Apple, Microsoft investigating iOS 6.1 overloading Exchange Servers; posts workaround

Summary:After some enterprises reportedly banned iPhones and iPads running the iOS 6.1 following reports of overloading Exchange-powered email servers, Microsoft has come up with a solution.

After reports that Apple's iOS 6.1 update  caused overloading on corporate Exchange email servers, Microsoft has come up with a series of temporary workarounds. 

If you hadn't heard, some enterprises had to ban the latest major update from Apple after the newly updated iPhones and iPads were "causing excessive logging" on the server . Once the iOS 6.1-powered device that was connected to the Exchange Server was switched off, the problem ceased. 

Despite Apple this week releasing a minor update to the software—iOS 6.1.1 for iPhone 4S users—after U.K. and European cell networks warned customers to avoid the update after suffering infrastructure conflicts with the software, the Exchange overlogging problem persists, the bug remains in place. 

Microsoft has, this time, come to the rescue

In a new knowledge-base article, the software giant notes that some customers may experience "rapid growth in transaction logs, CPU use, and memory consumption in Exchange Server 2010 when a user syncs a mailbox by using an iOS 6.1-based device."

In short: use iOS 6.1 and it may break your Exchange Server. For those running email in the cloud through Office 365, you may experience a persistent "connection failed" warning.

According to the software giant, "Apple and Microsoft are investigating this issue," and will post more information when it becomes available.

There are two options that Microsoft has come up with. In both cases, corporate users are advised to not process Calendar items—such as meeting requests—on iOS 6.1 devices. (In true Microsoft fashion, it's asking users to switch off and switch back on their iOS 6.1-powered iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.)

One of the workarounds suggests removing the Exchange account from each user device, such as iPhone or iPad, and have the server administrator remove the device on the server. After a half-hour wait, the user can then re-add the account, so long as they do not process Calendar items on the device.

The other option is to create a custom throttling policy for iOS 6.1 users, which involves the systems administrator using the Log Parser Studio to identify iOS 6.1 users on the network. Once this is done, create a custom throttling policy to those affected users. This will ultimately aim to reduce the overloading of Exchange Server system resources.

However, there is a third option. "Block iOS 6.1 users," Microsoft says, although this is pegged as a last resort.

Topics: Tech Industry

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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