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Exchange 2013: monitoring best practices

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The objective of this document is to assist you in monitoring your Exchange 2013 architecture.

Exchange 2013 Architecture, Concepts and Components

Exchange Server 2013 consists of two basic building blocks. Each provides highly available and fault-tolerant units that are separate from each other.

DAG:The Database Availability Group (DAG)

CAS: the client access servers make up the CAS group (Client Access Server).

ServiceNav provides you with a set of service templates to monitor your entire Exchange 2013 architecture.

Configuration

General

It is recommended that you bring all the servers comprising your Exchange 2013 architecture under monitoring.

For all physical or virtual servers, depending on the operating system, apply the following host templates :

  • Windows 2008 system: This template is intended for Windows 2008 servers. It checks if the host is UP or DOWN and also performs checks on CPU, RAM, SWAP, and disk I/O usage. Use discovery to monitor disk partitions and network interfaces.
  • Windows 2012 system: This template is intended for Windows 2012 servers. It checks if the host is UP or DOWN and also performs checks on CPU, RAM, SWAP, and disk I/O usage. Use discovery to monitor disk partitions and network interfaces.
  • Windows 2016 system: This template is intended for Windows 2016 servers. It checks if the host is UP or DOWN and also performs checks on CPU, RAM, SWAP, and disk I/O usage. Use discovery to monitor disk partitions and network interfaces.

CAS (Client Acces Server)

Monitor virtual IP or VIP connectivity

On CAS servers, depending on the architecture deployed, push the following templates :

  • HTTP/HTTPS : tests an HTTP/HTTPS request, to be used to monitor the URL of the virtual IP
  • TCP-Port : tests if the TCP port contained in configuration is open, and reports the connection delay: Use it to monitor the following ports:
    • IMAP4 clients (143-993)
    • POP3 clients (110-995)
    • SMTP authenticated clients (587)
    • SMTP (25)
    • HTTP (80)
    • Front End Transportation Service (717)

Exchange Services on Exchange 2013 Client Access Servers

On CAS servers, monitor the startup of services grouped by impact BLOCKING or DEGRADING using the service template MS-WIN-ServicesList-Started:

Services with impact BLOCKING:

  • MSExchangeADTopology
  • MSExchangeDiagnostics
  • MSExchangeFrontEndTransport
  • MSExchangeServiceHost

Services with impact DEGRADING:

  • MSExchangeHM
  • MSExchangeIMAP4
  • MSExchangePOP3
  • HostControllerService
  • MSExchangeUMCR

Monitor Exchange performance on Exchange 2013 Client access servers

On CAS servers, apply the following templates - do not be concerned with the names, these templates below are compatible with Exchange 2013 :

  • MS-EXCHANGE2013-QUEUE-LENGTH: Indicates the length of a queue, measured as the number of messages.
  • MS-EXCHANGE2007_2010-ADAccess: Indicates the number of searches from Microsoft Exchange Server to the Active Directory timed-out in last minute.
  • MS-EXCHANGE2007-SMTP-MSGS-RECEIVED: Indicates the rate of delivery of SMTP messages to the transport server, expressed in messages per second.
  • MS-EXCHANGE2007-SMTP-MSGS-SENT: : Specifies rate of SMTP messages sent from the transport, expressed in messages per second.
  • MS-Exchange-Certificate-Expiration: Calculates the number of days remaining before the Exchange certificate expiry date. If there is more than one certificate, calculates the number of days remaining before the expiration date of each certificate and alerts if at least one certificate is within thresholds for expiry.

Edge Transport

Exchange Services on Transport Edge Exchange 2013 Servers

On Transport Edge servers, monitor the start-up of services grouped by impact BLOCKING or DEGRADING using the service template MS-WIN-ServicesList-Started:

Services with impact BLOCKING:

  • ADAM_MSExchange
  • MSExchangeDiagnostics

Services with impact DEGRADING:

  • MSExchangeAntispamUpdate
  • MSExchangeEdgeCredential
  • MSExchangeHM
  • MSExchangeServiceHost
  • MSExchangeTransport
  • MSExchangeTransportLogSearch

DAG (Database Availability Group)

Monitor connectivity to mailbox (MBX) 

On MBX servers, depending on the architecture deployed, apply the following template :

  • TCP-Port: Tests if the TCP port indicated in configuration is open, and collects the connection time. Used to monitor the following port:
    • HTTP (80)

Exchange services on Exchange 2013 mailbox servers

On MBX servers, monitor the startup of services grouped by impact BLOCKING or DEGRADING via the service template MS-WIN-ServicesList-Started :

Services with impact BLOCKING:

  • MSExchangeADTopology
  • MSExchangeDagMgmt
  • MSExchangeDiagnostics
  • MSExchangeMailboxReplication
  • MSExchangeDelivery
  • MSExchangeSubmission
  • MSExchangeRepl
  • MSExchangeRPC
  • MSExchangeFastSearch
  • HostControllerService
  • MSExchangeServiceHost
  • MSExchangeThrottling

Services with impact DEGRADING:

  • MSExchangeAntispamUpdate
  • MSExchangeEdgeSync
  • MSExchangeIMAP4BE
  • MSExchangeMailboxAssistants
  • MSExchangePOP3BE
  • WSBExchange
  • MSExchangeTransport
  • MSExchangeTransportLogSearch
  • MSExchangeUM

Monitor the size of Exchange databases and mailboxes

On MBX servers, apply the following templates :

  • MS-EXCHANGE-MailboxDatabaseStatusPS: monitors the size of an Exchange database and notifies when thresholds are exceeded.
  • MS-EXCHANGE-MailboxStatusPS: returns the status of the mailbox quota on an Exchange server.

Monitor the DAG replication

On MBX servers, apply the following template:

  • MS-Exchange-DAG-Replication-Status: verifies all aspects of replication and replay for a mail server within a Database Availability Group (DAG). Alerts in case of problems or replication failures.

Monitor Exchange performance on the servers of Exchange 2013 mailboxes

On MBX servers, apply the following templates - ignore naming, the models below are compatible with Exchange 2013 :

  • MS-EXCHANGE2007-MSGS-RECEIVED-BY-MS: Indicates the rate of message delivery to the mailboxes, expressed in messages per second.
  • MS-EXCHANGE2007-MSGS-SENT-TO-T: Indicates rate at which messages are sent to the transport server, expressed in messages per second.

Active Directory

Monitor access to the Active Directory

On AD servers, apply the following templates:

  • MS-Active_Directory: Test a connection to an Active directory, alerts if the check fails.
  • DNS-internal: Tests a DNS query internally and alerts if the check fails.
  • DNS-externe: Tests an external DNS query.

IT Weather Services

Once the hosts and services have been added to monitoring, create your IT Weather service by following the best practices documentation here

Get root cause access to the component degrading your messaging service:

Dashboards

Link your IT Weather service to a MAP dashboard by again following best practices available here

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