Public Folders on multiple Exchange 2013 servers

Posted on 2014-04-18
Last Modified: 2014-05-29
Got two questions regarding Public Folders on Exchange 2013:
- Can I have more than one PF trees in a single Exchange Organization? (In previous versions there could be only one PF DB)
- If I have more than one Ex2013 servers, can I choose where the PF trees will appear?

The reason I am asking: Two companies merged, each one has Ex2010 with PFs. I want to create a single Ex2013 Organization for them but i don't want to merge the PFs. So I want two Ex2013 servers in the same Org, and each server will have each own distinct set of PFs.

Ideas/Opinions and also resources/articles/references will be appreciated. Thanks! :-)
Question by:criskrit
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40010102
While you can have multiple public folder mailboxes, only one of them contains a writable copy of the hierarchy. That means the tree will only appear in one place.

You can have up to 100 public folder mailboxes though, so you will be able to split the content. With careful use of the permissions you should be able to hide the other content from the users.

This TechNet Article outlines the limits:


Author Comment

ID: 40013268
Hello Simon and thanks for the information. I would love some clarifications:

When you say "writable copy of the hierarchy" do you refer to the whole PF tree structure with all the content? So lets say I have East Coast Ex2013 (holding the "master" writable copy) and West Coast Ex2013. If East Coast is the writable one, does this make the West Coast copy read-only? What happens if a West Coast user tries to edit the content?

Another question: Can I replicate only part of the whole PF tree structure? (ie the East Coast copy has everything but the West Coast copy only has the West Coast content). I would like to minimize replication traffic.


Author Comment

ID: 40013576
Also one more question: would I be able to achieve the desired result with Ex2010? Thx!
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 40014210
Public Folders are now a mailbox.

Therefore if you have everything in a single mailbox then everything will need to be replicated. To avoid that you would need to setup multiple public folder databases.
However it could be argued to have everything replicated to both sites so that you have a copy of that content!

As for what happens when someone tries to change something, I have to admit I haven't actually tried that. I would presume that the change would be redirected or something back to the writable copy, and then subject to the usual replication delays.

Exchange 2010 is the legacy version of public folders, so behaves in exactly the same way as all previous versions of Exchange. That means selective replication at a folder level etc.


Author Comment

ID: 40015951
Hi Simon, I got a bit confused, if only one PF Mbox can have a writable copy of the structure, doesn't this Mbox have to have ALL the content?

Or do you mean that I can have many PF structures, each one with a separate set of replicating MBoxes (with only one of them being writable)?
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 40016779
The way I understand it is that one public folder mailbox has the entire structure in it, but the data itself can be spread out over multiple mailboxes.

Don't mix up content and data.


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