Note: In the case of Outlook on the web (we’ll call it OWA for short) clients accessing public folders, public folder mailbox access does not rely on the Autodiscover service even though the same selection process logic is used. In other words, OWA uses similar functionality that the Get-Mailbox cmdlet uses to get list of available public folder mailboxes the user can utilize. Even if Autodiscover is offline for some reason in the environment, you may see users successfully accessing public folders via OWA, but not Outlook clients.
Update-PublicFolderMailbox -Identity "Public folder mailbox name" -SuppressStatus -Fullsync -InvokeSynchronizerThe time it takes for the fully hierarchy replication to complete depends on several factors such as (but not limited to) network speed, number of public folders, geographical location of PF mailboxes, and connection load on the primary hierarchy mailbox. The initial hierarchy sync happens using a pull operation model. The secondary public folder mailboxes will poll the primary hierarchy public folder mailbox to fetch the hierarchy information. Once the initial FullSync is complete, the value of IsHierarchyReady will change to True automatically and the public folder mailbox will be available to serve the hierarchy information to requesting clients. To confirm, the following command can be run:
Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder | fl name,ishierarchyready
Note: While IsHierarchyReady value can be manually forced to True using PowerShell, this is not supported. Doing this can cause the public folder mailboxes to serve incomplete hierarchy to clients. The recommendation is wait for the initial sync to complete or manually invoke the hierarchy sync to get the hierarchy replicated to the new public folder mailboxes.Once the initial hierarchy sync is complete for the public folder mailbox, the next hierarchy sync hereon will happen using the push model, where the primary hierarchy mailbox will push the changes to the secondary hierarchy public folder mailbox every 10 minutes. Another setting an administrator has at their disposal is the attribute IsExcludedFromServingHierarchy. This attribute can be set to $False (default) or $True using the Set-Mailbox cmdlet and will prevent this mailbox from being used by Autodiscover or OWA to serve hierarchy connections to clients. Even after IsHierarchyReady becomes automatically set to $True the public folder mailbox will be excluded from Autodiscover and OWA hierarchy usage if IsExcludedFromServingHierarchy is set to $True. This option is useful when you want a public folder mailbox utilized only for content of public folders and can be set immediately after the public folder mailbox is created.
Note: If DefaultPublicFolderMailbox is populated on a user mailbox it will override the $True value of IsExcludedFromServingHierarchy (on the mailbox they are connecting) and will allow that user to connect to the public folder mailbox specified in DefaultPublicFolderMailbox for hierarchy. We will discuss this later in the post.
Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder "Public Folder mailbox name" | FL Name,ExchangeGuid,*Hierarchy*Once the above is confirmed, the next step is to assign the desired public folder mailbox as the DefaultPublicFolderMailbox on the user mailbox. In our example this would be accomplished by running the below command:
Set-Mailbox "user mailbox identiy" -DefaultPublicFolderMailbox "PF-MBX-002" -VerboseNow, when the client opens Outlook, Autodiscover provides the DefaultPublicFolderMailbox’s SMTP address in the <PublicFolderInformation> XML element and the client then performs a second Autodiscover request to learn how to connect to this public folder mailbox. When we check the Outlook connection status, it will list the assigned public folder mailbox.
Note: Moving public folders only moves the physical contents of the public folder; it doesn't change the logical hierarchy, or layout of folders in the folder tree.To move the public folder content, run the command:
New-PublicFolderMoveRequest -Folders "\path of the public folder to be moved" -TargetMailbox "target public folder mailbox name"
Note: To verify that the PublicFolderMoveRequest is complete, the command Get-PublicFolderMoveRequest can be run.Like mailbox move requests, completed public folder move request must be removed before any other public folder can be moved to another public folder mailbox. To do this, run the command Remove-PublicFolderMoveRequest. If any other public folder move request is initiated without removing the old request, it will error out like this: To remove the existing PublicFolderMoveRequest, run the command:
Get-PublicFolderMoveRequest | Remove-PublicFolderMoveRequest
Note: If a parent public folder and its subfolders need to be moved to another public folder mailbox, this can be done using Move-PublicFolderBranch.ps1 script, located in \scripts folder.For more details, see: Move a public folder to a different public folder mailbox Once the public folder content has been moved to a different public folder mailbox, users in Australia site accessing the public folder will be updated by the local public folder mailbox hierarchy connection to the folder’s new content location and connect to the local public folder mailbox. To continue with our example, Sarah will continue to connect to local public folder mailbox for hierarchy (which has been set by the administrator), but will then get her content from the Australia datacenter. Even though the experience may not be as great for that one user, Sarah can add frequently used public folders to Favorites using Outlook client or OWA to help with latency issues. Looking at the above example, it becomes very important to determine network latency and bandwidth before you start deployment of public folder mailboxes in geographically dispersed environment to avoid any latency issues when accessed by end users. In such situations, the recommendation will be to use tools like Netmon which can help in determining the connections happening to public folder mailboxes. There is a great tool written by Mark Russinovich called Psping, which can be helpful in determining the round-trip latency. Based on the results customers can decide whether the current network is suitable for their environment or if there are any changes that needs to be done.
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