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Access to shared calendar's is extremelly slow. (It takes upwards of 30 seconds to open some.)

What are some methods of optimizing or improving this situation?

(The sharing of calendar's is required so secretaries and others can do their jobs.)

We run Outlook 2003/Exchange 2003.

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How many servers? How many sites? – Kara Marfia Jun 2 '09 at 13:47
2 servers, 3 sites. – Bravax Jun 2 '09 at 13:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

That's the expected behavior. This article details why this occurs and what you can do about it:

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I'm taking some guesses here since I've never look at that specific problem but....

-Number of entries in the person's calendar?

-Location of the Outlook client to the exchange server and link speed?

-Bottle neck on the Exchange server? (check MS for Exchange performance monitoring I think)

-Load on the exchange server? Time of day?

-Does cached mode vs non-cached mode change anything?

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I go into other people's mailboxes all the times as part of my job, so I do end up looking at other people's calendars quite a bit. One thing I've noticed is that the lag between opening up a remote calendar is about the same lag as opening up another mailbox. In our case it's 5-10 seconds when it gets bad, 2-3 more typically, when running in direct mode. It seems to be related to load on the mailstore servers. While we're on Exch2007 now, it did the same back in Exch2003.

One thing it did do if it took a long time was the little Outlook popup, "Trying to connect to [mailbox-server]..." Are you seeing that too? If so, the initial connection is taking too long. If it isn't, then the connection went reasonably fast but getting actual data is taking too long. That would suggest some performance tuning is needed on the mail-stores.

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Have you considered using Public Folders for shared calendars instead of sharing them from a users' mailbox? This prevents issues when employees leave the company and I've found also (like sysadmin1138) that opening remote mailboxes takes a lot longer than accessing a public folder.

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I'll add a little caution to the above posters comment. If you're not already using public folders, now may not be the time to start. Microsoft is phasing out shared folders in Exchange 2010 and above.

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Public Folders were already de-emphasized in Exchange 2007, but they'll be still fully supported in Exchange 2010 due to popular demand. And I don't think they're going away anytime soon... – Massimo Oct 11 '09 at 23:04

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