Exchange 2003 synchronisation with Outlook 2003

You know, sometimes I’m really glad that I’m not an Exchange admin any more.  Sometimes life is just too hard… I got a mail from Paul with this challenge:

We have a user that is at the end of a slow link in Africa. We continually have problems with him syncronizing his email. Do you know of any articles or resources that would explain exactly how the Outlook 2003 offline sync works (ie nuts and bolts) I have not been able to find anything that really explains the process in depth. Of course it does not help that his mailbox is 4GB and he absolutly has to sync nearly all of hie email into a folder structure that would fear even the most hardened Email Admin.

Yikes… I’d certainly recommend the mailbox cleanup tool or the mailbox manager to get rid of old mails and suffer the political backlash.  But that’s not what I actually sent back to him:

Outlook 2003 talking to Exchange 2003 only synchronises things that have changed – It doesn’t do a full sync.  there are a couple of resources that explain things quite well 

Improvements in Client Server synchronisation 

Client Network Traffic with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003:

Detail regarding the compression technique

(I still prefer the ruthless option though)  Good job I’m not an Exchange admin any more…