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This seems to be a recurring problem. I have users who have 2 devices they use on a regular basis: their desktop at work and a portable lightweight notebook.

Generally these are executives who receive 50+ emails a day. Our exchange server is limited to only 75 GB. Because of our size limitation, we set a size limit on users' mailbox size. Users are encouraged to keep personal and archived folders.

The problem is that these personal and archived folders are usually saved to the desktop work machine. When users are on the road with a notebook they connect to our network via VPN. They open up outlook and have access to their mailbox but not their personal or archived folders.

As of now, I have just been setting users up with mailbox folders that mirror their personal folders. I have it set up so that emails older than 6 months are sent to personal folders. So users have access to last 6 months of data on both machines.

Is there a solution more elegant than this? If I saved the pst file to a network folder, would they have access to them when connect via VPN? Is saving pst files to a network folder frowned upon? Any ideas?

share|improve this question
PST over VPN will be slow. That is all I can add. If you didn't have the space problem with Exchange, that would be the most elegant solution. – user3463 Oct 21 '09 at 14:27
A solution might cost you more than a new hard disk... – harrymc Oct 21 '09 at 14:32
The size limitation is not a hard disk issue. I do believe it is an Windows Server version limitation. If I remember correctly the Exchange size limitation is a technique used by Microsoft to tier Windows Server into different versions. There is probably some Enterprise edition of Windows Sever without this size limitation for a couple k more. – CT. Oct 21 '09 at 14:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

What I do for my users, is have them use RDP to their desktops and they can just access all their local data and network shares as if they are at work. I stopped using VPN only because to me it seemed much slower, where as with RDP it was a bit more easier and faster. Granted it is 1 extra step for your users but if you pre-configure their RDP connections for them, it's just a shortcut. Alternatively your proposed solution of putting the PST on the network shares would probably work, but I don't know how performance would be affected, probably not as nice well as expected.

Edit: Mind you, I still have them VPN then RDP, not RDP directly. Additionally, you use less resources and also it is more secure than having all Outlook data downloaded onto your user's laptops in case they ever got stolen.

share|improve this answer
VPN then RDP... Not exactly the solution I was looking for but I like this idea. The only downside I see to this is having the users make sure that their desktop is always on. – CT. Oct 21 '09 at 18:59
You could use Wake On Lan solutions to take care of that problem for you. – AdminAlive Oct 21 '09 at 23:16

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