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Outlook hangs intermittently / cannot connect

Posted on 2007-12-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I work in a company which uses a Remote Desktop Solution from a Windows 2003 which connects to an exchange server run by 1and1.
For some reason on the bottom right corner of the screen, 1/2 times a day our users see an outlook icon with a red " ! " on it.  At the same time a message appears saying that outlook is trying to connect to the server.  Outlook then goes grey saying "unable to connect to exchange server".  Does anyone know why this is happening?  I know the 1and1 server is in the US and our users are in the UK - but surely that shouldn't matter??

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Question by:manish_London
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6 Comments
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20415516
The distance would be a concern. I would also be looking at your internet connection as a possible location of the problem.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:manish_London
ID: 20426177
My office runs sdsl connections.  Do you really think the distance is the problem? How much does distance affect the service as, for example, we run a remote desktop solution in which the server I believe is in India while we're here using it in London.  It works fine.  Is it something to do which running it over https?  
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20426438
RDP is a little different to Outlook. I can run RDP over a mobile phone at 9.6k, but I wouldn't dream of running Outlook over that kind of speed connection. Outlook is very bandwidth intensive. When outsourcing hosted Exchange I tend to recommend that you use the closest service that you can. I certainly would not recommend using a US based service where most of the clients are in the UK. The connection will probably be fine in the morning, but once the US wakes up at around 2pm, the performance will start to drop.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:manish_London
ID: 20427089
I've just determined that my windows server 03, to which I use RDP to connect to (as do our other 23 user in the company) is actually in chicago and the email service actually runs from Austin ,TX - surely that should be ok shouldn't it?  Does that not mean that if I connect using RDP, as long as that is stable, outlook will run fine?  The potential problems, if I am right, would / could occur if we as a company started using Outlook locally and attempted to connect to the US??  (Thanks for your help)
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LVL 104

Accepted Solution

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Sembee earned 1500 total points
ID: 20427965
I wouldn't state that a successful RDP performance is going to mean that Outlook will perform well. They are two different protocols, one designed for WAN use the other not really (although people do).

I guess you are not running any part of this network? There are too many elements out of your control - the server Outlook is on, the server Exchange is on, the internet connection between the two. There isn't much really I can suggest, when Outlook stops connecting you have to look at things like routers, switches to see if packets are being dropped. Speaking to the hosted Exchange provider will be pointless because most hosted services providers will say one thing - nothing wrong with our service and close the call.

Simon.
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Author Closing Comment

by:manish_London
ID: 31412882
Thank you.  No control of servers so can only go on the words of the new company we will be using (asp one).  Will be connecting between servers in US so hopefully service will be up most times.  Been promised 4mins downtime / month max on Exchange Server 2007
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