if they are poping or imaping from the hosting company then the traffic would put a drain on the network, so with out knowing the current configuration I can not really get into details on that.


    Author Comment

    We use Outlook w/ Exchange Server account and OWA - no pop or Imap.  We have 15 sites around the US each connecting to the same server.

    I dont want to limit the number of users email is sent to since we do send out company wide emails daily...we just cant handle a company wide email with a 10+mb attachment.
    LVL 21

    Assisted Solution

    I'm assuming these users are using distribution groups to send the mass email.  You can set message size limits on the properties of the distribution group itself.

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