Maintaining Good Exchange Performance
Most organizations today are heavily reliant on email. Exchange performance problems or system outages can quickly have a negative impact a business, causing customer service problems and costing money. This post explores some ways to ensure Microsoft Exchange performance remains and consistent and the service reliable.
Maintaining Exchange performance starts with the same sensible regime that IT teams should adopt for any server system. The hardware should be adequately specified with plenty of room for data growth, and the software must be regularly patched and updated.
Reliable Internet security software should be used, and network administrators must ensure this is carefully configured according to guidelines provided by both Microsoft and the relevant third party software company.
Once these basics are covered, there is still more that can be done to keep a company’s Exchange system running smoothly as on the day it was implemented.
As with all IT systems, Exchange performance starts to suffer and slow down as the server becomes full of data.
The days of 250MB mailbox quotas are long gone. Email is now such an integral part of business communication that users don’t expect to have to perform particularly regular housekeeping to keep their mailbox size in check. They do not have to do this on their home computers, so are unlikely to understand why they must do it in the office environment.
On top of this, compliance and regulatory requirements often mean that business users need to store historical email in case it is needed at a later date.
Fortunately, there is a way to keep the Exchange system “lean and mean” while still allowing users the storage capacity they need. The answer is to use a centralized email archiving solution.
Implementing an email archiving solution means it is possible to go back to the days of small Exchange mailbox quotas, by automatically offloading older email into a dedicated archive database. Good email archiving solutions still allow users to access all of this historical mail through the central archive.
Exchange performance obviously improves in this scenario, as it is able to continue to run with small mailbox sizes, leaving the IT team with a good sized information store which is easier to defragment, back up and repair in the event that something goes wrong.
There are other benefits, not least the centralization of the email data. In companies that do not have a centralized email archive, email is often scattered throughout the organization in PST files. Also, when the time comes to find a very old, but very crucial email, perhaps during an audit or accounting review, centralized search facilities can make that email easy to find—clearly better than a long, panicked search through a pile of PST files.
Email archiving solutions make it possible to maintain Exchange performance, rather than witnessing a slow deterioration, as more data fills the information stores. This can lead to happier users, and also a happier IT department.
This guest post was provided by Ben Taylor on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. Read more on how to improve your Exchange performance.
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