BYOD nightmare: iOS devices hobble Exchange servers when they synch

A problem has arisen that slows Exchange servers to a crawl when the devices try to synch

Microsoft and Apple recommend that businesses deny certain iPhones, iPads and iPods access to Calendar items until the companies can clear up a problem that slows Exchange servers to a crawl when the devices try to synch.

The problem reveals itself to end users as an error message when they try to update items with Exchange Server 2010 that says "Cannot Get Mail" and "The connection to the server failed," according to a Microsoft support notification. The only option presented to users is to choose "OK," Microsoft says.

[SIMILAR PROBLEM EARLIER: Exchange Outlook Calendaring Problems

[EXCHANGE 2013: What's new? (An early adopter's perspective)

More problematic for IT is that server CPU use jumps, affecting performance for all users. Microsoft describes the problem like this: "When a user syncs a mailbox by using an iOS 6.1-based device, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Client Access server (CAS) and Mailbox (MBX) server resources are consumed, log growth becomes excessive, memory and CPU use may increase significantly, and server performance is affected."

IOS 6.1 comes on iPhone 3GS, 4 and 5; fourth and fifth generation iPod Touch; iPad 2, third generation and fourth generation iPads; and iPad Mini. This makes for a major inconvenience for workers who use these devices at work primarily as a way to access emails and calendaring information.

Microsoft recommends that users facing this problem open trouble tickets with Apple to report the problem and diagnose what's causing the problem. "Apple and Microsoft are investigating this issue. We will post more information in this article when the information becomes available," Microsoft says.

The workaround is not to try accessing Calendar from the affected devices. If a user runs into the problem, rebooting the device may clear it up, Microsoft says. If not three other options might work: remove the Exchange account from the Apple device, wait half an hour and reinstall it; throttle the number of iOS devices that can access the server at the same time; and block all iOS devices from the server.

The second option will help protect server performance, but won't prevent the error messages, Microsoft says.

The support notification also advises how to detect whether the problem exists in a particular network.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at tgreene@nww.com and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Tim_Greene.)

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags BYODIT managementMicrosoftwirelessAppleNetworkingsoftwareconsumerization of IT

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?