MSCRM v4 E-mail: Configuring for the Enterprise


When considering the needs of an enterprise-class deployment of MSCRM, there are a number of things to take into account which were not necessarily factors in previous versions. In this post I will try to cover the primary factors that should be considered during a large-scale deployment. The assumption is that for this scenario the CRM E-mail Router will be used to process incoming and outgoing e-mail.

Defining the Requirements

The needs of the organization need to be taken into consideration before any deployment activities should begin. The following are common questions which should be answered.

  • Does the organization have a need to use queues?
  • Are the CRM user and queue mailboxes located in more than one location, region or country?
  • Where will the IT department allow the E-mail Router to be installed?
  • Will the IT department allow the creation of one or more Forward Mailboxes?
  • Will the IT department allow the deployment of Forward Mailbox rules?
  • What type of e-mail traffic is expected (volume per user, average attachment size, etc)?

The Scenario

Once these types of questions have been answered, the CRM e-mail deployment can begin. We will work with the following to illustrate a possible deployment scenario. Part of the power of the CRM e-mail integration is the flexibility it gives. This scenario is used for illustrative purposes only, so your mileage may vary.

  • 1 CRM organization with 1 Exchange organization encompassing 2 regions:
    • 1 CRM server and 1 Exchange server located in the US
    • 1 CRM server and 1 Exchange server located in Japan
  • 500 CRM users in the US, each receiving 30 e-mails per day, small attachment size, all in US business unit
  • 2 CRM queues in Japan, each receiving 10,000 e-mails per day, large attachment size, both in Japanese business unit
  • IT department will allow installing CRM E-mail Router directly on Exchange server machines.
  • IT department will allow deployment of Forward Mailbox rules for CRM users in US.

Suggested Solution

With the above scenario, we will want to implement the most efficient solution. Given the fact that the organization is globally split and that the IT department will allow the creation of a Forward Mailbox along with deploying rules to user’s mailboxes, the following would be a good solution.

  • Create a Forward Mailbox on the US Exchange server and deploy the Forward Mailbox rules to the 500 CRM users in the US.
  • Install the e-mail router on the US Exchange server configured to process incoming and outgoing e-mail via the Forward Mailbox
  • Install the e-mail router on the Japanese Exchange server configured to directly monitor the 2 CRM queues

image

The reasoning behind this solution is that we want to have the 500 US users’ e-mail forwarded to a central location to maximize efficiency. The e-mail router will only have to monitor a single mailbox, logon credential management is easier, and mailbox size is manageable since the router will delete the forwarded e-mails after processing.

In the case of the 2 queues in Japan, we do not need the added overhead of creating a Forward Mailbox and deploying the Forward Mailbox rules. In addition, we want to have a local e-mail router to avoid the expense of monitoring Japanese mailboxes from the US router, and it would be non-performant and inefficient to forward the 20,000 e-mails with large attachments to the US Forward Mailbox.

Implementation

In order to implement the connection for the E-mail Router in both locations and to configure and deploy the Forward Mailbox rules to user mailboxes in the US, you will need to configure the system user records, queues, and e-mail routers in both locations. These tasks require a number of steps to be followed in order to work properly, so please view the following videos which cover these topics very well in a much clearer forum than a simple blog post.

Cheers,

David West

Comments (8)

  1. Mat says:

    Hello

    This is a very helpful post. But one question:

    How can "we process outgoing(!) e-mail via the Forward Mailbox"?

    Kind Regards

    Mat

  2. David West says:

    Mat,

    Good catch.  This was a typo on my part.  You are correct that you cannot process outgoing e-mail via the Forward Mailbox.  This should have said "Install the e-mail router on the US Exchange server configured to process incoming e-mail via the Forward Mailbox and outgoing e-mail via SMTP on the E-mail server."

    Thanks!

  3. If you read my previous post on deploying and configuring e-mail integration for the enterprise , then

  4. Sergei says:

    Thanks David.

    How would this recommendation change if all exchange servers/mailboxes were in Japan and all CRM servers (and SQL for CRM) were in US and IT did not want the router installed on Exchange and IT was ok with using forwarding mailboxes and the tracking token were to be used?

    The email router communicates with both the Exchange Server and CRM Server.  if Exchange and CRM are in two distant locations the Router will either be local to CRM or local to Exchange and to determine which would be preferred would be determined by which connection would become the bottleneck first – Router-to-Exchange or Router-to-CRM.

    In case of the email tracking token being used one would hope the Router reading a non-crm email from the forwaring mailbox would not result in a call to the CRM server.  If this assumption is correct the number of messages processed betweeen Router and Exchange is likely to be a lot higher then betweeen Router and CRM.  Having said that, the number of messages is probably not the only factor to consider, the way the calls to Exchange and CRM are made can play a big role as well.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Sergei

  5. Lee AC says:

    Hi David

    Great post. I’m working with a client with a 4.0 international deployment currently and we have modeled the E-mail router very similarly to your model above.

    There is a real concern with the client though that volume of mail processing at the forward mailbox could be non-performant (200 mailboxes, 150 mails per day, of which 15 will have 3 mb attachments each). Dos the team have any info or data on monitoring perf of the Router, or the Exchange environment, for the enterprise client? (This would include 3.0 data)

    Thanks again

    Lee

  6. Sergei says:

    Hi David,

    Have you ran into a scenario where you need multiple forward mailboxes with a single Email router instance? Here is one we are looking to accomodate for one of our customers.

    – 1 AD domain, 1 Exchange orgainzation

    – 1 CRM deployment (and 1 organization).

    – 21 Exchange servers (and all in North America)

    – 1 (hopefully) email router instance configured against multiple forward mailboxes

    Is there a way to create forward mailboxes on Exchange servers (one per server) and to have them configured through a single instance of the router?

    Corporate IT is not thrilled about the idea to have the Email routers placed on the Exchange servers, which is hardly a surprise.

    It looks like the router allows you to create multiple Inbound and Outbound profiles (e.g. for each Exchange server) and multiple forward mailboxes, however you can only tie one pair of Inbound/Outbound profile to a CRM Organization.

    As always, appreciate your input.

    Thanks,

    Sergei

  7. Cemal says:

    In this drawing it is not clear where the CRM database and the application servers are located. And if there is only one organization why are there two application servers?

Skip to main content