Outlook .pst folder redirection possible?



  • Our ADDC is 2008 at the moment, and we have an option for Folder Redirection APPDATA(Roaming). Our environment is heavily utilize Outlook as primary communication application. We DO NOT host our exchange server as we are outsourced.

    One day a HDD died on one of our user. All documents and files are Folder Redirected to network drive so everything is good. However, Outlook .pst file is located in APPDATA Local and it was not redirected to network drive. The problem is restoring Outlook mails. He has about 10GB of mailbox size and it took a whole day with bandwidth restriction lifted to completed. In the mean-time I offer him OWA so he can continue his work even if it is slower than Outlook.

    To prevent this from happening again I want to know how to set GPO for APPDATA(Local) or GPO/script that will move and reconfigure Outlook Data file to new location...say /Document/Outlook PST. This way it will be covered by GPO Document folder redirection. I am trying to find an automatic way that does not required me to go cube to cube.



  • PSTs are not mean to be stored this way, they have a tendency to corrupt at worst and be sluggish at best. It at all possible, consider moving users to OWA to fix this problem.



  • This is not recommended by MS at all. Putting a PST on a network share invites corruption and performance issues.

    If this is a concern for you, you should look at running a backup job to backup the PST from time to time.



  • What is slower about OWA than local Outlook?

    Does the user use Outlook plugins? If yes, that would prevent you from moving to OWA.



  • @Dashrender said:

    What is slower about OWA than local Outlook?

    Nothing that I've found. It's always faster in my own use cases. Even in startup, somehow!



  • @Dashrender said:

    What is slower about OWA than local Outlook?

    Does the user use Outlook plugins? If yes, that would prevent you from moving to OWA.

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    What is slower about OWA than local Outlook?

    Nothing that I've found. It's always faster in my own use cases. Even in startup, somehow!

    They just.. don't like OWA.



  • @LAH3385 yeah I keep hearing that.

    What version of Outlook are they on? If we're talking about people who last saw OWA in the 2007 days, maybe even the 2010 days, I can understand where they are coming from, OWA 2010 was very usable, and 2013 is pretty much Outlook in a browser.

    I'd ask them to take a look again and let them know about the freedoms it grants them (use from any computer - all data available from anywhere, etc).



  • At my last employer, we did store the PST files in the End-User's Redirected Documents folder. To my knowledge, we never had any Outlook issues that were caused by that.



  • @LAH3385 said:

    They just.. don't like OWA.

    At some point you have to decide what to present and not to present as options. If what they want doesn't meet their needs, take it off of the table.

    Present it to management with the costs, limitations, issues, etc. Don't hold back, let them back the decision. If things corrupt, hold them accountable.

    Let people move person by person. Those with OWA can mock their Luddite brethren until more switch out of embarrassment. 🙂



  • @dafyre said:

    At my last employer, we did store the PST files in the End-User's Redirected Documents folder. To my knowledge, we never had any Outlook issues that were caused by that.

    If they are small, the network is fast and the NAS never disconnects, it often works.



  • @Dashrender said:

    This is not recommended by MS at all. Putting a PST on a network share invites corruption and performance issues.

    If this is a concern for you, you should look at running a backup job to backup the PST from time to time.

    I want Folder Redirection to act as a backup where Offline file is the original and Network drive is the copy. I don't think that is how it works.

    @Dashrender said:

    @LAH3385 yeah I keep hearing that.

    What version of Outlook are they on? If we're talking about people who last saw OWA in the 2007 days, maybe even the 2010 days, I can understand where they are coming from, OWA 2010 was very usable, and 2013 is pretty much Outlook in a browser.

    I'd ask them to take a look again and let them know about the freedoms it grants them (use from any computer - all data available from anywhere, etc).

    We are on 2010. I have the latest OWA with Outlook.com and it looks gorgeous.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @LAH3385 said:

    They just.. don't like OWA.

    At some point you have to decide what to present and not to present as options. If what they want doesn't meet their needs, take it off of the table.

    Present it to management with the costs, limitations, issues, etc. Don't hold back, let them back the decision. If things corrupt, hold them accountable.

    Let people move person by person. Those with OWA can mock their Luddite brethren until more switch out of embarrassment. 🙂

    Do you have to manually point to Outlook file to Document or is there a general setting something I can tweak with?

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @dafyre said:

    At my last employer, we did store the PST files in the End-User's Redirected Documents folder. To my knowledge, we never had any Outlook issues that were caused by that.

    If they are small, the network is fast and the NAS never disconnects, it often works.

    We are <100 users. Out network is 1Gb. We do not experience issue that often.



  • @LAH3385 said:

    @Dashrender said:

    We are on 2010. I have the latest OWA with Outlook.com and it looks gorgeous.

    It's great, I've been on it for four or five years now. So much nicer for me than traditional Outlook.



  • @LAH3385 said:

    If they are small, the network is fast and the NAS never disconnects, it often works.

    We are <100 users. Out network is 1Gb. We do not experience issue that often.

    Number of users and network bandwidth are rarely the issues. It's disk speed, user behaviour and system reliability that affect you.


  • Banned

    We set FSRM to block .PST and .OST files. 🙂



  • @Jason said:

    We set FSRM to block .PST and .OST files. 🙂

    For what reason?


  • Banned

    @LAH3385 said:

    @Jason said:

    We set FSRM to block .PST and .OST files. 🙂

    For what reason?

    They are not meant to be used over the network, so why give users a chance, just block it.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @dafyre said:

    At my last employer, we did store the PST files in the End-User's Redirected Documents folder. To my knowledge, we never had any Outlook issues that were caused by that.

    If they are small, the network is fast and the NAS never disconnects, it often works.

    We were ~250 users, most of them were redirected to a home folder on the SAN. The network was 1gig, and we did have problems, but by and large, the Exchange bits and the Home Folder bits were reliable.



  • @dafyre said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @dafyre said:

    At my last employer, we did store the PST files in the End-User's Redirected Documents folder. To my knowledge, we never had any Outlook issues that were caused by that.

    If they are small, the network is fast and the NAS never disconnects, it often works.

    We were ~250 users, most of them were redirected to a home folder on the SAN. The network was 1gig, and we did have problems, but by and large, the Exchange bits and the Home Folder bits were reliable.

    Home folders on a SAN? We've seen people do this with smaller Drobo units but it's awkward. You have a LUN per user and iSCSI on the desktop? I've worked in a few places doing this but never on any scale (like a dozen users tops and very special user cases.)



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @dafyre said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @dafyre said:

    At my last employer, we did store the PST files in the End-User's Redirected Documents folder. To my knowledge, we never had any Outlook issues that were caused by that.

    If they are small, the network is fast and the NAS never disconnects, it often works.

    We were ~250 users, most of them were redirected to a home folder on the SAN. The network was 1gig, and we did have problems, but by and large, the Exchange bits and the Home Folder bits were reliable.

    Home folders on a SAN? We've seen people do this with smaller Drobo units but it's awkward. You have a LUN per user and iSCSI on the desktop? I've worked in a few places doing this but never on any scale (like a dozen users tops and very special user cases.)

    Why would you go to thinking that they would have a LUN per user and ISCSI? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to think that the SAN is shared through a Windows Server, and that a share is made available for the home drive?



  • @Dashrender said:

    Why would you go to thinking that they would have a LUN per user and ISCSI? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to think that the SAN is shared through a Windows Server, and that a share is made available for the home drive?

    Because you would never say that you were storing something on a SAN if you were storing it on a file server. That would be no different than saying "we store stuff on disks." Why would you say you were storing to a SAN if you were storing to a NAS or FS that in turn might be storing on a SAN?



  • iSCSI only because I really assumed that there were not wiring up Fibre Channel or similar to each desktop.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    Why would you go to thinking that they would have a LUN per user and ISCSI? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to think that the SAN is shared through a Windows Server, and that a share is made available for the home drive?

    Because you would never say that you were storing something on a SAN if you were storing it on a file server. That would be no different than saying "we store stuff on disks." Why would you say you were storing to a SAN if you were storing to a NAS or FS that in turn might be storing on a SAN?

    Maybe I'm the odd thinker (non-thinker) here - but when he said that they stored everything on a SAN, a fileserver with SAN storage is exactly what I thought he meant... it never crossed my mind that the workstations where connected directly in some way to the SAN.



  • I see why you would just to that. But it seems a very strange thing to mention that the eventual storage that the desktops don't see is a SAN. If the files are storage directly on a SAN, it makes total sense to mention and vendors like Netgear used to sell products that do nothing but this and Drobo promotes it as a use case big time. So while it is relatively niche, it's a very real use case. It's quite popular in the Mac video processing world.

    If you are storing files on a file server, doesn't it sound very odd to refer to storing stuff on the file server as being "on the SAN", even if the bits eventually get flushed to disk on a SAN device?



  • I think of myself in that situation - If I have a SAN backed file server, I might want to boost that I have SAN to make myself feel good that "look at me I have a cool environment", etc.

    Today I'd ask myself why do I even have a SAN because of all of the caveats.

    I don't mean to imply the OP meant this, just offering it as a single explanation as to why they mentioned SAN instead of a file server.

    Hopefully you see where I'm coming from.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I think of myself in that situation - If I have a SAN backed file server, I might want to boost that I have SAN to make myself feel good that "look at me I have a cool environment", etc.

    Today I'd ask myself why do I even have a SAN because of all of the caveats.

    I don't mean to imply the OP meant this, just offering it as a single explanation as to why they mentioned SAN instead of a file server.

    Hopefully you see where I'm coming from.

    I suppose. That only works if "having technology" sounds cool. Not saying SAN is or isn't cool, but does having one at work sound cool? Every large company has SAN, most small ones do, too. It's not something hip and modern, its just storage. Hard to imagine it sounding specifically cool. He didn't say "I'm running this cool SAN ....", he just has user directories on it. Nothing involving user directories is cool 🙂

    It's a little like pointing out that in your day as a mechanic that you worked on a diesel engine. Sure, maybe most people don't, but being diesel only makes it so exciting.



  • LOL - I feel like you're belittling me. I know you're not, it's just the difference in the way we think.

    Today I don't think it's so cool having a specific technology - I'm out of that phase of my working life.

    But when I was 20 - hell yeah having something that seemed only destine for an Enterprise company in my office would make me feel cool and I would have felt the need to talk about it.



  • @Dashrender said:

    But when I was 20 - hell yeah having something that seemed only destine for an Enterprise company in my office would make me feel cool and I would have felt the need to talk about it.

    But, and this is important I think, would you feel cool because you worked on it or did you feel cool because your office had it.

    For example, do you think that the receptionist would brag about the fact that the IT guy was using a SAN for her documents? My guess is that you would feel that it was cool because you were the one touching it, not just because you were an end user leveraging it.



  • Are you saying that the OP was an end user? We don't see many end users around here, even fewer that actually know the technology that's in the closet.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Are you saying that the OP was an end user? We don't see many end users around here, even fewer that actually know the technology that's in the closet.

    No, but in the way that it was worded with the SAN comment there was no hint at him running the SAN, only that other people had storage on it. If he meant to brag, he left out all of the bits that would connect it in that way.