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How to Easily Diagnose & Troubleshoot Microsoft Exchange Server Issues

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How to Easily Diagnose & Troubleshoot Microsoft Exchange Server Issues
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It’s not easy being a Microsoft Exchange Server administrator, especially when end-users complain about Exchange clients being slow, email not being delivered, or worse the server is down (no email for anyone!). Various issues can crop up from various parts of the Exchange architecture and for various reasons. If only you had visibility into those “various” aspects and could resolve them before end-users are affected!

Enter SolarWinds® Server & Application Monitor with its new AppInsight for Exchange functionality that delivers comprehensive insight into the performance and availability of Exchange Server, mailbox databases, and end-user mailbox usage statistics. With drill-down metrics and interactive visual charts, it’s easier to monitor Exchange Server performance problems and identify root-causes. The best part is it’s all agentless Exchange monitoring!

Monitor & Solve Top Exchange Server Issues with SolarWinds SAM

Monitor Mailbox Database Health & Performance

It’s important for the administrator to know the status of mailbox availability to ensure all mailboxes are up, available, and are mounted properly based on their Activation Preference. With AppInsight for Exchange, SolarWinds SAM allows you to monitor mailbox database status, mounted status, and activation preference. SAM provides a summary view of database performance, regardless of the Server that the database resides (databases can move from server to server in a DAG).

 

Avoid Performance Bottlenecks Across Database Availability Groups (DAG)

For larger distributed environments, losing track of where your mailbox databases are running can lead to end-users complaining about email performance problems. Especially in a DAG, you’ll want to know which mailbox is mounted to each server, so you can quickly troubleshoot issues. SAM allows you to group your servers running the Exchange application by DAG, and identify which mailbox is mounted on these servers. Then you can drill down to the specific mailbox and explore performance metrics.

Replication issues also cause performance bottlenecks in DAG. SolarWinds SAM checks all aspects of replication and replay status to provide a complete overview of the mailbox server within the DAG. This allows you to proactively monitor continuous replication, the availability of the Active Manager, and the health and status of the underlying cluster service, quorum, and network components to name a few.

Identify Mailbox Database Capacity Hogs in Exchange Server Environment

SolarWinds SAM delivers out-of-the-box mailbox database capacity monitoring and alerting to gain immediate visibility into mailbox database usage, the number of database copies that exist, which databases are mounted to servers, and how many mailboxes are accessing the database. SAM also allows you to drill down to the individual mailboxes by end-user association and monitor mailbox utilization to see when the mailboxes will run out of capacity.

This helps you determine what you want to do with your mailbox database – whether to add more disk space to its underlying storage, or move the database to a different volume that has more space. To perform either of these actions, it requires a lot of heavy-lifting from the Exchange admin, and being able to know how real-time mailbox capacity data helps you prepare for these scenarios. In addition to this, alerting on dormant/inactive mailboxes helps free up database capacity.

 

Analyze End-User Email Usage Behavior & Pinpoint Anomalies

As an Exchange admin, you need to be ahead of Exchange issues – especially those that tend to arise from end-users and their email usage behavior. AppInsight for Exchange in SolarWinds SAM helps you get immediate visibility into email usage statistics of your end-user, such as mailbox capacity and utilization, attachment stored, attachment count, last accessed date of mailbox by user, and more.

Advantages from knowing this data, include:

  • Operational: Get mailbox usage data for mailbox capacity right-sizing and optimization
  • Security: Watch out for unusual email traffic from external email received. It could be botnets targeting a mailbox and flooding it with spam or malicious emails.
  • Event Logs & Troubleshooting: From Exchange event logs, identify error messages, warning alarms and information on security audit success or failure

SAM also provides information on user mailbox sync status and what type of devices the mailbox is connected to.

Monitor Exchange Performance Counter Trends & Identify Errors

AppInsight for Exchange delivers out-of-the-box monitoring of Exchange Server performance counters that help you watch out for deviated performance statistics and errors in the application, mailbox, information store, mailbox storage, or during replication and calendar & resource booking operations.

These are some of the highlights of AppInsight for Exchange in SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor 6.1. SAM simplifies the overall Exchange Server troubleshooting process by keeping you informed of the health and performance of many key elements in your Exchange infrastructure, while viewing mailbox user statistics and database capacity side by side. For more information on AppInsight for Exchange:

  • Check out the free online live demo of AppInsight for Exchange
  • Watch SolarWinds Head Geeks explain the features and benefits of AppInsight in this video

Author bio: Vinod Mohan is Product Marketing Specialist Team Manager at SolarWinds. His IT management expertise spans across systems management, apps, servers, virtualization and networking.

DOWNLOAD HERE! SolarWinds® Server & Application Monitor

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SolarWinds SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable IT management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses. In all of our market areas, our approach is consistent. We focus exclusively on IT Pros and strive to eliminate the complexity that they have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. SolarWinds delivers on this commitment with unexpected simplicity through products that are easy to find, buy, use and maintain while providing the power to address any IT management problem on any scale. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our thwack® online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process.

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