Exchange Server

Monitor Exchange Server 2003 Performance for free with Solarwinds Exchange Monitor

How can this help Exchange administrators?

It’s often simple to not routinely keep an eye on our Exchange server as we attend to other tasks during our workday. Then, the phone rings, and it’s not good news. Fortunately, there is a simple tool that allows us to keep an eye on the server and potentially avert problems before they affect users.

Similar to a Windows Vista gadget, SolarWinds’ Exchange Monitor is quick, easy, and free. It just sits there and gives us a quick status view of key parameters of our server.

SolarWinds has been around for some time. They are the creators of the popular Engineer’s Toolset, Orion Network Performance Monitor, and free tools like TFTP server and VM Monitor.

Sponsored Content

What is “Inside Microsoft Teams”?

“Inside Microsoft Teams” is a webcast series, now in Season 4 for IT pros hosted by Microsoft Product Manager, Stephen Rose. Stephen & his guests comprised of customers, partners, and real-world experts share best practices of planning, deploying, adopting, managing, and securing Teams. You can watch any episode at your convenience, find resources, blogs, reviews of accessories certified for Teams, bonus clips, and information regarding upcoming live broadcasts.

Download and Installation

The tool is freely available from SolarWinds website following a simple registration. It can be installed on a server or an administrative workstation.

Installation is pretty straightforward with this product. If the installer doesn’t detect Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0, it will download and install it for you. Following installation, the tool starts right up in its default configuration. The tool will also start automatically when Windows starts.

Configuring

The first thing to be done is configuring the various features. This is accomplished by clicking on the little options button in the tools toolbar. The resulting screen, as seen in Figure 1 below, allows us to configure the name of the server we’d like to monitor, as well as configuring warning and critical thresholds for key Exchange parameters such as SMTP Local Queue Length and processor utilization.

We can also configure the authentication for connecting to the monitored server. Configuring which of the various Exchange services to monitor is available by clicking on the Monitored Services button. The tool defaults to monitoring most of the Exchange related services it finds on the machine. Since many organizations don’t have all services running, like POP3 and IMAP4, we can remove them from being monitored as seen in Figure 2 below.

Monitoring

The monitoring interface is broken into three sections: Status of Exchange services, Mail Queue Length, and resources like CPU and available memory and drive space. Each section has a status jellybean at the top that is either green, yellow, red, or clear, depending on that sections status. Next to the jellybean is text describing the status. At the bottom of each section is a link to SolarWinds’ website if you want to monitor more information, as SolarWinds does have some other solutions.

At the top of the window is a general status indicator. As seen in Figure 3 below, my demo system shows several issues.

Next to the server name, sh-email1, we see the round red indicator. Hovering over it shows a tool tip that describes the problem. In this case, the WMI counters are not available. Next, we see the red indicator for the Exchange Services. Several services, such as The Event and IMAP4 services aren’t running. As mentioned earlier, we can configure which services don’t need to be monitored, and they’ll be removed from this list.

Next down we see the Mail Queue Length section. In Figure 4 below, the jellybean is clear because there is no data here. This is related to the WMI error mentioned above.

Below the Mail Queue Length section is the CPU Utilization section. Here we see the status of all processors in the server. If the utilization on either of the processors climbs too high, the respective jellybean next to the utilization level will change accordingly, as seen in Figure 5 below. Under this is the available virtual memory and drive space meters. These give us a quick view as to what level these resources are at.

Overall thoughts

The Solarwinds Exchange Monitor tool is fairly simple, and gives a good overview of the parameters it’s capable of monitoring. It’s quick and easy to install and configure. The only downside I saw was that it only supports Exchange 2003 today. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 2007 version out eventually. As with most free tools, Solarwinds does have some links to their higher level products included in the interface. Still, for the price, you can’t beat what Exchange Monitor has to offer. Exchange Monitor gives you a quick look at how your server is performing, and can sit on your desktop for easy reference. I recommend that you Download the free Solarwinds Exchange Monitor and give it a try for yourself!

Also, for more information on Solarwinds product line, take a look at David Davis’s Review of Solarwinds free VM Monitor for VMware ESX Servers or download a trial of their Orion Network Performance Monitor.

Got a question? Post it on our Exchange Server Forums!

Related Topics:

BECOME A PETRI MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Register
Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

External Sharing and Guest User Access in Microsoft 365 and Teams

This eBook will dive into policy considerations you need to make when creating and managing guest user access to your Teams network, as well as the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

You will learn:

  • Who should be allowed to be invited as a guest?
  • What type of guests should be able to access files in SharePoint and OneDrive?
  • How should guests be offboarded?
  • How should you determine who has access to sensitive information in your environment?

Sponsored by:

 
Office 365 Coexistence for Mergers & Acquisitions: Don’t Panic! Make it SimpleLive Webinar on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @ 1 pm ET

In this session, Microsoft MVPs Steve Goodman and Mike Weaver, and tenant migration expert Rich Dean, will cover the four most common steps toward Office 365 coexistence and explain the simplest route to project success.

  • Directory Sync/GAL Sync – How to prepare for access and awareness
  • Calendar Sharing – How to retrieve a user’s shared calendar, or a room’s free time
  • Email Routing – How to guarantee email is routed to the active mailbox before and after migration
  • Domain Sharing – How to accommodate both original and new SMTP domains at every stage

Aimed at IT Admins, Infrastructure Engineers and Project Managers, this session outlines both technical and project management considerations – giving you a great head start when faced with a tenant migration.the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

Sponsored by: