Ten Tools Every Exchange Administrator Must Know About
Administrators are the ones that manage and handle not only the mailboxes residing on
Microsoft Exchange Server. But, they also play a huge role in implementing timely and correct
disaster recovery measures at times of catastrophes to prevent data loss. Therefore, tools
are the need of the hour for a server administrator to tackle such issues within a short duration
and without committing any faults. Communication is the primary component in an organization
to keep it up and running. Thus, it is necessary to keep the platform providing communication
services also up and running at all the times.
Thus, here is a list of the top ten tools that every Exchange Server Administrator must
know about and keep handy for an organized handling of server and its database. The following
utilities are what an administrator has always wanted for the continuous monitoring and timely
troubleshooting of issues with the database that later grows up to become the primary cause
of catastrophic disasters.
1. Database Recovery Management
This application is applicable to Exchange Server version 2007 of SP1/2/3. The Database
Recovery Management tool is meant to offer assistance on the reduction of the time consumed
in recovery and streamlining the procedure in case of database related issues occur on the
production servers operating MS Exchange. The tool is a part of the MS Exchange Performance
Troubleshooting Analyzer tool, which is better known as ExTRA or. The tool can be found in
Exchange Management Console of the server's 2007 version under the section named Toolbox.
The peculiarity of this tool is that it is integrated with a number of tasks that help
resolve database concerning issues. This includes verifying the Exchange database along with
its transaction log for any requirement of troubleshooting. Moreover, database repair is offered
along with removal/creation of recovery storage group, copy/merge mailbox data,
database mount/dismount, and more.
However, the repair served by the tool is generally considered risky and not recommended
especially in case of availability of backup. This is because the tool omits damaged pages of
the database as part of its repair scheme, which terminates any/all possible scopes of recovery.
2. Performance Troubleshooting Analyzer Tool (ExPTA)
This application from and for Microsoft Exchange is meant to collect the configuration
details, performance related counters, and rest of the server related information from Exchange.
This is done as part of the tool's purpose of serving troubleshooting service based on performance
monitoring which is possible through these details.
The tool does the analysis of entire Exchange and server subsystem in order to examine
bottlenecks, if any. It then totals the collected information to put forward important findings
of the detected bottlenecks and offer solutions that offer rectification for mending the server
However, all this can only be made possible by fulfilling the predefined requirements
of the tool. In order to use the tool you must have a Windows 2000 Pro/Server Family,
XP or 2003 family. Apart from that, a mixed or native mode - Exchange 2003, 2000, or 5.5
messaging system is required along with.NET Framework version 1.1.
Both, Microsoft Exchange Server as well as Windows Server does not have any application
in support of the diagnosis of Active Directory and related issues. Active Directory is a vital
part of the Exchange Server and offers a considerable amount of options along with flexibility.
Therefore, to keep Exchange up and running smoothly, it is also important that your AD too
be in a similar condition. Thus, its diagnostic service is as important as that of the Exchange,
which is rendered by Dcdiag.
Even though Windows Server comes along with the Dcdiag tool for testing each Domain Controller
but the utility is still installed as a Windows Support utility part. The Window Server version
2003 comes along with the utility, which can be installed by selecting suptools.msi, named
file. The tool offers a wide range of options for the diagnosis process that are applicable with
the help of options and command-line switches a list of which is provided within the tool itself.