deployment considerations for Office 2007 and Instant Search in Terminal Services

Posted on 2009-04-26
Last Modified: 2013-12-12
Currently running Exchange and Outlook 2003. We run Terminal Services that remote users access via RDP.

I'm thinking about deploying Office 2007 on the Terminal Server to give remote users the benefits of Instant Search for their emails.

1. Are there any planning/deployment issues I should be aware of? Is Instant Search within Outlook even supported in a Terminal Services environment?

2. The volume on the server that houses the user profiles is running low on space. Do the indexes created by Instant Search take up a lot of space? Do I have the ability to change the location where they're stored to a different drive?

Question by:pc3000

    Author Comment

    Found some good group policy advice, but still no mention of Instant Search considerations:

    Author Comment

    Kind of answering my own question here...

    Since Outlook installed in Terminal Services does not allow for Cached Mode, that means that Instant Search is going to be looking to the indexes on the Exchange server itself to pull results.

    We're running Exchange 2003. So now the question becomes, will we only be able to utilize Instant Search in this environment by upgrading to Exchange Server 2007?

    Or can Outlook 2007's Instant Search pull server index results from an Exchange 2003 server. Sounds like a whole mess of potential performance problems...hmm.
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Instant search also works with Exchange Server 2003.
    As long as your terminal server meets the min. req. for 2007 you should be fine.

    However, personally I would not install or upgrade to Office 2007 w/ Instant Search 4.0 on TS just to allow users to use Instant Search.

    If you already have Outlook 2003 with the latest SP installed users should be able to utilize the advanced search within Outlook.
    Additionally, In my opinion, Search Options within Outlook do not get used enough to justify an upgrade to 2007 w/instant search.

    If it aint broke, dont fix it.

    Author Comment

    Well, upgrading to 2007 on the TS is in the works anyway...instant search is not the sole reason. As more people get 2007 on their desktops, they're coming to like and expect the new interface. Plus the instant search frame is better integrated in 2007. 2003's advanced find just seems clunky by comparison.

    But back to the nuts and an uncached outlook environment, how does instant search pull its results from the 2003 exchange server? Does full-text indexing need to be enabled?
    LVL 47

    Accepted Solution

    Some info I found for you on this subject:

    What impact will Windows Search have on my mail server?

    It depends on how your mail system is configured. Typically we recommend running Microsoft Office Outlook in cached mode. If this is your setup then there is no effect on mail servers because Windows Search is indexing local content and not affecting the mail server.
    If you are running Microsoft Office Outlook in online mode, then you should move to Windows Search 4.0 which has many improvements in local indexing of online e-mail to significantly lessen the impact to the Exchange Server. To set up local indexing of online mail, you must specifically enable indexing of e-mail via Group Policy. We recommend testing this environment before you deploy this configuration. In general, the most impact on the Exchange Server will be during an initial index of content and the load will be lower after that, especially with Exchange Server 2007, but this depends on many variables such as the hardware configuration of the Exchange Server and how many people have mail boxes on it.
    Learn more about Windows Search 4.0 and the performance enhancements to reduce impact to the Exchange Server.
    What is average size of a user's index?  

    The average size of an index is about 10% of the size of all the content that is being indexed.
    How often is the index updated?  

    Windows Search listens for system-wide notifications in the PC (whether for e-mail or other document types), thus keeping the index content fully up-to-date as users are making changes on the PC. If the smart back off mechanism is engaged, Windows Search will wait to update the index contents with the latest change notifications until the next time CPU activity decreases.

    Author Comment

    Got it...that Group Policy setting is the key -- allowing it to index uncached emails. Looks like GP also lets you specify a location of the index too.

    Found some fourm threads that are more on point with running WDS in a TS environment:
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Glad your on to it now.

    However, I believe the full amount with a "B" Grade is more fair.

    What's the right grade to give?
    Grading at Experts Exchange is not like school. It's more like the "10-point Must" system in professional boxing; in other words, an answer is worth an A, unless it doesn't resolve your issue. If it requires you to do a little more research, or figure out one more piece of code, then it's worth a B. If you think it's not worth a B, the custom is to offer the Experts an opportunity to earn a better grade.


    Author Closing Comment

    Sure. Changing to 500.

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