Managing Exchange Server 2007 log files (Part 3)

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Message Records Management

Another component that allows for logging is the Message Records Management tool. By default, there is no information being logged during the Managed Folder Assistant process, however, we can enable it using the Set-MailboxServer cmdlet. The parameters that can be used to configure the Managed Folder components are found in Table 1 as follows:


Possible value




True of False

Messages that reached their retention limit will be logged in the log files.


True of False

All journaled messages by Managed Folders will be logged.


True of False

Messages that are moved for Managed Folders will be logged.


True of False

All subjects of the messages processed by Managed Folders will be logged in the log files otherwise it will be blank.



Where the Managed Folder assistant will use to create the log files. The default path is C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server \Logging\Managed Folder Assistant




Maximum size limit to be kept in Exchange Server without removing the oldest log information.

Table 1

You can force the Managed Folder Assistant to run in a single user or mailbox database using Start-ManagedFolderAssistant cmdlet. This can be done as follows:

  • Processing all mailbox from a server
    Start-ManagedFolderAssistant –Identity ExchangeServerName

  • Processing a specific mailbox
    Start-ManagedFolderAssistant –Mailbox MailboxName

After defining what information will be logged, we can check the log file containing the Storage Group, Mailbox Store name which also contains information about each mailbox processed, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Send and Receive Connectors, Connectivity and Message Tracking…

We can configure the Receive Connectors logging level at Hub Transport server level. To do so, open Exchange Management Console, expand Server Configuration, and click on Hub Transport item. Then, select the chosen Hub Transport server name on the right and at the bottom double click on the chosen Receive Connector. We have the Protocol logging level option that can be configured as None or Verbose, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2

The same can be done with Send Connectors; open Exchange Management Console, expand Organization Configuration, click on Send Connectors tab, and double click on the chosen send connector. In this way we can configure None or Verbose mode as well (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Besides the Send and Receive Connectors that will be useful in troubleshooting how Exchange connectors are being used, we also have Message Tracking and Connectivity logging components that allow log generation.

Using Message tracking, the administrator has the ability to track all message activities in a Hub Transport, Edge or Mailbox server. This information can be used to troubleshoot mail flow, reporting, mail usage and so on.

The second component is Connectivity Logging where we can use it to get connectivity information from Hub and Edge Transport servers with destination mailbox servers, relay servers or domains. The logged information on this component has detailed information about connection failures and it may be useful to troubleshoot mail flow issues. By default, this configuration is disabled and should be enabled only during troubleshooting process, all information logged is to keep track of the mail queues from the source to the destination. Here, we do not have information about specific messages/users in the log files generated by this component.

Message Tracking and Connectivity logs are configured in the same place through Exchange Management Console; in the same location we can also define the file system location for the Receive and Send Connector log files. In order to configure all these options from a single point, we should open the Exchange Management Console, expand Server Configuration, click on the server role (which may be Hub, Mailbox or an Edge Server), and right click on the chosen server and Properties. Finally, click on Log Settings tab, as shown in Figure 4.

This page will be shown only if you have Exchange Server 2007 SP1 installed.

Figure 4

The message tracking logs can be viewed by either the Message Tracking tool (Get-MessageTrackingLog cmdlet) or directly from the log files using any text editor or the Log Parser, which we used before with IIS log files.

Agent Log configuration

Some anti-spam agents record their activity in a log file, enabled by default. To manage this feature we can open EdgeTransport.exe.config file which is located in the Bin directory under Exchange Server installation folder, and we can assign a value of true (enabled) or false (disabled) to the AgentLogEnabled parameter, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5

All recorded information can be located under TransportRoles\Logs\AgentLog folder under the Exchange Server installation folder. There is also a Get-AgentLog cmdlet that retrieves information from those files.

When a message fails to be received by an Exchange Server organization in MS Forums and no information is available in the Message Tracking tool is usually an issue related to Anti-spam agent action, using the log file shown in this section.

Routing table logs

Another log component that can be configured by an Administrator is the Routing Table. A snapshot of the routing table that is being used by Exchange is automatically generated and we can control this log file generation. The routing table configuration is applied on Hub and Edge Servers and it is per server. The following cmdlet allows us to change some parameters related to Routing table logs: Set-TransportServer <ServerName> and the following parameters:

  • RoutingTableLogMaxDirectorySize: How big the directory with routing table log files can be

  • RoutingTableLogMaxAge: How many days a log file can be kept in Exchange Server

The log file information can be seen graphically through the Routing Log Viewer item that is located on Toolbox item in Exchange Management Console, as shown in figure 6. Using this tool we can visualize, by a few clicks, all the current structures in use to send messages from the current Exchange Server organization.

Figure 6


In this final article we validated how to manage logging information on Exchange Connectors, Message Tracking, Anti-spam agents and also Message Records Management feature. Keep in mind that we saw just an overview of the log configuration in Exchange Server. There are other places where we can enable more log information in Exchange Server, such as: Pipeline tracing for transport agents, certificate logging between hub transport servers and so on.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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