Windows Tip Sheet

Help MOM Keep an Eye on Your Exchange Servers

Monitor Exchange Services from a single, simple HTA console.

Exchange Server 2003 (and 2000, for that matter) has been occupying a lot of my time lately. I’ve got two clients who are (finally) migrating from Exchange 5.5 and several more who are expanding their Exchange infrastructure to accommodate recent business mergers and whatnot. One of the things I’ve been struggling with is helping them monitor their Exchange servers better; Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) is great and MOM 2005 even has a sexy new low price point, but convincing folks to buy yet another Microsoft product on top of new Exchange licenses can be challenging.

I was pretty happy to run across a free VBScript-based Exchange Monitor written by Jeffery Hicks. The tool is written as an HTML Application (HTA) so it has the look and feel of a “real” Windows app, not a simple script. The tool displays status information for Exchange Services and lets you quickly start and stop services all from one console. A pay version called Exchange 2003 Monitor Plus monitors multiple servers in one screen and even pings them to make sure they’re reachable. It’ll even launch other consoles, like Computer Management, targeted to the remote machines, and it’ll display events and information for critical Exchange services. It’s a great little tool to have running on your desktop, especially in a larger environment with multiple servers to keep track of.

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More Resources:

  • If you want the ultimate Microsoft monitoring tool, check out MOM 2005. The new Workgroup Edition is only $500, which is perfect for smaller shops.
  • The folks at HyperSpin will monitor your Exchange servers for you, for a small fee, and notify you of outages. Applies primarily to externally reachable Exchange servers acting as SMTP gateways.
  • If you’d like to start making your own slick-looking HTAs like Exchange Monitor, here is a good place to start.

About the Author

Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is an Author/Evangelist for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of PowerShell.org, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ConcentratedDon.

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