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MS FAX Service in SBS 2011 slow and not getting confirmation reports on failures consistently

Posted on 2013-01-06
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Last Modified: 2013-01-19
Background...

Client is a law firm who sends out over 100 page faxes at a time.

Server is a new HP ML350 Server running SBS 2011 Premium.

there are 14 Workstations  i3 processors, now running Windows 7 Pro (upgraded from home)

AntiVirus is MS essentials on workstations (Eset on Server).

Fax line - incoming faxes are fowarded to an electronic fax service.

Fax line is also used for DSL Internet.

Fax software set to email confirmations.

Fax software can send and receive (we tested this but only use it for outgoing).

They have some 10/100 switches and have a GB switch as well.

Setup Public folder for incoming faxes .

Setup popcollector to receives fax@thealamlaw.com to exchange.

External modem is USR 56K Serial Controller Fax Modem.

baud rate to 57600 on Com1 for better communication with the server and external modem

Windows Server has been fully patched - all updates.

We can send a small fax - up to 20 pages or so no problem.

Retries set to 10 if busy.

The Problems

1) sending out the same 100 page fax to the same fax # takes 40% longer using MS fax vs. the conventional fax machine.

2) if 10 faxes are sent, 6 successfully and 4 have to be resent, their is no indication that the 4 did not go - no failed confirmation sheet.  Outlook shows all the faxes have been sent there is no confirmation.


3) he does not like the confirmation format on the ones he does get. The recipient name and number is always same.  He wants person's name and company to appear but does not want to enter the info in the fax database.

The fax was successfully sent to the following recipients: Recipient name Recipient number Transmission start Transmission end Retries

<2892985669> 2892985669 ?3:52:44 PM ?4:45:03 PM 0


I appreciate your help.

thanks

Wayne
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Question by:bswi
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7 Comments
 
LVL 37

Accepted Solution

by:
ArneLovius earned 500 total points
ID: 38749059
The SBS fax server is very basic...

For the level of faxing that you are running, I would suggest putting in a Linux box running Hylafax+ and use Winprint HylaFAX Reloaded on the desktop clients for "print to fax"

I do appreciate that this is probably not the answer that you were wanting, but looking at the issue pragmatically, Hylafax+ has significantly better queuing and reporting than the fax server built in to SBS.
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Author Comment

by:bswi
ID: 38780284
We had actually come to that conclusion - the problem is his requirements for his confirmation page - He does not want the contacts in the database before hand but he wants to create the database as he goes - if he happens to send to that person again then that contact will be in the database.  Then he wants the confirmation page to include name, company and fax number.  Most pull from a list - he wants to do he opposite.

Secondly if he faxes to 5 people - he wants 1 confirmation email back saying 4 went through but 1 didnt...

GFI and Hyla are the ones we normally would use but they wont do this...
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38781178
you could try RightFax, but I'm going to guess he'll baulk at the cost, then he can fax from Outlook, no external database required...

the database with Winprint HylaFAX Reloaded sounds perfect for him.

the "requirement" for a single notification when sending five faxes takes the biscuit, how about suggesting he hires a secretary, somebody who can make the tea as well...
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Author Comment

by:bswi
ID: 38781229
lol

of course ms fax can do the confirmations as 1 if you send to multiple...
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38781279
But as you pointed out, the confirmations are only "it was sent"...
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Author Comment

by:bswi
ID: 38782053
yes - the one thing in its favour is it does this but a) it is not returning confirmations consistently and b) unless the info is in the fax database it only gives the fax # on the confirmation....
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:ArneLovius
ID: 38782173
If it was my client, I'd strongly push towards using HylaFAX.

The reporting might not be exactly what he wants, namely one report per fax recipient sent, instead of one report per fax sent to multiple recipients, but as it is open source, perhaps he would consider creating a bounty for this "feature" to be developed...

I can understand why he wants the reporting, but logic behind when to report when a fax goes or doesn't go I can see becoming "complex".

The mailing lists might be worthwhile investigating http://hylafax.sourceforge.net/support.php
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