SolutionBase: Using the Exchange 2003 Management Pack Configuration Wizard

The Exchange Server 2003 Management Pack for MOM provides many preconfigured groups, rules, reports, and other resources to help you manage your Exchange servers. You can also make manual changes, but Microsoft makes initial configuration easy with the Exchange Management Pack Configuration Wizard.

The Exchange Server 2003 Management Pack for MOM provides preconfigured groups, rules, reports, and other resources you'll need to gather information from and manage your Exchange servers. Although you can certainly configure the management pack features manually, Microsoft makes initial configuration easy with the Exchange Management Pack Configuration Wizard. Here's where to get the wizard and how it can save you time and effort in configuring MOM to monitor Exchange Server.

Installing and using the Wizard

You'll find a link to the Exchange 2003 Management Pack Configuration Wizard at Microsoft's Exchange Web site. This small download is available free of charge, but currently in English only.

You can install the Configuration Wizard on any computer running the Exchange System Manager. Installation is a simple matter of extracting the download and double-clicking the Microsoft Installer package. The only steps during installation are to accept the EULA and specify the installation directory.

The wizard, like most other wizards, simplifies configuration and setup by stepping you through the process of configuring the server for MOM data collection. In the first step of the wizard, you choose the administrative group that contains the servers you want to configure, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Choose the administrative group whose servers you want to configure.

You can also specify that all administrative groups be configured. When you click Next, the wizard prompts you to select the servers to be configured, as shown in Figure B. Select servers by placing a check beside the server name, or simply click Select All to select all of the servers listed. If you select servers that do not have a MOM agent installed, the wizard automatically deselects those servers and displays a message box to inform you.

Figure B

Choose the servers to be managed by placing a check beside them.

Next, the wizard lets you choose between two configuration options, Default and Custom. If you choose the Default option, the wizard automatically enables message tracking, front-end monitoring, and service monitoring, and creates a mailbox to test server availability. The following services will be monitored if you choose the Default option, but you can specify additional services to monitor if you choose the Custom configuration option:

  • Microsoft Exchange Information Store
  • Microsoft Exchange Management
  • Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks
  • Microsoft Exchange System Attendant
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
  • World Wide Web Publishing Service

If you choose the Custom option, the wizard page that follows lets you choose which options to configure, as shown in Figure C. If the selected server is a back-end server, the Front-end Monitoring option is disabled.

Figure C

With a custom configuration, you can choose which items to configure.

During a custom configuration, you also have the option of choosing which services are monitored, as shown in Figure D. No services are selected automatically with a custom configuration, but you can click Default to select the default services I mentioned above. Then, place a check beside each of the other services you want to monitor and click Next.

Figure D

Choose the services you want MOM to monitor on the Exchange server.

The Mailbox Availability page, shown in Figure E, lets you enable and configure how MOM will monitor mailbox availability on the target servers. MOM monitors the mailboxes by sending test messages to mailboxes across the organization. If you enable mailbox availability monitoring, you can choose one of two options: Per Server Monitoring or Per Store Monitoring. The per-server option sends messages to a single mailbox on the server, regardless of the number of stores on the server. The per-store option sends messages to one mailbox in each store on the server.

Figure E

You can choose between per-server or per-store mailbox availability monitoring, or disable monitoring.

After you specify which servers will act as sending servers and which will act as receiving servers to monitor mail flow, you enter the credentials that will be used to access the test mailboxes, as shown in Figure F. You must enter the account in domain\account format.

Figure F

Enter the account credentials to be used to access the test mailboxes when testing mailbox availability.

The final page before the wizard completes, which is shown in Figure G, displays a summary of the configuration settings. You can also click Save to save the configuration to an XML file, which can be imported into other servers, as I'll explain shortly. When you click Next on the Summary page, the configuration wizard attempts to apply the configuration you have specified.

Figure G

The wizard displays the configuration results and gives you the option of saving the configuration to an XML file.

If you are configuring a front-end server, you also have the option of configuring monitoring for Outlook Web Access, Outlook Mobile Access, and Exchange ActiveSync. Each of these is enabled if you choose the Default configuration option. These three are also enabled if you select the option Front-end Monitoring when performing a custom configuration, and then choose Enabled when prompted to enable or disable front-end monitoring.

The Mailbox Access account mailbox is used to test Outlook Mobile Access and Exchange ActiveSync. The management pack automatically determines the URL for monitoring front-end services by combining the server's network address with virtual directory information pulled from the IIS metabase. The management pack automatically picks a back-end test mailbox for checking Outlook Web Access, and this mailbox name is stored in the \\HKLM\Software\Exchange MOM\FEMonitoring\front-end servername\BEAccount registry key.

You can also configure custom URLs for testing Outlook Web Access, Outlook Mobile Access, and Exchange ActiveSync by modifying the registry. To add custom URLs for OWA, create a string registry valued named HKLM\Software\Exchange MOM\FEMonitoring\front-end servername\CustomUrls. Enter the custom URL value as a comma-delimited list in this value. To add custom URLs for OMA, create the string registry value HKLM\Software\Exchange MOM\FEMonitoring\front-end servername\CustomOmaUrls and enter the URLs in this value separated by commas. Use the HKLM\Software\Exchange MOM\FEMonitoring\front-end servername\CustomEasUrls to create a list of custom URLs for testing Exchange ActiveSync.

Who needs a GUI?

You can also run the configuration tool from a command console, which enables you to script configuration and perform remote configuration where you have console access to the remote server. The ExchangeMPConfig.exe tool offers two operating modes—you can either export an existing configuration to an XML file or import an XML file to set the server's configuration.

To view the syntax for working with the tool from a console, open the location where the configuration wizard is installed (by default, \Program Files\Exchange Management Pack\Configuration Utility) and execute the command ExchangeMPConfig.exe /?.