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How much bandwidth is required to send email in Exchange 2003?

Get tips on how to calculate how much bandwidth your Exchange 2003 organization requires and suggestions for replicating data between Exchange servers at separate locations.

We are planning to implement Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 in our organization. I would like to know how much bandwidth will be required. We will also be using personal digital assistants (PDAs) to connect, and we'll need to get email to those devices. There will be around 300 mailboxes, including 100 mobile device users.

Also, is it possible for the new Exchange 2003 server to replicate with our other Exchange 2003 server (which resides in a remote location) through the VPN on an active/active cluster?

There is no magic guess on how much bandwidth will be required to send email in an Exchange 2003 environment. The amount of bandwidth completely depends on how much traffic and how many user profiles you have within your Exchange 2003 organization.

At times, I've seen architectural firms using Exchange Server to email 300 MB design documents. I've also seen Exchange used for average email traffic that's less than 10 KB. Microsoft can help you calculate some rough estimates based on their predefined user profiles:

To answer your second question, Exchange Server 2007 is a platform you may want to consider looking at. I know more enhancements are coming with Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1), but here are some of the features it currently has:

Both Local Continuous Replication (LCR) and Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) may provide the type of resiliency you are looking for.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Step-by-Step Guide: Analyze log files to determine bandwidth consumption
  • Tip: Log analyzing tool monitors bandwidth traffic usage
  • Crash Course: Microsoft Exchange 2003 cluster configuration
  • Learning Center: Exchange Server replication remedies
  • Reference Center: Exchange monitoring and logging resources
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server performance tips and resources
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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