{Quick Tip}Server side sync vs Email router in CRM 2013/2015: What to choose?

Recently I was researching on Server side sync in CRM 2013 as I have been part of yet another CRM 2013 Upgrade project. One of the required discussion was which is the better option to choose between Server side sync and Email router. I did some of my own research and found out the following from various sources (community and blogs). Yet again, I did not find a composite source as an answer, so decided to compile it into one readable unit:


1. Simplified Administration as there is no need to connect to Email router server. All the settings can be managed from CRM UI itself.

2. It can be used to sync tasks, appointments and contacts from Exchange WEB Services. This can avoid the use of Outlook client which needs to be always open.

3. No need of a separate installation of Email router.


1. Processing of emails is performed by the Asynchronous processing service. In large environments, there will be a huge load on Async (Backend) servers.

2. The server-side synchronization may show failures because of potential deadlocks in recurring appointment synchronization. In most cases those failures will be successfully retried in next run of server-side synchronization. However, these deadlocks may impact server performance.


The server side synchronization is not a total replacement for the Outlook client. Most users still prefer to manually pick and choose which emails get tracked inside of CRM.

For existing CRM Online customers, server-side synchronization requires that the organization database be updated to CRM Online Spring ‘14 (305320).

* Exchange Online (emails, appointments, contacts, and tasks) and white-listed POP3/SMTP servers (emails only).

Please ensure you have enough testing and hardware for CRM on-premises and Exchange Server on-premises before using server-side synchronization in your day-to-day environment.

The load and performance impact of server-side synchronization highly depends on the:

– Number of enabled mailboxes

– Load of user usage (daily or peak) on emails, appointments, contacts, and tasks

– Load on the Exchange server and Async server (such as workflows, etc)

– Optimization of the SQL servers

– Data topology of the Exchange server

– Hardware specification and Internet connection of the environments.

The main point to take here in terms of architecture is it uses Async service.


When I see the above image, I feel like Async service and server side sync just adds another thing in my things to do list.

Then I must give a separate backend server to my CRM installation, based on requirements if I am giving too much to my Async service, sometimes I find pity on it.

On the other hand, good thing is that my outlook client does not need to be on all the time. This is good for scenarios where users use CRM a lot from outlook client or majority of your users use outlook client.

It is also good because we do not need an email router or another server at all.

Our fellow MVP does a real good job at explaining further:


Now, to add last bits to my research on it. Known issues with server side sync. IF I already have email router working as in my client’s case, I will just want to be working with the same approach:


Hope it helps!


6 thoughts on “{Quick Tip}Server side sync vs Email router in CRM 2013/2015: What to choose?

  1. Deepash, One question in server side Synch
    In a Email server profile, Can we setup incoming to be exchange and outgoing to be SMTP. it is CRM 2016 online with exchange online environment.

  2. Hi Deepesh,

    On my CRM 2016 (On premise), I am using Email router. Email profile tests are successful for mailboxes. But when a user logs in, there are no incoming emails. Any tips..

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