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I have mentioned many times that I have an Exchange account that is hosted through Rackspace. I’m very happy with it. There are times, however, when Exchange isn’t too happy and I don’t have the right troubleshooting tools. Thankfully, the people over at SolarWinds live for making network tools to help people like me. They have released a new piece of freeware that is a desktop dashboard that continuously monitors Microsoft Exchange servers to deliver real-time insight into Exchange services, mail queue sizes, and host server health.

Exchange Monitor knows when there’s a problem. It can:

  • Quickly identify and troubleshoot Exchange server problems.
  • Stay on top of growing mail queues that can indicate bigger issues.
  • Leverage out-of-the-box settings to start monitoring Exchange immediately.
  • Spot performance issues with built-in red, yellow, and green health indicators.
  • Monitor critical server health stats, including disk space, CPU utilization, and memory utilization.

Josh Stephens from SolarWinds has joined me for this video. The company was founded to help Network Engineers and System Admins, by giving them tools that will help them do their everyday jobs. The reasoning behind the creation of Exchange Monitor is that there just aren’t many tools out there that will do this, at least not without a huge cost. Exchange Monitor can alert you of issues, or even situations that could become an issue later on so you can hopefully head it off.

Email servers are one of those things that if it is working right, they are happy with it and don’t think about it. But there are a lot of things that can affect the performance and health of that server though. As an Administrator, you don’t want to always have to monitor your server. But you do need to know when a problem is coming, or there is something that just isn’t quite right. You need a tool that lets you know what and where these problems are before users notice them and start to complain.

Josh is a member of the Thwack community. Thwack is a community site designed by network engineers for network engineers. It’s a place where they can go online and share troubleshooting tips and information. There are user forums and information on troubleshooting routing issues, network traffic issues and even maintaining Exchange servers.

I asked Josh for recommendations for people like me who have an Exchange account with other providers, full of Geeks who may be sensitive to outside suggestions. They may not like me telling them we should be using something like Exchange Monitor. Josh indicated that instead of saying the company “should” try or use something like this, I should say something about how I have tried it, and found it to be a huge help.

Thanks so much to Josh for joining me. I was happy to be able to pass along a great new free tool, and I’ll definitely be passing it on to Rackspace, as well.

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