7 Ways to Improve Your Exchange Performance

7 Ways to Improve Your Exchange Performance

Microsoft Exchange Server is one of the most common mail implementations for businesses and organizations with high volumes of email. Exchange is well-known for its features, reliability, and scalability; however, Exchange performance could be an issue for administrators at times. Addressing Exchange performance problems is essential to the smooth operation of any Exchange system. Here are some basic tips to do this:

1. Utilize an antivirus and anti-spam solution

If a large amount of your inbound email is spam, you could be overloading your Exchange server simply by forcing it to process loads of junk mail. Using an effective antivirus and anti-spam solution at the gateway can help to reduce the amount of email being handled by the Exchange server. For spam, you may want to install a mail scanning application on a separate server, or utilize a third-party anti-spam or email protection service.

2. Have your users upgrade their email clients

Using newer email clients that are specifically compatible with Exchange servers can offer major performance benefits. Caching, traffic compression, and incremental synchronization are some features that can contribute to reduced resource consumption. Exchange administrators can also enforce the use of newer email clients or specific software.

3. Check your tuning parameters

Microsoft may sometimes change their recommendations as to what settings and plug-ins to use for optimal performance; and these settings may differ depending on the size of your organization and the version of Exchange Server you are running. You should regularly check that the settings you’re using, and adjust them accordingly.

4. Use the free analysis tool

The ExBPA (Exchange Best Practices Analyzer) tool is a free utility provided by Microsoft that can be used to identify configuration problems that could be affecting Exchange performance. The tool will also make recommendations to help you achieve better scalability, reliability and uptime.

5. Tune your server for optimal memory utilization

If you have a large amount of RAM on your Exchange server, you can probably make the use of memory more efficient by changing the amount of memory available for user mode applications. This change is made within the registry of the Exchange server.  See more on Exchange 2010 Performance Monitoring.

6. Implement a RAID solution

Utilizing RAID with efficient disks (such as 10K or 15K rpm) can make a major difference in performance, not to mention reliability. Disks working in tandem with a RAID controller tend to be much more efficient, and also provide a layer of redundancy in the event of a disk failure.

7. Ensure speedy Active Directory access

As part of Active Directory, a global catalog is required in each domain that contains Exchange servers in order to provide authentication services. Therefore it’s necessary to ensure that the lines of communication between the Exchange server and Active Directory are as speedy as possible. One way to speed up communication is by making sure the Active Directory and Exchange Servers have the least number of hops possible between themselves as to minimize latency.

Improving Exchange performance is beneficial to the server administrator and end-users. Using these tips, you may be able to address common performance problems that may occur within your Exchange server, and increase the scalability of your systems.

This guest post was provided by Vanessa Vasile 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 improving your Exchange performance

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See more Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 topics:

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