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Top 10 Microsoft Exchange performance worst practices

David Sengupta outlines 10 worst practices you should avoid if you want your Exchange servers to perform at their best.

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With Exchange Server at the core of much of the world's corporate communications infrastructure today, achieving optimal messaging system performance -- whether actual or perceived -- has become an important part of every Exchange administrator's job. Whatever the reason, if "email is slow," your help desk phones will start ringing, and if "email is down," your future at the company may be limited.

Taking a different approach to the challenge of Exchange Server performance, David Sengupta, longtime Exchange MVP and resident expert, outlines 10 worst practices you should avoid if you want your Exchange servers to perform at their best.

Top 10 Exchange performance worst practices

 Home: Introduction
 Worst Practice #1: Treat "high availability" as a future project
 Worst Practice #2: Leave "IOPS" for the consultant
 Worst Practice #3: Use identical configuration for all Exchange Server roles
 Worst Practice #4: Encourage users to keep everything in their Inboxes
 Worst Practice #5: Schedule backups and system maintenance during peak usage
 Worst Practice #6: Throttle the RAM available to Exchange
 Worst Practice #7: Virus scan and back up the M drive
 Worst Practice #8: Ignore client configuration, type and usage
 Worst Practice #9: Don't use change control
 Worst Practice #10: Ignore management tools

David Sengupta is a product manager in the Windows Management group at Quest Software. He has also been a Microsoft MVP in the Exchange Server category for six consecutive years. Sengupta has contributed to various Exchange and Windows books, magazines and white papers from a number of publishers. He also frequently represents Microsoft on staff at Ask the Experts, Microsoft Experts Area and Peer Talk at conferences such as MEC and TechEd. Sengupta has an M.T.S. from Tyndale Seminary, Canada, a B.Sc. from University of Ottawa, Canada, and MCSE (Messaging) and CCA certifications. He runs a blog on Microsoft Exchange and email compliance issues at and can be reached at

This was last published in June 2005

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