Let's face it, Exchange is a significant investment. Even with the improvements made by Microsoft in Exchange 2003, which resulted in fewer servers being absolutely required for an Exchange infrastructure, Exchange software, hardware, storage and support can still carry a fairly hefty price tag. With such a significant investment, many organizations may want to undertake an ROI analysis, be able to tell how much the system is really used, or quickly and easily determine who is hogging the mail server's disk space. Or, maybe you support a large Exchange infrastructure and have SLAs to meet. Sure, you can use the Windows Performance Monitor and some of Exchange's built-in tools for simple monitoring. However, for more comprehensive statistics, you should look beyond the Exchange and Windows tools.
One candidate for monitoring is an add-on pack for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), but this requires that you have the fairly expensive MOM product up and running, so I won't say too much about it here.
There are a number of solutions out there from which to choose, and all are capable to varying degrees. I'll provide some details for three selected products here, and provide a link to a place where you might be able to find a solution that exactly meets the needs of your particular organization.
- Fortissoft Exchange Monitor 2.0: Exchange Monitor 2.0 monitors all versions of Exchange back to 5.5 and includes the typical reports you might expect, including mail and public folder sizes, disk space usage, incoming/outgoing mail stats, and more.
- Vyapin Admin Report Kit for Exchange Server (ARKXchange): Monitors much of the same information, including mail traffic statistics, Exchange virtual servers, distributed public folder information and Exchange connector information.
- Mail Access Monitor (for Exchange Server and a host of other systems): At only $199, this product provides a wealth of good information about your Exchange server without draining your budget. It includes single-screen traffic overviews of your mail, including mail load by recipient and sender, as well as looks at both your internal and external traffic.
Click here if you'd like a list of a number of monitoring solutions.