Best practices: Monitoring your email server
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor is a comprehensive email monitoring solution that helps you perform routine email server administration tasks. You use a single dashboard to view email performance and availability data, reporting, and a built-in expert knowledge base to help you pinpoint and remediate performance issues in your email server.
Best practice 1: Monitor email performance from an end-user’s perspective
Monitor email performance using out-of-the-box monitors that let you see behavior patterns that might lead to poor service. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor also helps you oversee the end-user experience for Microsoft® Outlook® Web Access, and other Web email clients.
- MAPI: Sends email through SMTP server and verifies that it gets delivered to an email account on the Exchange Server
- POP3: Tests an email’s round trip from your SMTP mail server to a POP3 account, and measures the time it takes to complete the trip
- IMAP4: Tests an email’s round trip from your SMTP mail server to your IMAP4 account, and measures the time it takes to complete the trip
Best practice 2: Plan for mailbox database capacity
Server & Application Monitor automatically collects mailbox database statistics, provides out-of-the-box alerts for Exchange Server, and proactively notifies you about mailbox database capacity issues. This enables you to troubleshoot problems with real-time and historical performance data.
To determine mailbox database capacity, view the database size, space used, total mailboxes, and the average mailbox size. If a database is nearing its capacity limit, you can view that database’s users by mailbox size table to determine if there are one or more users consuming the space, and whether these users could be moved to another database to balance load and capacity.
Best practice 3: Manage user mailboxes
When a user reports an issue, instead of running a script to find usage details for that specific user, you can find user details by typing the user’s name into the search bar in the "Users By % Mailbox Quota Used" widget. Within seconds, you can troubleshoot the user’s issue in Exchange. Drilling into the user’s details, you can view the number and size of mailbox attachments, mailbox synced devices, and sent/received mail trends, which can indicate a spam issue with the user’s account.
With this information, you can also report on user mailbox details to clean up the mailbox database. For example, you can quickly run a report on users who have not logged on during the past month. If your company uses a chargeback system based on usage, you can also use the Web-based reporting feature to email a report of mailbox space usage by user to business unit managers.
Best practice 4: Automated alerting
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor allows you to set up mechanisms to alert end-users that they have almost reached their mailbox quota. It also provides information about each end-user’s mailbox, including the number and size of attachments and information about how to reduce mailbox size. This automation can save the email admin time, and it puts the responsibility of size reduction on the end-user.