As I promised you in the July 2008 version of the MSExchange.org newsletter, here is a short review of the SolarWinds Exchange Monitor. I have now been playing with this free little dashboard tool for a couple of months, and here are my experiences with the tool so far.
I installed it on my primary desktop and after specifying things such as the Exchange Server to monitor and an account with the necessary permissions to connect to it, I was pretty much rolling. Exchange Monitor allowed me to continuously monitor my Exchange servers real-time, and yes I mean real-time! I could monitor things such as the critical Exchange services, mail queue sizes, and even the health of the server (CPU, memory consumption and more) on which Exchange has been installed. This makes it a breeze for me to identify and troubleshoot Exchange server problems such as email delays, calendar issues, growing mail queues, transport failures, Internet connection failures and even virus activity on my Exchange server. Below you can see a screenshot of the tool.
As you can see the tool uses built-in red, yellow, and green health indicators, so that it is easy to prevent performance issues in a proactive way, resulting in no impact to the end-users. With Exchange Monitor at my fingertips, I was able to track Exchange health at-a-glance and ensure this mission-critical application did not fail. As an Exchange administrator, you do know how evil the CIO and the end-users can be right?
I can highly recommend you give this neat and free tool a test drive, I am sure you will not go through an uninstall once it is running. What is really cool is that you can access the Exchange Monitor directly from the system tray when you need to. The only drawback is that it only supports Exchange 2000 and 2003, but I would be surprised if Solarwinds did not come up with a version that also supported Exchange 2007.
With that all I can say is “Happy monitoring!”