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Client/Server Traffic Details

Posted on 2011-03-02
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Can anyone point me to a website or document that may outline what traffic passes from Outlook to Exchange and back when a user performs functions such as deleting or moving messages into folders?

Client: Outlook 2007 / 2010
Server: Exchange 2010
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Question by:ajarvey
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Expert Comment

by:Todd Gerbert
ID: 35023367
Are you asking what the details are of the protocol - or just need to know what types of network connections are used, i.e. the port numbers?
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Author Comment

by:ajarvey
ID: 35023382
Lets say you have a user who is deleting or moving 1,000 messages from their inbox into a managed folder. What I want to know is how much, and what traffic is passed between the client and the server while that move is initiated, in process, and completed.
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Accepted Solution

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Todd Gerbert earned 125 total points
ID: 35038374
Well, the traffic that goes back and forth between the client and server is just instructions - the client connects to Exchange and says "move messages with ids 1, 2 and 3 from folder A to folder B", the e-mail messages being moved between folders aren't sent to the client and then back to the server.

The type of traffic is RPC - that's about as much detail as I know without further investigation.

Running a packet capture while moving some messages with Outlook, I see about 2.5k of network traffic when moving one message, and about 8k of traffic when moving 7 messages (whose total size is about 500MB with attachments), and about 593k when moving 1,171 messages.  All in all, a fairly insignificant amount of traffic; for comparison's sake, viewing this web page results in about 150k of network traffic.

Separating the different phases of the move, and decoding the details of the communications protocol requires more intimate knowledge of Exchange's RPC mechanism than I posess, but attached are some Wireshark captures I used to determine the above numbers if you're interested.
Exchange-Move-Items-Capture-1-Me.txt
Exchange-Move-Items-Capture-7-Me.txt
Exchange-Move-Items-Capture-1171.txt
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Author Closing Comment

by:ajarvey
ID: 35039381
This was absolutely perfect. Thank you.
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