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Solving performance problem caused by PST on file server

Hello ,

We have 150 outlook clients on our network and each have a exchange account configured and also a pst files opened for archiving purposes ( about 200 - 300 Go of total PST)

these PST are located on a raid 5 file server and cause a poor performance on the server , as mentionned by MS in Q297019 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;297019

We are currently evaluate the possibility to avoid PST file on file server and plan to do this with our exchange server replacement , because is the only long term serious solution . But during this time , is there any parameters or configuration that can optimize the performance of the server  and have rapid effects

Some registry tuning ?
Place PST on separate  and dedicated RAID?

tks for your help

3 Solutions
There are very few things that you can do to improve performance of file server.
1) Perform disk defragmentation
2) If you have two NIC on server then configure them in trunk so that you will get duble ethernet bandwidth
3) You can move respective users PST files to there own desktops and configure outlook backup utility by which they can save copy of it on central location for backup
4) Basic problem is 150 outlook clients hit single location for PST file which result in high disk IO on server, you can configure separate raid with high performance disk drive like SATA, SAS or SSD. In short if you can improve on disk IO you will get better performance.
5) Check CPU and Memory utilization and do the required config change to tune them to deliver high performance.
With 300 users on-site you hardly could improve your server performance - simulteneous searches agains PST might cosume all bandwidht on server's NICs. Moving PSTs to the users systems won't help much as you will have to copy 200-300 GB around the network in order to backup them.
Have you checked Email Archiving solution? Symantec Enterprise Vault is a feasible one (about $30 per seat).
informagiciensAuthor Commented:

We go probably go to a solution like symantec in the futur with our new exchange , but the project will propably take a long time

CPU and network banwith usage  are ok , but I've serious issues on the disk queue and memory issues
also the data is replicated to another server with double take so the I/O is more heavy than a single configuration

We have already activate hardware caching and We problably go to a separate raid to store the PST , reducing the I/O and probably the disk queue

If you have any tips or registry parameters to optimize the service for heavy I/O don't hesitate

I've find this one relative to some errors I've found in the event log

Don't know if the solution will have visible effects in regard to the PST total size
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Enterprise Vault doesn't use that much CPU and depending on your which modules you choose you may get away with 32 bit Win 2003 and 4GB RAM.

On the storage side the only time you may experience I/O issues is during the initial ingestion period, afterwards the users hardly recall archived items over a few weeks old.

If the PST files are attached to the users' outlook profiles you may want to go with Client Driven PST Migration.  It requires the Outlook Add-in Installed on the users' outlook 2003/2007 installd (can be done via GPO easily) but provides the flexibility in that it will take 10MB chunks onto a temp folder until the PST is migrated.  Once migrated it will copy to a holding folder and ingest into the users' mailbox (to root or to a separate folder). Once the PSTs are ingested EV can be set to delete/hide/make read-only/compact/disable auto archive so that the users do not create additional PST files

Since you can enable Client Driven Migration on a per user basis you can control the I/O of the storage and to some degree memory.  200-300GB of PST files is considered a small install by EV standards and shouldn't be an issue.  You can also store the EV vaults on NAS/SAN/Local storage as long as it is a NTFS partition or a NTFS share.  Many of our customers use lower tier storage for this.

Basic install of EV shouldn't take more than a few days as long as you have someone who is qualified to do the install
Split the points :)
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