Why Outlook user should not store PST on a Network

Rollins Duke   
Published: May 13th, 2024 • 3 Min Read

PST files are created by MS Outlook as its storage depository for personal information management. It serves as a local medium for communication thus; all data file requires to be connected at all times. Therefore, Outlook PST must be on the same local system, not on the network to avoid all disruption in its connectivity. In the following segment, we will discuss why MS Outlook user should not save .pst file on a Network along with its significances of doing so.

What Makes Outlook PST an Unsuitable To Be Saved on the Network?

MS Exchange 4.0 presented .pst files to allow users to access all their mailbox database on local machine. Moreover, Outlook PST files are also source meant to save an account data for MS Outlook client that is working individually or without server connectivity- POP or IMAP based configurations.

Fact: Outlook PST type files are not for the network solution for enterprises. Specifying the network directory to PST file is likely via its usage over the network is not meant for enterprise continuous. Moreover, .pst files are the file-access-driven saving method for all messages, i.e. client system applies a specific command meant for availing file usage, which is provided by OS for reading or even writing data to Outlook PST.

Reading or writing of data to Outlook PST file may not be well-organized process on WAN or LAN network. These links employee not file-access-driven process but network-access-drive method instead that makes all difference. The Operating system gives these commands for sending/receiving data to/from another system on the network.

When MS Outlook attempts reading remote Outlook PST, it utilizes file commands for execution of read / write operations on it. However, the OS will have to send back the commands over the network allowing for the location of Outlook PST file being remote in this condition. The consequences of this comprise:

  1. Formation of masses of overhead
  2. Increase in the time consumption for read / write operations
  3. In worst scenarios, failure of network connection may result in corrupted .pst.

NOTE: Outlook .pst files are not prepared for continuous and long-term determination of message saved in enterprises.

Other faulty behaviors of Outlook PST file on the network is:

  • All operations take longer than usual time
  • Write operations in definite take more time as compared to the read operations on Network PST.
  • Outlook performance slows down as compared with that of MS Exchange client.

Conditions Where MS Outlook Functions with the Networked PST

MS Outlook 2010 and later versions come with an exception where its working supports the networked Outlook PST files. However, the following conditions must be met for similar to take place:

  • The Internet bandwidth must be high and the network connection latency low.
  • Every file is forced by only single client usage and not multiple.
  • MS Outlook must be running at all either by utilizing Windows Server editions 2008 R2 or later RDSH or VDI

Consideration While Saving PST

Network storage of Outlook PST file might cause shares to stop responding. This kind of performance might result in erupting issues on client side. Such may contain Desktops that are client systems being frozen up or MS Outlook stops responding. This temporary condition caused by queuing file in service work queues of server. However, the storage of Outlook PST Data File can be done on network with some strict guidelines followed, but it is suggested not to save PSTs on network at all.