Performance considerations for Exchange public folder indexing

Brien Posey
Public folder indexing can be a very resource-intensive operation. If your Exchange public folder server is already low on resources -- such as memory, processing power, or hard disk space -- or if the hard disk is being used excessively, then indexing the server's public folders is probably a bad idea.

Likewise, indexing mailboxes almost always places an excessive workload on the Exchange server (remember that mailbox contents constantly change and the index has to work hard to keep up).

You also need to consider the amount of space the public folder index will consume. In most cases, it will be about 20% of the size of the Exchange public folder store being indexed. For example, if you have a 10 GB public folder store, you can expect the index to be about 2 GB.

There are exceptions though. If a user posts a single item to multiple folders, then the item is only added to the database once -- but it is indexed separately for each folder. This means that, in some rare cases, the index could theoretically become bigger than the database.

Tutorial: Indexing Exchange Server public folder content


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 Part 1: How to create an Exchange public folder index
 Part 2: How to populate an Exchange public folder index
 Part 3: How to update an Exchange public folder index
 Part 4: Benefits of Exchange public folder indexing
 Part 5: Performance considerations for Exchange public folder indexing
 Part 6: Related links

Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. He has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, he has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies.

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