Best Practices: Exchange Server Performance Monitoring
SolarWinds® Server Application & Monitor includes AppInsight™ for Exchange, a comprehensive Exchange monitoring solution that helps you perform routine Exchange administration tasks faster. This dashboard gives you a single view of Exchange performance with a built-in, expert-level knowledge base created by Exchange monitoring experts, so you have instant SME knowledge on why performance issues occur and how to fix them.
Best Practice #1: Plan for mailbox database capacity
Server & Application Monitor automatically collects mailbox database statistics and provides out-of-the-box alerts that proactively notify you about mailbox database capacity issues. This enables you to troubleshoot issues with real-time and historical performance data.
To determine mailbox database capacity, view the Mailbox Database Size and Space Use widget on the AppInsight for Exchange dashboard. Here you can see 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 #2: Proactively 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. 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 last month. If your company uses a chargeback system based off 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 #3: Check Exchange server health
Instead of running multiple checks each day or reacting to performance issues, with Server & Application Monitor, you can easily view the health of Exchange with a single view of the database copy status, failover alerts, replication status/alerts, and other performance metrics, including storage I/O. In addition to the out-of-the-box dashboard, there are built-in alerts for Exchange performance. You can be alerted when a database failover occurs or when a replication status check fails, and proactively investigate the issues before they impact end-users.
Best Practice #4: Investigate problems with other applications impacting Exchange Server performance
Exchange health is dependent on the health and performance of related applications and infrastructure components (Active Directory®, physical servers, virtual infrastructure, storage, etc.). To pinpoint problems and proactively address Exchange issues, you need immediate access to the performance statistics of all related components.
Server & Application Monitor provides a detailed view of related application and infrastructure components. You can drill into Active Directory service status and LDAP performance metrics, view and sort log events (application, DNS server, hardware, security, etc.), and alert on server performance to include virtual server CPU and memory consumption and hardware health (fan, power supply, disk status). These detailed views are also available for related applications like SharePoint®, Lync® and as many as 200 other applications.
With the Application Stack Management Dashboard, Server & Application Monitor provides an aerial view of your environment’s overall performance. You can see how infrastructure performance impacts the application so you can instantly pinpoint the problem, dive into more detail, and quickly remedy the issue. For example, if the Exchange Mailbox Server is malfunctioning, you can click on that server and quickly see the virtual machine, physical host, and volumes that are related to the Exchange server. This enables you to quickly isolate if the problem is due to an Exchange service or mailbox database issue, or if it is due to resource contention in the virtual layer.