Exchange 2013 Public Folders – In A Nutshell

Yes, public folders can be configured in Exchange 2013 & it is an optional step. So what’s new in Exchange 2013 public folders?

The public folders in Exchange 2013 differ completely from the ones in earlier versions – the way they are stored, replicated and configured. Below are the key points an Exchange admin should know about the “modern” public folders.

  • There are no public folder databases in Exchange 2013. Yes, you heard me right!
  • Public folders are stored in public folder mailboxes in 2013.
  • The first PF mailbox is called the Hierarchy mailbox & contains the writable copy of the public folder tree.
  • Subsequent PF mailboxes are called Content mailboxes and as the name implies, they store the actual PF data.
  • All content mailboxes will have a copy of the hierarchy, so that they know where to direct the client request.
  • Each content mailbox will have unique data in it.
  • When a PF mailbox gets full (say the mailbox limit has been reached), you need to manually create new PF mailboxes.
  • There is no PF replication as in previous versions. As the public folder data is stored in PF mailboxes, DAG can be used for high availability.
  • There are no PF mailboxes in a default installation of Exchange 2013. They have to be created if needed.
  • As Outlook 2003 & earlier clients are not supported in 2013, there is no need for public folders (as system public folders are not required for free/busy).
  • Since public folders can be part of a DAG, we don’t have a multi-master replication model in 2013.
  • A welcome feature is that public folders can be administered using the EAC & Shell. There is no separate console (as in 2010).

Feel free to comment any more one-liners and I will update the post ;)

2 thoughts on “Exchange 2013 Public Folders – In A Nutshell”

  1. Hi,

    I cannot see if it is possible to access multiple public folder mailboxes at the same time from an Outlook 2013 client. There is a 100 GB limit to a public folder mailbox, and we do see customers that currently have 1000+ GB data stored in their public folder structure.

    Any thoughts on this ?


    Jesper Fischer


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