Applications Server

Using Exchange 2007 as a Public Folder Replica

10/24/2010 3:47:12 PM
For starters, on your Mailbox Server, you need to ensure a Public Folder database is installed. If, during the installation, you indicated that there were legacy clients in your environment, the Public Folder store would have been added automatically. If not, however, you need to perform the addition of the database manually. To do this, perform the following:
On the Exchange 2007 Mailbox Server role for which you want the Public Folder database, open your Exchange Management Console.

In the console tree, locate and select the Server Configuration node.

Choose the Mailbox option.

Under the Database Management tab, notice the listing of your storage groups and databases. After you decide which storage group you want to place the Public Folder in (or if you decide to create a new storage group specifically for the database), select the database and choose New Public Folder Database from the Actions Pane.

The New Public Folder Database wizard displays, and you are asked to provide a name for the database (as shown in Figure 1). The name is your choice. You are also asked to provide a Database file path. This enables you the opportunity to place the database file in a safe location (one that has some form of fault tolerance included).

Figure 1. Creating a new Public Folder database that is mounted automatically.

Note the Mount This Database checkbox at the bottom of the screen that says it ensures that the database is not only created, but mounted (making it accessible) immediately after creation. It’s checked by default, and we usually leave it as such.

When you are ready, select New.

After the database is created and mounted, select Finish.

Now that you have a Public Folder database in place on your Exchange 2007 MB server, you want to create a replica of your Public Folder data in your Exchange 2000/2003 organization onto that server.

Prior to Exchange 2007 SP1, there was no graphic tool for managing Public Folders in Exchange 2007 and so the encouragement for creating replicas was to use the tools that existed in Exchange 2000/2003, working with the System Manager. With SP1, however, you can open the EMC and select the Toolbox node. From there you can choose the Public Folder Management Console. This actually opens an entirely different console for you to work with.

You need to create your replica now. To do this with the System Manager in Exchange 2000/2003, perform the following:

Open Exchange System Manager and navigate to Administrative Groups. Expand your administrative group, Servers, your server, the storage group, and then the Public Folder Store to view the Details Pane of all the Public Folders contained in the store.

Right-click the Exchange Public Folder that you want to replicate and select Properties.

Go to the Replication tab (shown in Figure 2), where you find controls that allow you to replicate the Public Folder. Notice the upper portion of this tab contains an area that lists every location to which the folder’s content has been replicated. By default, the server that the folder was initially created on is the only location displayed on the list.

Figure 2. The Replication tab enables you to add replicas of your Public Folders to other servers.

You can replicate the chosen Exchange Public Folder to stores on other servers by clicking the Add button, and then selecting the Public Folder store on which you want to create the replica. You can remove a Public Folder replica from a store by selecting the replica that you want to delete and clicking the Remove button.

Notice the Public folder replication interval. This setting refers to the length of time that passes before an Exchange Public Folder is replicated to its associated Public Folder stores. By default, the replication interval is set to use the public store schedule. However, the Public folder replication interval dropdown list enables you to set the replication interval to two hours, four hours, or you can use a custom schedule by selecting Customize.

Next, you’ll notice text that says, “Replication Message Received.” You can click the Details button to the right of this text to view replication statistics. Clicking the Details button reveals the Replication Status dialog box. This dialog box provides you with information such as replication status, the last time that replication occurred, and the average transmission time. You can use this information both for troubleshooting and for performance-monitoring purposes.

The last setting on the Properties sheet is the Replication Message Priority option. By default, the replication message priority is set to Normal. You have the option of setting a high-priority folder to Urgent or setting low-priority folders to Not Urgent.

To create the replicas using the Public Folder Management Console in Exchange 2007 SP1, perform the following:

Open the Exchange Management Console.

Select Tools and then select Public Folder Management Console (shown in Figure 3), which opens an entirely different console to work with.

Figure 3. A first look at the Public Folder Management Console.

From the Action pane, select the Connect to Server option and locate the server with Public Folders you wish to add replicas.

After you see the server and the Public Folders listed, you can go into the Properties of the folder and select the Replication tab.

On the Replication tab, select the Add button to create replicas. You can select the X to delete replicas.

By default, the checkbox is selected for Use Public Folder Database Replication Schedule. You can uncheck the box and use a preselected schedule by clicking the down arrow, or you can create a custom schedule by selecting the Customize option. You can also determine the local replica age limit in days.

After this is complete, click OK.

After you allow enough time for the replicas to be formed on your Exchange 2007 Server and you are confident that no data will be lost, you can return to the Public Folder management tools and remove the legacy Exchange servers from the list.


An excellent Knowledge Base article from the Microsoft Exchange Team entitled “Moving Public Folder Replicas from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2007” can be found at

Another interesting method for moving Public Folders involves the use of a script in the Exchange Management Shell. These scripts can be found in the Exchange server’s c:\temp\scripts folder. The one we want is MoveAllReplicas.ps1. For example, if we want to move all Public Folder replicas from Server1 to Server2, we would run the script this way:

MoveAllReplicas.ps1 -Server Server1 -NewServer Server2
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