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Outlook 2007 - how many archive folders (PST's) can I use?

Posted on 2010-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello,

One of our customers has a large number of PST's which he needs indexed in his main profile in Outlook 2007.
Each PST is weighting approx 2-4 GB with total of almost 40 GB (apart from his caches OST which weights almost 10GB and is managed by Exchange 2007).

Needless to say that the outlook is extremely slow, and although it's a new PC with lots of RAM and CPU available, it's still a bad experience.

I'm sure there are limits to the Outlook 2007 PST amount and sizes.
Can someone please post the best practice for a situation like the one described here?

Questions:
- Will it do any good to create another Exch MBX and merge all those PST's into it, and add it as a secondary MBX to the user's Outlook?
- Does 10 GB OST with lots of items in Sent items + Deleted items (30k+) which aren't in the critical path for the best of my knowledge - will decrease performance drastically?
- Is it a good idea to create a 2nd Outlook profile for just the PST's? Will the windows search will index this inactive profile and will allow for quick searches when the user will open it?
- Does Outlook 2010 will suit better for this kind of heavy uses?

BTW, the os is WInXP.

Thx in advance
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Question by:IT_Group1
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7 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:ThrainSonOfTimor
ID: 33660673
For unicode PST's the maximum is default 20GB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830336/
For ANSI PST's: 2Gb

This is the absolute maximum. In my experience, everything above 2 Gb is asking for trouble: performance, restore, migrating, ... because most tools doesn't work well with pst files above 2 Gb.

You do have the update for outlook 2007? http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932086
The performance depends also on the speed of the hard disk.

My advise: split the big pst files. Ask the user to archive e-mails and reduce his mailbox size (smaller ost). Tell him that it is in his best interest: time to restore is much much larger with a big mailbox and better performance. Disconnect old pst files that he doesn't use anymore and put it on tape or somewhere to archive.
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Accepted Solution

by:
VBDotNetCoder earned 800 total points
ID: 33660695
* Compact the PST files (Control Panel / Mail / Data Files / (Choose Data File From List) / Settings / Compact)

* Defrag your hard disk while outlook is not running (if outlook is running, it'll lock the pst files and prevent defragging of those files). Use a third party defrag utility that supporting selective defragging (like perfectdisk...you can select individual files and defrag them only if you want) and defrag your pst files.

* If possible, put them on another hard disk, not on system / pagefile partition, to increase performance.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Group1
ID: 33660724
Thx guys.
I'll try those solutions.
What about the number of PST files? Can Outlook handle so many PST's? And for your question, the user does need all of those PST's available at hand.

Cheers
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LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:e_aravind
e_aravind earned 400 total points
ID: 33660750
In my opinion,
Outlook can have something upto 30 PSTs (atleast) without any issues

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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:VBDotNetCoder
ID: 33660767
You can have as many PST files as you want but only open 128 concurrently at any one time from within Outlook.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:psytorio
ID: 33660773
If has many PST files.
you can add multi data files and move email to difference Location in PST files.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:ThrainSonOfTimor
ThrainSonOfTimor earned 800 total points
ID: 33661562
The amount of PST files is much less important than the size or the total items in the pst file. A small pst file with lots of small e-mails will still degrade performance.
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