Problem connecting to shared calendars from Outlook 2003

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S

sebcou

Hi,

We migrated Exchange 2000 to 2010 (through 2003) and now we are facing the issue of Outlook 2003 clients not able to open multiple shared calendars with the following error message : " The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action."

We changed RCAMaxConcurrency to $null in the default trottling policy but the error is still occuring although it seems to have helped a bit. We also tried to create a new tweaked throttling policy and affect it to mailboxes without success. We added the " Disable Session Limit" registry key for MsExchangeIS service that solved some 9646 events (maybe this isn't related).

The strange thing is that the issue is very intermittent. One time we can open as much as 20 calendars, the next time only 2 or 3 and so on. When the error message appears we cannot open any new calendar and the only workaround is to close and reopen Outlook... until next error.

We are running out of ideas and upgrading to Outlook 2010 isn't an alternative for the moment.

Here is our setup :

- 1 Exchange 2010 SP1 UR2 MBX with ~ 450 mailboxes in 4 databases

- 1 Exchange 2010 SP1 UR2 HUB / CAS

- Outlook 2003 SP3 clients in cached mode on Windows XP SP3 (XP & Office up-to-date)

Thanks in advance for your help !
 
S

sebcou

Hi Steve, thanks for your answer.

Yes I already checked these useful links. RPC Encryption requirement is disabled by default in SP1 so it was not an issue for us and I used the registry keys mentionned in the second link to help correct 9646 events.

In the meantime I investigated various Exchange perf counters (in particular RPC latency) and everything seems to be healthy. I tested with Outlook 2007 and the issue doesn't occur (as expected).
 
S

Steve Goodman

Hiya,

OK. If you've went through both of those things, then next thing I would do is double check them, then double check there are no network configuration issues, in particular making sure you have 2010-dated drivers on the NICs, considering turning off TCP Chimney, possibly RSS and TOE too. These have been known to cause general Exchange 2010 issues in the past but as far as I know very recent NIC drivers mitigate these issues.

I take it moving to Outlook 2007/2010 isn't an option?

Steve

Steve Goodman
Check out my Blog for more Exchange info or find me on Twitter
 
S

sebcou

Hi,

I double checked all the modifications I made and also checked my network settings. Regarding the drivers, my servers have a vmxnet3 adapter so I'm dependent on the version of VMware Tools installed (currently we are running on vSphere 4.1). I disabled TCP chimney on both OS and network adapter level as you suggested and it doesn't seem to have helped. I'd say that the performance of the RDP console is worse now but maybe it's just a bad feeling, it's hard to tell...

One interesting thing I came accross during the testing is that when the message appears in Outlook I'm not able to open the concerned calendars until I restart Outlook, but sometimes I'm able to open calendars that are not already present in the shared calendar pane altough the error occured.

Sadly moving to Outlook 2007 or 2010 isn't an option for the moment.

Thanks for your help.
 
S

Steve Goodman

Hiya,

I've not read about the issues I was thinking of on vSphere 4.1 and IIRC VMware don't suggest disabling the option, so that probably isn't the cause. As you probably know vmxnet3 supports these technologies and is the " next gen" virtual NIC, only releasd in '09. As you're on 4.1 then you'll have the most recent, or close to most recent drivers. If it's not improved anything and you don't believe they were causing any issues before, it may be worth putting those settings back.

Regarding the Outlook issue. This is something we encountered also in the RTM>SP1 timeframe and as far as I know, the solutions Henrik has published - along with fixes implemented in SP1 should cure all known issues. If no-one else here has any other solutions, do you have any access to raise a case with MS PSS?

Steve

Steve Goodman
Check out my Blog for more Exchange info or find me on Twitter
 
S

sebcou

Hi,

I read the best practices of VMware regarding Exchange 2010. They advise to use vmxnet3 adapters and they don't mention modifying any setting so I'll revert back.

Regarding Outlook I wonder why the fixes implemented in SP1 and the workarounds you can find on the net work for everyone but us. I'll open a case with PSS in january and post the results here if something good comes out of it.

Thanks again for your help.
 
S

Steve Goodman

OK. You probably already have done this, but if your Exchange VMs are in a DRS & HA cluster, MS support will want the VMs not use these features. In 4.1 you can turn off these features on a per VM basis.

Steve

Steve Goodman
Check out my Blog for more Exchange info or find me on Twitter
 
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