Microsoft Tool Improves Exchange Server Performance

By Dennis Callaghan  |  Posted 2001-11-08

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the general availability of the Exchange Application Management Pack, an add-on to the Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 performance management tool.

The new tool is designed to increase uptime and performance of MS Exchange servers by helping Exchange administrators identify and resolve issues that could affect system performance, availability and security, Microsoft officials said.

This information is delivered through a combination of alerts, reports and a knowledge base. Officials with the Redmond, Wash., company said Exchange Application Management Pack is targeted to administrators running multiple Exchange servers in their environments. The monitoring tools in the System Manager of Exchange 2000 are sufficient for monitoring individual servers.

But the Exchange Application Management Pack monitors all Exchange servers in the environment from a single console or Web page.

Businesses can use the Application Management Pack to build knowledge bases of issues that are specific to their environment. Microsoft officials said the Application Management Pack will be particularly useful to less experienced Exchange administrators since it can prevent performance, security and availability issues that would need to be escalated to "area experts" from occurring.

Exchange Application Management Pack monitors events generated by Exchange components like Directory Service Access, Information Store service, Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), Message Transfer Agent (MTA) and Exchange clustering and covers Internet protocols such as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol (POP) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP).

Monitoring features include mail flow verification, client logon verification, server health monitoring, mail queue length monitoring, Exchange-specific disk capacity monitoring, services monitoring and monitoring of Exchange clusters.

Rules and scripts that determine the types of events to monitor and the actions to take in response to certain events or trends can be customized to match system thresholds. Administrators can also customize the response to a certain event by adding a batch processing script or a particular notification to the rule that detects the event, officials said.

The Exchange Applications Management Pack is priced at $349 per processor on top of an additional $349 per processor for the Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 base processor license.

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