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.
I’ve recently become a wine
geek, and there’s nothing like combining technology
with a new hobby. Excalibur Electronics
makes a nifty Wine Master Deluxe device for about $50:
It’s a complete listing of wines, their ratings,
descriptions, and so on; just the thing to whip
out the next time you’re at a fancy restaurant.
For the less snobbish, they make a PDA-sized BarMaster
Deluxe, which has bazillions of drink recipes built
[Click on image for
- If you want the ultimate Microsoft monitoring tool, check out
The new Workgroup Edition is only $500, which is perfect for smaller
- 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.
Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is Curriculum Director for IT Pro Content 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.