managing .pst

Running a Small Business Server 2011 with Exchange 2010
email issue: I have a user that has two Windows 7 Office 2013 PCs
One in Office A and one in Office B. Office A host our servers including Exchange. The user I'll call him Barry uses Outlook mailbox setup in both locations. He also has 5 large .pst files that he opens in his Outlook and complains that the PST is slow to open or des not open at all. These .PST files are on a fileserver in office A.
Can a .PST file be open twice?
I suspect his issue is that Barry has it open in PC and when the other PC tries to use it that's an issue.

We are on a dedicated MPLS 10MBPS connection between offices and also running WAN Optimization units at both end Silver Peak units
jsarinanaI.T. ManagerAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
PST files cannot be shared or opened multiple times. Outlook locks the file while it is attached to a Outlook session.

Peter HutchisonSenior Network Systems SpecialistCommented:
Since you are using Exchange 2010, you could use its Archive facilities to store old mail on cheaper disk from the Exchange server and keep the primary mailbox free from old mail. You could import mail from the PSTs to the archive and then they will be available from anywhere including Outlook and OWA.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Firstly, pst file can only be opened by 1 client at a time.  If he wants to stick with .PST, then he needs to close outlook at whatever location he is not at so the .pst files will be  unlocked.

is the speed complaint regardless of where he is?
How large of PST files are we talking since "large" can be very subjective? Also, how big is his actual live mailbox?
so if he is at office A where the PST files are on a local server, does he complain about speed or only when he is at office B?

a .pst file is basically a database.  You are asking outlook to open its own cached server mailbox (.ost file) along with 5 "large" additional databases.  How good of a PC is he running at each location?  SSD drives?  he may need more RAM. is he running 64bit windows (not 64bit office, but 64bit windows)?

without messing with the exchange archive settings as Peter recommended (which would be the BEST way to do this), you should aim to have the following
Windows 7 x64 so that you can have ....
As much ram as possible for the pst files.  without knowing how large the .pst files are, i will start with a 16GB recommendation
Office 2013 x32.   you want the 32 bit office for compatibility sake (unless your user is making +2GB excel or access files)
obviously a fast harddrive

Also, 10MBs is nice and all, but if he is trying to pull an ungodly amount of .PST files across the wire, he is probably going to have a bad time.  Remember, outlook doesn't just OPEN or stream a .pst.  Its a database, it has to index it and check it for validity While its loading it.  You may want to look into having the .PST files locally on each pc and run a script or folder sync app to upload/download the .PST files AFTER OUTLOOK CLOSES.
So for example.  back in the day, i used something called MIRRORFOLDERS.  simple app that would check any specified folders for changed files and then upload them to a location.  if you had something similar on both computers you could set it up so that when outlook closes, it copies his PST files up to the server.  When the OTHER computer "sees" the updated files on the server, it downloads the updated PST to itself, so that when he comes in and opens outlook, he has the latest files regardless of computer.  Since he will probably close outlook at the end of the day, he and the other users probably wont mind if his computer starts uploading 24GB of PST files.  same for the receiving side.  Its ugly and nasty, but it should work
Webinar: Cyber Crime Becomes Big Business

The rising threat of malware-as-a-service is not one to be overlooked. Malware-as-a-service is growing and easily purchased from a full-service cyber-criminal store in a “Virus Depot” fashion. Join us in our upcoming webinar as we discuss how to best defend against these attacks!

AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Create one archive mailbox, merge all data into archive mailbox and configure at user end. Make sure to have Enterprise CAL to use Archive feature.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Opening a PST file over a network is not supported and will lead to file corruption and can impact on the performance of the hosting server.

More on the same subject:

Putting the email back in the mailbox or an archive mailbox is the best option.

jsarinanaI.T. ManagerAuthor Commented:
will install Exchange Archive
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.