The following is Tip #8 from "25 Exchange 2003 Tips in 25 minutes." This content is excerpted from Scott Schnoll's book, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled," brought to you by © (2004) Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Addison-Wesley Professional. Return to the main page for more tips on this topic.
Like Exchange 2000 OWA, the Exchange 2003 version of OWA is comprised partially of static files (such as image files, scripts, and so forth). Typically these files were changed only when administrators either customized one or more OWA files or installed an Exchange service pack. Despite the fact that the files remained unchanged for long periods, they were marked as expiring one day after being fetched by the Web browser. Because the files expired each day instead of being retrieved from the browser cache, they were pulled down every day by every user from the OWA server—the same file, the same user, different days. To stop this insanity, Microsoft recommended that the virtual directory that served the static files -- Exchweb -- be configured with a much longer content expiry (a year or so).
While this method worked to reduce the load on your network and your OWA server in Exchange 2000, it doesn't work in Exchange 2003. In fact, on Exchange 2003 servers, the Exchweb virtual directory should always have its content expiration set to 1 day. It should not be disabled, and it should not be set to anything greater than 1 day.
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About the author: Scott Schnoll, an Expert on SearchExchange.com, is an MCT, MCSA and a long-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).
In addition to writing "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled," he is a co-author of the upcoming "Exchange 2003 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press" and lead author for "Exchange 2000 Server: The Complete Reference."
Scott has written numerous articles for Exchange & Outlook Magazine, and is a regular speaker at Microsoft conferences, including MEC and TechEd, as well as industry conferences such as Comdex and MCP TechMentor, where he covers topics such as Exchange, clustering, Internet Information Services and security.