So lately I’ve had a few customers ask ..
“How come I haven’t heard about this tool you’re talking / showing me until now?”
This was in regards to a performance analysis tool a customer found particularly useful. He went on to wonder out loud. “
“Shouldn’t there be like a master list of Microsoft utilities or tools we can / should be using on our Exchange environments?”
So I took this as an opportunity to start building such a list. So below is a list of utilities, where to get them, when you may need to use them, and the version or versions they are applicable to. Enjoy!
*Note* this list will evolve over time. Obviously as a Microsoft employee I am only going to highlight our utilities, it’s a legal thing I try to avoid If you have a suggestion for something that should be on it that I’ve missed, please send me an email or leave a comment!"
VSSTester Script – Exchange 2010 – validate the proper operation of Exchange 2010 VSS writers and collect relevant troubleshooting information.
MFCMAPI – Any version – This is an excellent tool to look directly into a mailbox or OST file to view item level attributes and settings. Handy for things like finding hidden items, finding mailbox stored settings that appear in outlook, deleting persisting rules or alerts.
Experfwiz – Exchange 2007 & higher (soon to be 2013 as well) - Powershell based script to create counter logs or data collect sets on the server to collect only the exchange relavent objects and counters.
PAL – Any version – This powershell based tool will parse your previously collected perf data and review it against a collection of XML configuration files that other PFE’s in Microsoft have managed and kept updated. The tool will then spit out a beautiful HTML report with graphs, charts, and tables of your data compared to our best practice recommendations. Great for proving performance / sizing issues and gathering ammunition to bring to management if you need help in justifying a hardware purchase or scale out! *NOTE* newer versions of this tool are x64 only!
OffCat – outlook 2003 and higher – This tool will aid support technicians in finding common misconfigurations in your full Outlook clients
Network Message Analyzer – Any version – This next gen version of the old school “Net Mon” tool makes collecting network traces and packet captures much easier than in the past. want to confirm that the pesky Outlook client is constantly losing network connectivity? this is the tool for you.
Microsoft Script Center Repository – Any version – Looking for a script or automation tool to speed up a repetitive process? Looking for an easier way to capture some data and maybe email you a report of it? This is the place to be. It has many of these types of community generated scripts from users looking to help others with similar needs. Some of the contributors are local gurus, MVP’s and even Microsoft Employees and PFE’s! Great thing about this is that it’s more than just Exchange script here, it spans all MSFT technologies
Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer – All versions – This site also known as “EXRCA” is now embedded in the Exchange 2010 Admin console. We’ve expanded it’s scope and use now to include integration / testing with hosted (O365) environment as well as the above mentioned Message Header analyzer.
Autodiscover Self Test – Exchange 2007 and up – Great internal only test script to see if AutoD is working in a non-internet facing site where the EXRCA tool can’t be used.
Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator – Any version – This (still Beta) tool allows you to be able to created some rough numbers on the amount of bandwidth a set of clients, both mobile and full clients could place on your infrastructure as things like versions change and concurrent use varies.
CalCheck tool – Outlook and Exchange 2003 and higer – Command line utility to run against a mailboxes calendar to look for issues related to permissions, free/busy publishing, and auto booking. Now 2010 has a component built-in to handle this as well (Understanding Calendar Repair & EHLO blog post on CRA)
Datacenter Switchover Troubleshooter – Exchange 2010 – Great PPTX to walk you through the process and ensure you’re following the proper steps along the way!
Log Parser Studio – Any version – Great UI based utility with some canned queries to parse IIS logs. Want to see your top 20 EAS users?
Exchange Legacy API Scanner – Exchange 2010 – This tool scans servers looking for dependancies that are no longer supported in 2010. Great for look ahead remediation
Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer – Scans your entire topology to ensure you meet the organizational and AD prerequisites to deploy a certain version of Exchange
Exchange Deployment Assistant (EXDeploy) – Ever wonder what all the steps and things to worry about were on how to deploy a clean or upgraded version of Exchange? Here is your walkthrough! Nice since you can save it in PDF format as well for offline reference!
Exchange Mailbox Server Calculator – 2010 / 2013 – Great tool generated directly from the product group themselves (Ross Smith IV specifically and company) to assist in trying to define sizing guidance for this critical role. Understand this calc is only as good as the data you input. The more accurate your collected data, the greater chances you’ll have at a stable and properly loaded Exchange server. A 2013 version of this tool is hopefully going to be released in the near future (TBD)
Exchange Processor Query Tool – This tool will query the machines you plan on using for the above mailbox calc and get the proper values for the SPECint ratings section
Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer Tool – Any version – Connectivity issue analyzer for the top most common issues. Install and run locally!
Exchange Server User Monitor (ExMon) – Exchange 2000 and higher – Awesome tool to see exactly which mailboxes are pulling the most load against your servers. Could be used to define who may be a good fit for client throttling.
Exchange Server Profile Analyzer – Exchange 2007 – To accurately collect existing messaging profiles (sent / recv per day, average mailbox size, etc.) This data is incredibly important for use in the mailbox calculator. Comes in 32
Public Folder Replication Troubleshooter – Exchange 2003 – Guided walk through (GWT) for attacking Public Folder Replication issues
PST Capture tool – Exchange 2010 & 2013 – Centralized tool to collect, capture and import network based PST’s into mailboxes or Exchange server based archives
LoadGen – Exchange 2010 – utility to be able to simulate load (client load) on a CAS/HUB role server before actually installing exchange to verify the resources allocated or installed to the server will be sufficient.
JetStress – Exchange 2010 (soon to be 2013 as well) – utility to be able to simulate load (client load) on a Mailbox role server before actually installing exchange to verify the disk subsystem exposed to the server will be sufficient.
TCPView – All versions – displays all TCP and UDP endpoints on a system. Great for verifying a certain kind of traffic or connection is or is not taking place.
PortQry UI – All versions – Tool for testing ports or access to a remote system. Can that system accept Port 25 SMTP traffic? Confirm it here
EAS Troubleshooter script - all versions – Great PS1 file to assist in parsing the IIS logs and finding potential issues. Also aggregates a lot of the data on mobile devices admins need these days
Report CAL information script – Exchange 2010 – Portion of code to report exactly how many licenses of each type you should have. Easy auditing utility.