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Best practices for Roaming Profiles and Outlook on Exchange.

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi,

We have just setup a new server for a client.
We're running the new SBS 2011.

We have 11 client machines on this network, 5 of which are used for hotdesking for 30 or so employees all with their own user and mailbox setup in active directory.

8 of the machines are running Windows Vista and 3 of them are still running Windows XP.

For the users that hotdesk, we have setup enabled roaming profiles and given them all a Home Drive on the server and have told them to store ALL of their files there as to keep things quick when logging in and out of the machines. Also I am aware that the roaming profiles will not carry from an XP machine to a Vista machine and vice versa.

I was hoping to get some best practices for using Outlook 2003.

So far, using Group Policy I have disabled the creation of OST files and turned off Cached Exchange Mode. I understand this is recommended when using roaming profiles?

At the moment when a user logs in to a machine they haven't used previously, they are required to input the Exchange server details. Should a roaming profile carry these settings across assuming the version of Outlook is the same?

Also I assume each time a user logs in, the entire mailbox would need to be downloaded? Or is this only the case with a machine they haven't previously used? I assumed cached mode and the OST creation being disabled would mean this?

I would be very grateful for any suggestions for the best setup using Roaming Profiles and using Outlook on Exchange.

Thanks in advance!

Arran
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Question by:systemagic
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by:Dunedan79
ID: 34954961
Users logging in with cached mode disabled will not download the mailbox at logon. All mail is stored on the server. As for roaming profiles, this should include Outlook settings. I have no experience with that version of SBS so I could well be wrong about that.
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 34955877
In order of your two questions (which FYI, should be posted separately) here ya go:

1) Outlook settings do NOT roam. The reason for this is that while SBS only uses a single Exchange server topology, Exchange itself is capable of having very complex topologies with multiple client access servers, DAG's, and other settings that would mean that two machines at two different AD sites may in fact access two different servers to reach the same mailbox, thus roaming that information would cause a very inefficient use of bandwidth and would ignore the intended topology. The exchange configuration in outlook as as machine dependent as it is user dependent thus roaming these settings would be a very BAD thing.

2) With cached exchange mode disabled, the mailbox will not be downloaded, but will be accessed directly. This means that enough information to display subject lines and the first previewed message if the preview pane is enabled will be initially downloaded. When scrolling, moving to another mail folder, or viewing another message, more queries will be sent to the Exchange server to getch just that info (since it isn't cached.) The result is a slightly slower "feeling" response, but no the entire contents is not downloaded every time Outlook is opened.


-Cliff
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Author Closing Comment

by:systemagic
ID: 34960399
Many thanks for taking the time to answer.
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