Keeping an Exchange Server in Good Working Order

Exchange needs to be constantly monitored in order to keep ensure continued service and quickly resolve errors when they occur. A stoppage in service can potentially lead to hours of down time and repair as well as frustration from users. Here are the things you should monitor to ensure the Exchange server is working optimally.

Monitoring the average number of active sync requests per second can help you make sure your mobile workforce such as iPhones, Androids, and Windows phones are able to sync with the Exchange Server.

Keeping an eye on your current connections will quickly tell you the number of users actively using the server. This will help determine when to schedule maintenance when it effects the fewest users.

Average response time is the time it takes for a user to get information from the server they requested. If the user has to wait too long, they will assume there is an issue with the server and call the help desk.

Messages being delivered/sent per second confirms when emails have been delivered and when the emails have been sent. Keeping track of the mail follow will help you recognize if you are being used as a spam relay or if one of the workstations connected to the server has been compromised by a botnet.

LDAP searches timed out per minute will monitor when failures occur in retrieving data from Exchange. This will usually indicate an error in active directory which can critically impact Exchange.

Monitoring available virtual memory is important to ensuring Exchange has enough virtual memory to continue working optimally. If Exchange runs out of available virtual memory, it could result in failure.

Monitoring the server’s CPU utilization is also very crucial in keep Exchange running optimally. There are various companies that offer exchange server monitoring software, either as a download or online that people can use to keep track of their servers, and much of it is paid (not free).

Exchange requires free disk space in order to continue processing requests. A lack of free disk space can result in mail store corruption which can take hours to repair or restore from backup.

SMTP queue growth shows the number of minutes the queue has been growing because messages are not being sent. This will let you know right away that there could be an issue. X.400 queue growth will also display this information

Windows Service Monitor shows you server services and alerts you to errors immediately, helping to provide repair.

Solar Winds is an application that will monitor all of the server’s services including all of the ones mentioned here, and help you stay on top of any errors that may occur.