Microsoft Exchange 2003 Monitoring Plugin

Target Platform: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

Exchange Server Performance Data Monitored:

Rising Mail Queues. When large numbers of emails are queued to be sent or delivered, this indicates that either the Exchange Server is overloaded or that sending/delivery cannot be completed due to some subsystem or network malfunction.
Slow/Failing RPC Request Processing. Outlook Clients communicate with the Exchange Server using Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs). If the Exchange Server is handling RPCs slowly, Outlook users may notice slower performance. If RPCs from Outlook to the Exchange Server reach a critically high volume, the Exchange Server may be unable to process all requests.

Using this Plugin

The easiest way to use this Plugin is by using the 'New Device' Wizard. Choose 'Set up a New Device Wizard' from the 'Setup' menu, and then select 'Microsoft Exchange Server 2003' from the list of Plugins offered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to install anything on the Exchange Server I wish to monitor?
A: No. This Plugin will work perfectly well without any additional software on the Exchange Server Computer by using something called WMI. You can use SNMP by installing the Serio Inventory Agent, but most users will use WMI.

Q: How will this Plugin help me know when my Exchange Server is not processing emails as normal?
A: If your Exchange Server is experiencing problems sending or delivering emails, for example because of a network failure or heavy loading, there is usually a build-up of unsent or incompletely processed mail in one of the server's internal queues.

For example, if your internet connection fails then the Exchange Server will be unable to send emails to external mail recipients. There usually follows a build-up of unsent mail in the SMTP Server's Remote Queue.

The Plugin monitors various mail queues on the Exchange Server and alerts you when they are growing larger than normal.

Q: How will this Plugin help me know if a problem on the Exchange Server is affecting Outlook users.
A: When users take actions in Outlook that involve the Exchange Server (such as sending or receiving emails), Outlook communicates with Exchange using Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs).

If Exchange Server is dealing with these RPCs slowly or is overloaded with RPCs, Outlook users will experience a degradation in performance.

The Plugin will alert you if the Exchange Server is dealing with RPCs from Outlook too slowly, or if it finds that the number of RPCs the Exchange Server is dealing with is critically high.

Q: How will Serio IT Service View notify me that there is a problem with the Exchange Server?
A: If Serio IT Service View detects either rising mail queues or problems deailing with RPCs from Outlook, it will change the status of the Exchange Server Device to Amber and place a message in the Online Log.

In addition it will trigger an appropriate Response, such a 'On Queue Too Long', 'On Overloaded' or 'On Slow'. When adding the Device using the 'New Device' Wizard (see 'Using this Plugin' above), you can select the actions to take when these Event Responses are triggered. For example, you can send an email, reboot the Exchange Server, or restart a service, etc.

If the Exchange Server does not respond when Serio IT Service View attempts to monitor it, the 'On No Response' Response is triggered, and the status of Exchange Server Device changes to Red. As with the other Responses, you can take actions such as rebooting the Exchange Server, etc.

Q: I want to learn more about the Exchange Performance variables that Serio IT Service View is monitoring. Where can I look.
A: Here:

Q: Serio IT Service View is alerting me of rising mail queues, but there doesn't appear to be a problem with my Exchange Server. What could be the wrong?
A: It may be that the thresholds set for the maximum acceptable lengths of internal mail queues are set too low. If your Exchange Server is extremely working normally, but just extremely busy, you may find you need to increase these thresholds. You can do so when Serio IT Service View is offline by right clicking on the Exchange Server under 'Devices' and choosing 'Edit Device'. Go to the 'Device Properties' tab page and adjust the maximum queue thresholds upwards.