Thursday, November 19, 2015

Managing Email Message Size Limits in Exchange 2013

As much as email is an integral part of our daily lives and business interactions, it often grows faster than other items on a network.  Database files, user files and shared documents also accumulate over time, but typically at a slower rate.  This happens for many reasons including how more business can be done in less time by utilizing email.  Scanning a signed document and emailing it is much faster than sending it through postal mail and is more secure than faxing it without knowing who picked up the document on the other end.  

Additionally, keeping sent emails often serves as a "digital paper trail" needed to prove something was followed up on, ordered, submitted by the deadline or even simply to clarify the details of what was actually discussed.  The costly side to how efficient and easy email is to use is it takes up more and more storage space.  The size of mailboxes can grow exponentially.  From attachments to graphic filled emails and forgetting to clean out the deleted items or trash folders, supporting an email server can require a continually increasing amount of storage.  Some of the ways to manage email growth are:
  • Setting limits on the size of the organization's mailboxes
  • Setting limits on the size of individual mailboxes
  • Setting limits on the size of incoming and outgoing messages

This post discusses how to set limits on sent and received email messages.  Setting limits helps prevent large attachments from coming in and/or going out of an organization.  A default limit can be set for the organization, as well as to individual send and receive connectors based on need and preference.  If either a send or receive connector limit is not uniquely set, the default organization limit will apply.  If a unique limit is set on a send or receive connector, that limit will override the limit set at the organization level.

To set the maximum limit size for emails being sent to or from the organization, open a browser and log into the Exchange admin center console.  Click on "mail flow" from the list of options in the left panel. Then, click on "receive connectors" from the menu at the top.  

This menu lists every receive connector for the organization.  With any receive connector selected, click on the pencil icon and select "Organization transport settings" to change the default maximum allowable size for messages received by the organization. 

In the organization transport settings box, verify the limits tab is selected and modify the "maximum send message size (MB)" drop down and click save.  

To set a receive connector to a different maximum amount than the organization, click on receive connectors.  Click on the name of the receive connector in the list to modify then click the pencil icon to open the properties of the connector.  Modify the "maximum send message size (MB)" and click save.

To verify the new setting, click on the receive connector in the list.  The maximum receive message size is listed in the details in the right panel.

To set a send connector to a different maximum amount than the organization, click on send connectors at the top of the screen under the mail flow section.  

Click the name of the send connector to modify and click the pencil icon.  In the send connector properties box, verify the "general" tab is selected and modify the "maximum send message size (MB)" drop down value and click save.

Setting limits on organizational messages either by setting an organizational default, by setting unique send or receive connector limits or by using a combination of both allows control over what size messages can be sent and received from an organization.  Limiting the size of email messages users can send and receive is an important step in keeping the growth of mailboxes at a steady rate.  Like most things, growth of any kind can be expensive and this is also true of storage and processing power for larger mailboxes.

When it comes to the growth and expansion of email, having modifiable controls is key to maintaining the integrity and availability of the environment!

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