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Tip of the Day
Language: Microsoft Exchange
Expertise: Beginner
Mar 31, 2000

Single-Instance Message Store

Question:
I am working on a project to increase mail efficiency for our Exchange Server-based mail system. I would like to find out whether a specific feature is being utilized on our server—the "single-instance message store". Unfortunately, I am not able to obtain the assistance of our Exchange Server Administrator.

Would you know the best way to determine if that feature is enabled?

Answer:
Good news: it's basically always enabled. Single-instance message storage is a basic feature of Exchange Server. It works basically like this:

A message is received for ten different users. Rather than send ten copies of the message to their mailboxes, it just sends one copy of the message and places pointers to that copy in the mailboxes. That way, all users simply access that same instance of the message.

There are certain unusual circumstances when you would not have single-instance storage. For example, if you were to use ExMerge to move a group of mailboxes from one server to another, all messages in those mailboxes would lose the single-instance storage.

Rest assured, however, that if you're running Exchange Server under normal conditions, single-instance storage is alive and well for you.

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