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Outlook 2010 Cached Exchange Mode - Terminal Services

    Question

  • Hi All,

    There is a problem with Outlook generally when run from a terminal server and a outsourced MS Exchange provider. You cannot use Cached Exchange Mode on terminal services. On saying this, I have just run the BETA 2010 outlook client on 2008 TS and cached exchange mode is enabled! Happy days!

    This brings a couple of questions;

    1) Is this feature going to stay or are the dev team going to remove it when the product reaches ADM?
    2) Is it a bug in itself that users are allow to use it on a terminal server?

    Answers / views really appreciated.

    Many many thanks.
    Sam

    Thursday, November 19, 2009 3:37 PM

Answers

All replies

  • I am curious about this as well.  My guess is that it is a bug and should be disabled, because typically TS environments do not have local profiles (which is where the OST file is stored, and you wouldn't want to run OSTs over the network or copy them during logon/logoff anyway).

    The real issue is that cached exchange mode is required for advanced search in 2007.  I haven't had a chance to play with outlook 2010 search in TS much yet (just set up my citrix xenapp6 tech preview server a few days ago) but I'm hoping it is much improved in this regard...
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 6:26 PM
  • Not a bug. Finally Microsoft provided this feature. I understand why it is disabled but they should have provided an option to enable it for single server environments. I have personally had issues with this using a Hosted Exchange environment. Works fine but can be very slow especially working with attachments. So this is going to save me big time!

     

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee620554(office.14).aspx >

    Using Outlook with Terminal Services

    Terminal Services in Windows Server enables you to install a single volume licensed copy of Outlook 2010 on a Terminal Services computer. Instead of having Outlook run on local computers, multiple users connect to the server and run Outlook from that server.

    To achieve optimal results when you use Outlook with Terminal Services, pay attention to how you customize your Outlook configuration. For example, in Outlook 2010 you can configure Cached Exchange Mode with Terminal Services . However, you will have to provide sufficient disk space to accommodate each user’s mailbox on the Terminal Services server computer. Note that Outlook might be part of an environment that includes other applications provided on the same Terminal Services computer.

     

    Friday, March 26, 2010 5:21 PM
  • I am curious how this will work...  For example we have 4-6 citrix servers, so users get sent to different ones each session based on load.  They get their settings via roaming profiles/folder redirection.

    I assume the OST would either need to be recreated upon every login, slamming bandwidth between the citrix servers and exchange servers every morning, or would need to be read across the network, simply shifting load from exchange to the file server (which is less efficient), or would need to be copied over as part of the profile, making the logon process itself take a LONG time...

    Friday, March 26, 2010 8:28 PM
  • That are good questions.

    Does anyone already have some experience in that matter? Especially in the multi TS/CTX Environment..

    regards,
    Reto

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:53 AM
  • WesLazara

    Dont use exchange cache mode in your setup, you will incur huge data pulls as it copies the profile across each time, or if you exclude that folder in the profile which hosts the outlook cache, it will have to recreate it.

    I cant see how this is really gonna benefit most TS Setups, unless they have a single terminal server which has there mail hosted off site somewhere then the local profile will benefit by not having to pull the data each time, and you dont have to keep dragging attachments across the wire.


    Martyn

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:20 AM
  • Supported, but still not a good idea, unless you are using a terminal server thats seperated from Exchange by really bad network connections.

    Cached Exchange Mode in a Remote Desktop Session Host environment: planning considerations

     


    Mike Crowley
    Check out My Blog!

    • Proposed as answer by Mike CrowleyMVP Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:06 PM
    • Marked as answer by Sally Tang Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:26 AM
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:06 PM
  • Is there any way to turn this feature off in 2010?

    We've got some users with large mailboxes that run in cached mode on their desktops. They occasionally use RDS when working from home. The terminal server has limited disk space and can't cope with the OSTs of 30 different users, so having cached mode automatically disabled when they logged in to the RD server was perfect.

    I've had a look thru the Outlook and Office 2010 ADMs and can't spot anything. I really just want to roll the default behaviour of this feature back to the way Office 2007 handled it. Any thoughts?

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:14 AM
  • Yes, it's controlled through GPO.  In the Outlook 2010 Administrative Template, go to the User settings, Outlook 2010, Account Settings, Exchange, Cached Exchange Mode.  You can disable it there.
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:16 PM
  • If it's in User Settings and I only want the policy to apply when they log into a terminal server (I *want* cached mode when they're on their laptops and desktops), does that mean it's time for me to go read up on loopback processing? =)
    Wednesday, September 01, 2010 1:02 AM
  • I had some trouble with loopback processing and Office 2010 ADMs, so I ended up going down a different path.

    For anyone who's interested, I created the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Office/14.0/Outlook/OST

    In that key I created a DWORD named NoOST and set the value to 2.

    I'm now using a GP Pref to push that registry key to all my terminal servers. Problem solved! =)

    Friday, September 03, 2010 1:46 AM
  • Is this a feature of Server 2008 or Office 2010, or the combination of both? I'm thrilled to have this functionally because we have a single W2K3 server running Citrix and hosted Exchange. We also can't get an affordable fast Internet connection. Our Citrix users hate Outlook due to the inability to cache their OSTs. If someone could let me know, we'll start the migration. Thanks! Aaron
    Friday, September 03, 2010 3:27 PM
  • Modify outlook 2010 GPO to put the OST file on a unc share using %username% or whatever you use for your roaming profiles.  Also since your already using roaming profiles, just have that unc path be under their roaming profile.  I tested this and it worked, only creating the OST file on the unc path and not the local server.  Additionally however I had to make sure that "delete cache profile on log off" was not enabled, which it was for me...so I disabled it.  Don't worry the cache profile doesn't keep a local OST on the c: drive.  But if you allow your TS to delete the cached profile, at next login it will recreate another OST file all over again at the unc path.

    I only tested this on a single TS, not a cluster of TS, so you might want to see how it works when logging into different servers to see if it tries to recreate the OST even though it's already created at the UNC path.

    • Proposed as answer by philldogger Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:41 PM
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:41 PM
  • I've only tested in windows 2008 TS, so I am too wondering if it's supported on 2003 TS.  I'm assuming it does as it's more of a Outlook 2010 feature than a terminal server feature.
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:42 PM
  • FWIW, enabled Cached Mode on 2010, RDS and well it's taking a while to replicate the mailbox - being 20+Gb.

    One VERY IMPORTANT point to note, it also sends to cache all of the "Additional" Mailboxes that would have normally not cached. Eeek.

    This may be a new feature of Office 2010, but in a RD model, that will create some HUGE mailboxes, especially if you have access to service mailboxes, such as "Sales", "Accounts" etc that might be used for a general mailbox for information workers - as all of the contents of these mailboxes will replicate now.

    I'll post back the difference in size of the OST between 2007 and 2010, considering the new folders that will be cached.

    Paul MacNeill
    PRO.INTEGRATIONS

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010 8:48 AM
  • Ah yes, we got caught out by that one on the desktop too. It's another behaviour change in 2010, but there's yet another registry key you can change to set it back to 2007-style behaviour of only caching the primary mailbox.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982697

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010 11:46 PM
  • Ah yes, we got caught out by that one on the desktop too. It's another behaviour change in 2010, but there's yet another registry key you can change to set it back to 2007-style behaviour of only caching the primary mailbox.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982697


    Thanks for the post - just what the doctor ordered.

     

    Friday, December 10, 2010 7:51 AM
  • I had some trouble with loopback processing and Office 2010 ADMs, so I ended up going down a different path.

    For anyone who's interested, I created the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Office/14.0/Outlook/OST

    In that key I created a DWORD named NoOST and set the value to 2.

    I'm now using a GP Pref to push that registry key to all my terminal servers. Problem solved! =)

    What kind of trouble?

     

    Use the Group Policy loopback feature to apply User Configuration GPO settings to users only when they log on to the Terminal Servers. When GPO Loopback processing is enabled for the computers in an OU that contains only Terminal Servers, those computers apply the User Configuration settings from the set of GPOs that apply to that OU. Additionally, those computers apply the User Configuration settings from GPOs that are linked to or inherited by the OU that contains the user's account.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/260370



    Mike Crowley
    Check out My Blog!

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:44 PM
  • So how does this work (on those with a single terminal server who are actually using OST) with regard to the indexing service and outlook instant search?  Does the TS proper index all users' mailboxes?  if so, how is the performance on that poor abused disk?  :-)
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:49 PM
  • So how does this work (on those with a single terminal server who are actually using OST) with regard to the indexing service and outlook instant search?  Does the TS proper index all users' mailboxes?  if so, how is the performance on that poor abused disk?  :-)

    I think the short answer is and has been clear. Not good. For specifics you'd have to do testing with specific mailboxes, hardware, etc

     

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:51 PM
  • I had some trouble with loopback processing and Office 2010 ADMs, so I ended up going down a different path.

    For anyone who's interested, I created the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Office/14.0/Outlook/OST

    In that key I created a DWORD named NoOST and set the value to 2.

    I'm now using a GP Pref to push that registry key to all my terminal servers. Problem solved! =)

    This is the value the GPO actually creates:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\office\14.0\outlook\cached mode]
    "Enable"=dword:00000000

    #2703 in Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings_Reference.xls          

     

    What about using a custom reg key with group policy preferences, and then using item-level targeting on the regkey for terminal sessions only?

     

    Note: there is an issue with item-level targeting on terminal servers in some scenarios: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976033



    From the Help:

    Terminal Session Targeting

    A Terminal Session targeting item allows a preference item to be applied to users only if the processing user is logged on to a terminal session with the settings specified in the targeting item. If Is Not is selected, it allows the preference item to be applied only if the user is not logged on to a terminal session or the user is logged on to a terminal session without the settings specified in the targeting item.

    Type or protocol

    Any

    Remote Desktop Services

    : A Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) based Remote Desktop Services session, including Remote Desktop.
    : Any type of terminal session.

     

    Note

     

    Terminal Session targeting is not available when configuring computer Group Policy settings.

    Parameter

    Any

    Application name

    Client name

    Initial program

    Session name

    Working directory

    Client TCP/IP address

    : The address range of the client computer's TCP/IP address.
    : The working directory for the session, which is located on the server.
    : The name of the terminal session used by the user. A typical Remote Desktop Services session name begins with "RDP_tpc" and is immediately followed by a numerical value.
    : The path and name of the initial program.
    : The name of the computer from which the user is connecting to the terminal session.
    : The published name of the application.
    : Targeting is not restricted by parameter.
     

     

    Note

     
     

    IPv6 addresses are not supported.

    Parameter value

    The value required for the Parameter. If the Parameter is Any, this option is not available.

    Additional considerations

    To reposition a targeting item within the list of targeting items that you have applied to a preference item, either drag the targeting item to a new position, or select the targeting item and then click the Move Up arrow or Move Down arrow.

    Boxes in Computer Name (NetBIOS only), Domain, Site, Terminal Session, and User (if not matched by SID) targeting items accept single character (?) and multiple character (*) wildcards.

    Preference items are available only in domain-based GPOs.

     

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:14 AM
  • And another thought:

    You could add a WMI filter to the GPO so that it doesn't apply to the Server OS...



    Mike Crowley
    Check out My Blog!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:44 AM
  • Been thinking about this more lately as we look into various VDI options and the costs involved.  Cached mode/OST and the advanced search that comes with it would be one of the bigger drivers for us to consider moving from Xenapp to VDI.  However, with super fast SSDs becoming so cheap now...  What if...

    We were to put an SSD in each of our 5 terminal servers, and force the OST path for each user to an autocreated subfolder on that SSD.  Then we could set up DFS-R to replicate these OSTs between all the terminal servers, which would prevent htem from having to be rebuilt all the time (even this step might not be necessary, but you would incur some network/disk hit each time a user logged in and their out-of-date OST was brought up to date) - might not be too bad if we only enabled this for certain users.

    But where I am still unsure is the index - does windows indexing service properly index each user's OST file in a shared environment like a TS?  If so, where is that index stored and would we (can we?) force the index to relocate to the SSD as well?

    Friday, March 11, 2011 4:08 PM
  • Wes,

    You should not use cached mode in terminal servers.



    Mike Crowley
    Check out My Blog!

    Friday, March 11, 2011 7:41 PM
  • I know I know :-)

     

    Just wish online search didn't suck...

    Friday, March 11, 2011 7:51 PM
  • It could be useful for testing and troubleshooting purposes since all our users have Cached Mode enabled on their PCs and without this option we cannot always reproduce the issues they have with e.g. OAB distribution or OST corruption, etc.
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:36 PM
  • This weekend a user logged in to Terminal Server (2008 R2) and opened outlook 2010 Sp1/Exchange 2010 SP1 RU6, and outlook started downloading their 8GB mailbox to the server (like cached mode) but when I go into mail cached mode is not enabled (as it should be) Any ideas? This almost crashed my TS server since we dont allow outlook cached on the server and dont keep the disk pace to accommodate such settings.

    Any ideas how this is/was caused. 

     

    SJMP

    Monday, November 28, 2011 3:58 PM
  • SJMP-  I have the exact same issue.  Cache mode is normally enabled on user's PC's with roaming profiles (Win 7, Outlook 2010).  When they use the new Remote Desktop Server (Win 2008r2, Outlook 2010) I had used Group Policy to disable cache mode with the loopback processing on.

    If the user looks in their Control panel account settings on the RDS the cached mode is NOT checked off and yet the .OST file gets created and builds and builds.  Also, the bottom left corner of Outlook shows Online mode and the mail is all there before the .OST even gets started.  This user has no 'additional mailboxes' connected.

    Not sure what to do at this point.

    • Proposed as answer by SMBTECH Monday, January 16, 2012 8:35 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by SMBTECH Monday, January 16, 2012 8:35 PM
    Saturday, December 24, 2011 11:33 AM
  • Something I am experimenting with is to actually use OST in cache mode.  In this scenerio, you would place a GPO to limit the size of the OST file.  (You should use some type of profile management, such as Citrix User Profile Management or AppSense, or folder redirection at the least).  The reasoning, is in my world (cloud hosted desktops), users usually only need the full outlook client for integrations such as Quickbooks, ACT, etc.  You can limit the OST file size on the full Outlook client to say, only 3GB (or whatever you can stand).  For the users to get access to larger mailbox files, such as if they have an Office 365 25GB account, they would access that via OWA.  Additionally, in the Citrix environment, you can set the download preferences of the OST to download headers only, as well as select which folder items to be downloaded.  This should significantly help in XenApp environments.  I understand this is not acceptable in all environments, due to business limitations.

     

    http://www.ostfile.com/ost-file-size-limit.html

     

     


    • Edited by SMBTECH Monday, January 16, 2012 8:49 PM
    Monday, January 16, 2012 8:42 PM