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exchange vs imap bandwidth for the same account

Posted on 2013-12-13
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hi i hope you are well.

does anyone know the bandwidth requirements for exchange vs imap? is one more efficient than the other?

in particular, exhchange 2010 server with a 2013 outlook client vs the same but with an imap server?

please note, im not looking for a comparison between the benefits of exchange vs imap, i know that exchange is far superior.
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Question by:247computerdoctor
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by:giltjr
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No real help, just a couple of comments.

I am assuming you really mean MAPI vs. IMAP since Exchange servers supports IMAP.

I've never really did a comparison, but as a head sup Exchange 2012 does away with "native MAPI" and only supports RPC over HTTP.  I can definitely see a performance difference, slower, when using RPC over HTTP when compared to "native MAPI".  

Since it is encrypted I can't really tell what is going on, but it take more "back and forth" with RPC over HTTP to do the same function when compared to MAPI.
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In the environment you describe (Outlook 2013/Exchange 2010) you may well find that you actually end up using ActiveSync - both Activesync and MAPI are valid options, and bandwidth use for both (and IMAP, for that matter) are actually very similar. When you set up the accocount in Outlook, you'll have the option to choose between "Exchange or compatible server" and "Activesync compatible service". Both offer a similar feature set and ActiveSync's likely to give a slightly better performance over low bandwidth or high-latency connections. I'd avoid IMAP in an Exchange environment; it doesn't really offer you any advantages and it's another protocol to support.
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by:BlueCompute
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For the specific setup you describe, incidentally, I'd expect the Outlook 2013 client using IMAP to use a fair bit more bandwidth than the same client using Activesync, simply because if you use the native exchange protocols both devices will be speaking the same language and maintaining downloaded/read lists in the same way - IMAP is a receive-only protocol and messages will be sent by SMTP then copied to the "sent items" folder, for example, which is inefficient. Also note that if you want calendars and contacts as well as email, you'll need to implement CalDAV and CardDAV in addition to IMAP if you go down that route.
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by:247computerdoctor
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thanks for that. im well aware of how crap imap is compared to exchange proper and its feature set- im just trying to convince one of my customer to use exchange instead of their web designers suggestion of imap. i dont want to get involved  in caldav and plug in this, plug in that, flaky x , flaky y  i just want to use exchange!!

</rant>

thanks guys!
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by:giltjr
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Ah, since you are looking at "native Exchange" vs. IMAP from that point of view what you need to do is make sure that whomever is involved in the decision is aware that "native  Exhcnage" is a whole package, where as IMAP is one part.

It like being in the market for a new car and you saying we should get "car X" and the web designers saying you should just get a manual transmission.

You can't do much with just a manual transmission (IMAP), you still have to build the rest of the car (SMTP, CalDEV, CardDEV).  Where as with "car X" (native Exchange protocols) you have everything already.
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by:247computerdoctor
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yeah, i totally agree.

ive actually managed to convince them now anyway after the ightmare we've had trying to do the following:

1) i email  web designer.
2) web designer emaisl to uk2 (aaaargh!)
3) some time later (4 hours to a day)  uk2 come back with something maybe sensible, other wise repeat step 1 and 2 untill response(uk2) = usefull
4) give up, they decide to use exchange
5) hooray!
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