What Are Limitations of Using .pst Files Over a LAN & WAN link?

exchange-ost-to-outlook-pstIn this post we are going discuss about another Issues related to personal folder (.pst) files, there are number of Outlook users have already faced this issues and seeking best alternative solution to access PST files over network, finally we have some useful suggestion that might help to overcome pst corruption over network issues.

Ms official sites has already suggested following three alternatives to .PST files:

  • Use MS Exchange Server 2013, Office 365 Exchange Online or Ms Exchange Server 2010 Personal Archive mailboxes.
  • Configure Outlook in order to run on Windows Terminal Services and connect to the Exchnage Server mailbox in Online mode.
  • Configure Outlook in cached Exchnage Moe. This caches Exchange Sever mailbox data in a local Offline folders (.ost) file.

Detailed description on pst corruption over network:

The Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 team created personal folder (.pst) files in order to manage a copy of their message on their personal computer. Since .pst files are not considered as enterprise network solution, however it is simple to provide a specific a network directory or UNC- Universal Naming Convention path as a storage location for .pst files, frequent access of network method of storing messages is an enterprise environment.

A .pst file is a file access-driven method of messages storage, lets understand about File-access-driven : it means that the computer use unique file access command that support OS as well provide to read and write data to the file.

Unfortunately this method is not enough on LAN and WAN because both links LAN and WAN use network-access-driven method, these are commands that the OS provide option to send or receive messages from another networked computer. If you are using remote .pst file, Outlook try to use the file-access-drive command in order to read from the file and write to the file. Although Windows Operating System will definitely must then /send those commands over the network as file is not located on local computer. But this strategies creates many overhead and also increase the time that required to read and write to the file. Additionally, use of .pst file over network connection result in corruption or inaccessibility with PST files if network connection degrade or fails. You may also visit this site : https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askperf/2007/01/21/network-stored-pst-files-dont-do-it/ to get more details on network storage device or with server that host shares.

Some unpleasant behaviors of .PST file over LAN and Wan links:

  • First Outlook will perform very slow than the Exchange Client
  • All operations on Outlook will take longer than usual
  • Write operations on files will take more than 4 times longer than read operations

Due to these behaviors, offline Outlook folder (.ost) file and (.pab) Personal Address book files on network share that are also accessed remotely are unsupported configurations.

Useful Recommendations :images (9)

Microsoft support team recommends these following solutions

  • Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2013 Personal Archive mailbox
  • Exchange Server with local .ost file
  • Microsoft Terminal Services
  • Outlook 2010 or later versions hosted remotely by using Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) configuration
  • What to consider when you store .pst files
  • Exchange Connectivity and Outlook Performance troubleshooting where shared files exist

these points are briefly describe on this site:- (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/297019)