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DataSmith

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I have some Kerio Connect servers in which users (typically on IMAP) store a great deal of mail - in their inbox, sent mail, and in folders.
My question today has to do with the best way to bring the folder sizes down to reasonable level.

A search of this forum shows that Vicki and Neil (in the UK) believe that the maximum message count for any one folder should not exceed 10,000

Vladimir (in the Czech Republic) says (in an email directly to me) something a bit different and explicitly states the following - in the interest of increasing reliability and performance:

"Maximum number of messages in whole mailbox should not exceed 20.000, including all subfolders
No subfolders in Inbox or Sent items, move them to the root level
Maximum number of messages in Inbox or Sent items should not exceed 5.000
Check number of Calendar events, hundreds are fine, thousands are not
Moving/Deletion of messages only in batches of max 200 messages"


My real world experience shows that problems occur as the item count gets into the 50,000 item range.
I do not doubt the wisdom of Vladimir's suggestions, though.
He is particularly concerned about the inbox and sent items folders and they are constantly synced with the mail client.

Whatever the real limits are, I have MANY users well above 5,000 or even 10,000 items in both inbox and sent items.
What can be done about this?

The conventional wisdom tells us that users need to either delete email or create separate folders and manually move excessive mail using the Kerio Connect Client.
Apple mail is singled out a product to AVOID to do mass movements of email.

My users often say it would take them many, many hours to move or delete so much mail so they simply refuse.
There has to be a better way!

In really bad cases, I know it IS possible to log into a user's account and create empty folders, then

1) stop Kerio Connect
2) manually move the mail in the relevant #msgs folder, the
3) start Kerio Connect

I'm not fond of this solution since I have to bring down the mail server - but it does work - if done carefully.

Does anyone have any better ideas?
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MarkK

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I +1 for a better method to move emails. Adding a Sieve rule to search an existing mail folder and take action would be nice, if possible.
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Bud Durland

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I agree that it would be nice if Kerio had a native tool automatically move messages around, or to archive them. Definitely a feature that would require some planning & user input.

Regarding mailbox sizes, let me say this. Our Kerio server has > 350 active users, most using OutLook, some using the Kerio Client, and a small handful using IMAP. about 40% have multiple devices (desktop, phone, tablet). The total mail store is over 5 million files. Some of our users have over 100,000 messages in their mail box, with the vast majority of them in the INBOX or the Sent items folders.

I would argue that the guidance Vladimir gives you is very conservative. We see mostly good performance from our mail server. We also realized a tremendous performance boost when we switched the Kerio server from Windows to Linux, and gave the VM plenty of RAM to work with.

OutLook and the off-line connector can be a problem until you run it on a 64bit OS with at least 8GB of memory, and maybe an SSD. That said, I'm still one of those that fervently wish that Kerio would bring back the on-line connector for OutLook, or a plug-in that would sync my calendars & contacts with the server, while e-mail access is simple IMAP.
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MarkK

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Isn't the "Kerio Outlook Connector (without offline caching)" basically the old online connector?
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Bud Durland

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MarkK wrote on Wed, 16 December 2015 14:34
Isn't the "Kerio Outlook Connector (without offline caching)" basically the old online connector?


It is, but it only supports up to OutLook 2007. Newer versions of LookOut must use the one with off-line caching.

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DataSmith

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Bud,

The mail servers I manage have far less users than yours, but I have users with over 100,000 messages too.
I don't think the issue is one of performance but whether some limit is reached when the item count gets too large.
I say that because I know of servers with

1) very few users and the server is not at all over taxed.
2) no one complains of performance issues,
3) one user has over 100,000 items and is running into syncing issues and inability to send (with all the right settings)
4) when I move most of that users items, his account works fine!

So... I think we reached some software limit for that user and I'd like to figure out a way to avoid this problem for other users.
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Bud Durland

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DataSmith -- I won't disagree, because I'm not in your environment, so I don't see what you see. I can report that here, users with very large mail stores, and large numbers of messages in a single folder benefit greatly when the client OS is 64 bit, and the machine has 8 or GB of RAM. in this case we are PC's running Windows 7, and using OutLook 2010 or 2013.

I don't think you mentioned what OS your Kerio server is running on, but we saw significant improvement with Debian over Windows. This is very much a "your mileage may vary" type of statement, but there it is.

We did a fairly detailed testing process using PROCMON, WireShark, and other tools, trying to track down a performance issue that was not consistent across users. It all came back to the amount of RAM available to the KOFF process on the user's machine. One of the easiest ways to trigger the problem was to have Excel and our ERP program loaded, then initiate a sort or search in OutLook, which causes both OutLook and KOFF to allocate significantly more memory.

[unlrelated side note]
I do have one user with > 30,000 messages in his mail store and he never, ever has a problem. But, he is using eMClient as an OutLook alternative.
[end side note]
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Keerl IT Services GmbH

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I can only acknowledge Bud:
Outlook is usually the issue, before Kerio comes into play.
Since Outlook will always try to "inhale" the complete OST or PST into memory, you either have enough memory to survive (Hence the 64bit OS!) or you'll see freezes, excessive paging etc. etc.
If the client then still is running with 3 or 6GB/s SATA drives, then eventually the PC will come to a screeching halt (Screeching being done by the user, that is...)

There are 3rd party solutions to archive older e-mails, maintaining the folder structures. Others have Outlook archive older e-mails in PST files. (Which will be "inhaled as well, if they are connected constantly!).

So, as far as OLK is concerned, 64bit OS, 8GB RAM and SSD drives made the customer happy again.
Next up: Archiving, which will get rid of 10 year old e-mails from the mailstore, which nobody reads anymore, but need to remain in archive.
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