Exchange monitoring with PRTG:
For flawless email delivery
Monitor the availability
and performance of
Ensure the smooth delivery of emails
Set up Exchange server
monitoring in 3
Monitor in real time
Automatic alerts in the event of malfunctions
Exchange monitoring with PRTG
- 3 steps to real-time Exchange server monitoring
- Screenshots: An introduction to PRTG monitoring
- Sensors for monitoring crucial events
- Best practices: Real-life examples
- Setting up custom notifications
- Centralized Exchange queue monitoring
- Practical tip: How we monitor our own Exchange servers
- Choosing an Exchange monitoring tool: Basic or all-inclusive?
Exchange server monitoring in 3 easy steps
PRTG Round Trip sensors
Round Trip sensors let you monitor the complete sending and receiving process of your emails. These sensors continually check to ensure emails are delivered first to the mail server and then to a POP3/IMAP server, and that they do not experience any delays during their sending and receiving which might be harmful to your business. More on the SMTP&IMAP Round Trip Sensor and SMTP&POP3 Round Trip Sensor.
Designate your Exchange Server as a device in PRTG by indicating its IP address or DNS name, then add the Exchange-sensor you will need to monitor your servers in detail. If you encounter a problem with the sending or receiving of emails, these sensors will provide you with some initial insight into the possible causes. Based on the values it measures, PRTG will notify you quickly – usually before serious email problems can arise. For Exchange monitoring to be effective, it should not only include the number of emails, but also databases, backups, mail queues, and the functionality of IMAP, POP3, and SMTP protocols.
Add the sensors to your central dashboard, which will display the monitoring data of SQL servers, web servers, and other hardware and software in a clear and intelligent manner. With the dashboard, you get a constant overview of your entire network and can immediately identify the causes of problems.
Exchange monitoring tool: 4 advantages of PRTG
PRTG comes with a number of pre-configured sensors for Microsoft Exchange Server. A variety of Exchange sensors will be created automatically during installation and the Auto Discovery process. And other sensors can be added to your Exchange Server with just a few clicks of the mouse, which makes setting up Exchange monitoring both quick and easy.
Prompt alarm system
With PRTG, you’ll be alerted quickly – usually before your email traffic has a chance to build up. All alarm threshold values are customizable, allowing you to react to disruptions both promptly and proactively.
A complete overview
Round Trip and Exchange Server sensors conveniently display all the most important information on your dashboard. Throw in the other network sensors of PRTG, and you’ll get an overview of your entire network!
PRTG sensors: Our recommendations
What is a sensor?
In PRTG, “sensors” are the basic monitoring elements. One sensor usually monitors one measured value in your network, e.g. the traffic of a switch port, the CPU load of a server, the free space of a disk drive. On average you need about 5-10 sensors per device or one sensor per switch port.
For your Exchange Server:
This sensor monitors the status of a mailbox with regard to size, the number of emails, and the latest login.
With this sensor, you can keep an eye on the size of your Exchange database, and immediately recognize if it is mounted and valid. You can also monitor its database availability group (DAG) status. To do so, use the Exchange Database DAG (PowerShell) Sensor.
Exchange Backup (PowerShell) Sensor
This sensor lets you verify whether your Exchange Server backups have been performed properly.
This sensor monitors the number of emails that are currently in the mail queue. Alternative: WMI Exchange Transport Queue Sensor. Check out our knowledge base for information on the various types of mail queues.
This sensor monitors your Exchange Server’s public folders (size, access, etc.).
For your general email traffic:
SMTP&IMAP Round Trip Sensor
This sensor checks the response times of SMTP and IMAP servers, thereby allowing you to monitor the entire e-mail delivery process.
SMTP&POP3 Round Trip Sensor
This second Round Trip sensor which has been developed for SMTP in conjunction with POP3, also monitors end-to-end delivery.
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WMI or PowerShell:
Which is better?
Many sysadmins use Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to monitor their Windows servers. The drawback of WMI technology is that it puts a heavy strain on your system. If you wish to set up in-depth monitoring, you should therefore use WMI sensors sparingly. Another option for Exchange monitoring is PowerShell, a technology that uses significantly fewer resources.
Problems with Exchange Server:
3 dangerous situations – and one solution
When issues arise with Exchange Server, there is a great deal at stake.
As an administrator, it is your job to ensure company processes
run smoothly and data remains secure.
When email slows down (even a little), it usually takes no more than a few minutes before the first complaints start to pour in. Whether your coworkers are sending or receiving emails, they will expect nothing less than perfectly operational email traffic at all times.
Exchange Server crashes make all email traffic impossible. Everyone from the secretary to the CEO is affected, and they will not hesitate to let you know that they are no longer able to work. In short, the company comes to a standstill.
Lost information is often synonymous with great risks and expenses. In some cases (such as when customer data is lost), it can even cause a company to go under.
Best practices for Exchange monitoring:
3 ways admins use our tool
Looking for some practical examples of how companies use PRTG for the day-to-day
monitoring of their Exchange Server? Discover our collection of case studies including
best practices. It’s all there, from extremely specific monitoring solutions to the
comprehensive monitoring of complex IT infrastructures. Here are 3 examples:
“We have saved money on bandwidth costs since we know exactly how much we need at any given moment and are able to track trends, and we've also cut the time it takes to manage the system in half. With PRTG, we don't have to think or worry about the network.”
Chadwick Wachs, Owner of AU Wireless. To the case study
„The fact that PRTG included all the sensors for Exchange, VMware, Terminal Services, Windows Performance Data, WMI, etc. made it a much more affordable solution."
Steven Tims, IT Support Services Manager, Raven Industries. To the case study
„First, PRTG gives us the insight we need, telling us what is happening across our global network at any given moment. Second, the improved insight has increased our availability.“
Jonathan Hoppe, Co-Founder of Total Uptime. To the case study
Better safe than sorry! Setting up alarms in PRTG
The mail server is down – what now?
How can I receive an alert email if Exchange Server is down? This is a question many administrators have when they use PRTG for the first time.
The answer: Set up a fallback solution.
Notifications by SMS
The alarm of PRTG is customizable – you can choose to be notified by email, SMS, or push notification in your app. In this PRTG knowledge base article, you will learn how to incorporate a GSM modem into your network that will send you a text message via a mobile phone if your Internet connection goes down.
For your most important network components, we recommend using at least two separate notification methods. In this way, you will be sure to always be notified in the event of downtime, and can react accordingly.
More on the PRTG alarm function
Learn more about the customizable alarm of PRTG here. You can also find detailed information in our manual on how to set up notifications.
Exchange 2016 mail queues:
How to detect a bottleneck at once
The basics of queue loops
Every Exchange Server can process a certain number of emails. Emails are temporarily saved in the Exchange mail queue before being sent. Microsoft uses its own ESE database to save these emails while they are in the queue. There are various types of queues. Regardless of the type, a jammed queue always leads to noticeable delays – and therefore an immediate spike in helpdesk tickets.
Displaying the queue
The mail queue can be displayed manually or by way of the Exchange Toolbox. You can customize your mail queue database, as well as display and edit the emails in the queue. Find out more on the Microsoft website. Essentially, you’ll have to decide how much time you’re willing to spend checking and monitoring the queue manually.
PRTG monitors your Exchange mail queue around the clock. Our software is compatible with Exchange 2016, 2013, 2010, and earlier versions. The advantage of PRTG: All queue information is displayed in one centralized monitoring environment. The Exchange Mail Queue (PowerShell) sensor and WMI Exchange Transport Queue sensor determine the number of emails in the queue which cannot be processed or delivered. Benefit from Exchange queue monitoring in real time. In the event of an error, you’ll be notified at once.
Practical tip: Hey Dieter, how does Paessler AG use Exchange Server?
“As a medium-sized company, we decided to go with Exchange Online, and so no longer install the software ourselves. Our “cloud first” philosophy played a role in our decision, even if the online version of Exchange tends to be less advantageous in terms of cost/time savings for firms of our size than it is for bigger corporations.
PRTG works well with both Exchange Server and Exchange Online to ensure the smooth flow of email traffic. Its Round Trip sensors immediately notify us if our traffic is stuck. And thanks to the unified monitoring of PRTG, which provides us with a list of the possible errors occurring in our own network, we can quickly get to the root of the problem, whether it be the Internet connection, the network configuration, or an isolated incident in an employee workstation. In the absence of such a list, we know that it’s time to contact the Exchange Online Support Team, who help us get our email back up and running in no time at all.”
Dieter Loskarn, System Administrator at Paessler AG, has been working with Exchange Server since the software first came out.
Choosing an Exchange monitoring tool: Basic or all-inclusive?
Exchange Servers are the pillars of every IT infrastructure. If they malfunction, the tech support department is immediately flooded with complaints. Most admins therefore take great care to ensure their Exchange Server is running smoothly and effectively. That brings us to our next point: how do you monitor Exchange Server?
Free tools and scripts
On the Internet, you’ll find a variety of PowerShell scripts that query data and send this data by email to administrators. However, the data is only sent if the administrator requests it. These scripts are therefore the opposite of continuous monitoring. If you’d like to use the free version of PRTG for basic Exchange monitoring, the first 100 sensors are free and never expire. You’ll also benefit from all the features of the software, including real-time monitoring and the notification system.
If you’re looking for a professional tool that will monitor both your servers and your entire IT infrastructure, there’s also no shortage of providers. These include PRTG, SolarWinds, Nagios, and more. Click here for a comparison of these tools and to discover the advantages of PRTG – according to us as well as many international trade journals.
Monitoring the various versions
Monitoring Exchange 2010, 2013, and 2016
The current versions are much more widespread. For Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013, you can use our WMI and PowerShell sensors. So far, we have also gotten lots of positive feedback for the monitoring of Exchange 2016.
Monitoring Exchange 2003 and 2007
PRTG is equipped to monitor a variety of different Exchange versions. Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 are practically obsolete. For these versions, the PRTG WMI sensors will do the trick.
Monitoring Exchange Online
Many companies use Office 365 and Exchange Online. These options can be significantly less expensive than managing Exchange Server, especially for big corporations. With these options, data is hosted on Microsoft servers, Office 365 and Exchange Online are often used in conjunction with other cloud services. But even cloud services can be disrupted by faulty connections. With PRTG, you can quickly determine if email traffic-related problems lie in your network, with the user, or with the cloud provider.
PRTG: The Swiss Army knife for sysadminsAdapt PRTG individually and dynamically to your needs relying on a strong API:
- HTTP API: Access monitoring data and manipulate monitoring objects using HTTP requests
- Custom Sensors: Create your own sensors for customized monitoring
- Custom Notifications: Create your own notifications to send alarms to external systems
- REST Custom Sensor: Monitor almost everything that provides XML or JSON
Other server and mail monitoring topics
PRTG simplifies your day
Our monitoring software works for you and promptly notifies you of potential issues.
It frees you to concentrate on your day-to-day tasks with peace of mind.
PRTG saves time
With PRTG, you get one central monitoring tool for your servers and entire network. Enjoy a quick overview of your whole infrastructure via our dashboard and app.
PRTG saves worry
Customizing PRTG is a breeze. Getting started or switching from another network monitoring tool is easy thanks to the auto-discovery and pre-configured device templates.
Still not convinced?
More than 300,000 sysadmins love PRTG
PRTG is used by companies of all sizes. Sysadmins love PRTG because it makes their job a whole lot easier.
Still not convinced?
Monitor your entire IT infrastructure
Bandwidth, servers, virtual environments, websites, VoIP services – PRTG keeps an eye on your entire network.
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