This article is based on Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition (Build 3790) and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 (Build 6944.4).
Where to start monitoring
In the first step we have to configure a Server for monitoring and select/configure the resources to monitor. To do so, open the Exchange System Manager SnapIn and select the appropriate Server object in the Servers container.
Fig. 1: Configure a Server for monitoring
There are many Resources available for monitoring. You can add the following Resources:
- Available Virtual Memory
- CPU Utilization
- Free disk space
- SMTP queue growth
- Windows 2003 Service
- X.400 queue growth
Fig. 2: Select the Resources to Monitor
For many Services you can change the state to “Critical” and “Warning” when the service is not running.
In large environments you can define E-Mail notifications for the 1st level support staff for services which are in “Warning” state and define E-Mail notifications for 2nd level support staff when the services are in “Critical” state.
Fig. 3: Change the state for the selected services
It is a good idea to configure the monitoring of the available disk space for your hard discs where your Exchange databases and transaction logs reside.
Fig. 4: Monitor the available disk space
In the Status container in Exchange System Manager you can see the Status of all your Servers and Connectors in your Exchange organization.
Fig. 5: The Exchange Status container in ESM
The next step is to configure an E-Mail notification for the recipients of the “Warning” and “Critical” state conditions.
Fig. 6: Configure the E-Mail notification
In this Property dialog box you can specify the monitoring Server and the Servers / Connectors to monitor. You also have to select the State (Critical and warning) for which you configure E-Mail notification.
In the “To” field select a recipient for the notifications.
In the “E-Mail Server” field you have to specify the E-Mail Sever for sending the notifications.
WARNING: When the monitored Server is the same Server as the monitoring Server you can run into trouble because which Server can send you an E-Mail notification when it is in an critical state and is unable to send E-Mails.
In large environments I recommend creating a dedicated monitoring Server only for monitoring purposes.
You should also have a look at the Microsoft Operation Manager (MOM).
Fig. 7: Configure the E-Mail notification properties
For scheduled maintenance you must “disable monitoring of this server” because a server which is shut down can produce unwanted E-Mail notifications that, for example, some services are down and so on.
Fig. 8: Disable Monitoring of this Server
When one or more of the configured resources run into a “Critical” or “Warning” state you receive a E-Mail from an account “WMI@SERVERNAME” with a error message with the server name in the subject line and the condition of the resource / service in the E-Mail body.
Fig. 9: A Warning E-Mail about a “Critical state” for a monitored server
I recommend you always monitor your Exchange environment for connector status, service status and everything else which is mission critical for your business.