Configuring the Native Exchange 2007 MP for OpsMgr 2007 R2 (Part 4)

by [Published on 16 Feb. 2010 / Last Updated on 16 Feb. 2010]

How to configure synthetic transactions in the Exchange 2007 MP to monitor normal flow of intra and inter Organization email. Configuring Client Access Server Synthetic Transactions.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Configure Synthetic Transactions

This section will cover the configuration process for 2 types of synthetic transactions:

  • Mail flow synthetic transactions – To monitor the health (availability and latency) of several mail flow processes, the Exchange Server 2007 MP supports several variations of mail flow synthetic transactions on Mailbox servers:
    - Local mail flow: a server sends mail to itself (enabled by default on each agent-managed Exchange Server 2007 Mailbox server)
    - Intra-organization mail flow: a server sends mail within an organization
    - Inter-organization mail flow (a server sends mail to another organization/mailbox, which could also be used to send mail via the Internet as long as the recipient is able to generate a delivery receipt)
  • CAS synthetic transactions – This type of synthetic transactions run on Client Access servers and perform transactions against the Client Access server itself and also the back-end Mailbox servers within the same site. Examples of these transactions are to check Exchange ActiveSync, Outlook Web Access, and Web Services connectivity.

The collected results from both types of synthetic transactions are represented in the Monitoring pane of the Operations Console (Figure 1).

You can also see synthetic transactions (represented by the perspective icon that looks like a pair of glasses) in the Exchange 2007 Topology View (Figure 2):


Figure 1: Monitoring Mail Flow


Figure 2: Synthetic transactions in Topology View

Configure Intra-Organization Mail Flow

Configuring mail flow using a Wizard is one of the new features of the native Exchange 2007 MP. Although it is still possible to configure intra-organization mail flow synthetic transactions using overrides, it is way better to use the provided template, imported with the Exchange Server 2007 Management Pack.

  1. To configure mail flow synthetic transactions click the Authoring button in the Operations Console, click Management Pack Templates, and then click Add Monitoring Wizard on the Actions pane (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Management Pack Templates

  1. On the Select Monitoring Type page, select Exchange 2007 Intra-Organization Mail Flow Monitoring, and click Next (Figure 4).
  2. On the General Properties page, type the Name for the object, optionally type a Description and select a destination management pack from the list. Click Next (Figure 5).


Figure 4: Select Monitoring Type


Figure 5: General Properties

  1. On the Source Server page, select the Exchange organization and search the Source server from the list of available servers, and then click Next (Figure 6).
  2. On the Test Settings page, specify the Test frequency value or accept the default. Ensure that the test frequency you specify (between 5 and 60 minutes) is at least two times greater than the Time-out value (between 1 and 30 minutes) and click Next (Figure 7).


Figure 6: Source Server


Figure 7: Test Settings

  1. On the Target Servers page, click Add. The source server and the target server must be in the same Exchange organization and site. On the Select Target Servers page, search for available target servers, select the Mailbox server you want, and then click Add. Click OK and then click Next (Figure 8).
  2. On the Summary page, review the settings, and click Create (Figure 9).


Figure 8: Target Servers


Figure 9: Summary

Configure Inter-Organization Mail Flow (Cont.)

We will now configure inter-organization mail flow transactions or mail flow transactions to the Internet. This method will work for any destination mail service that is able to generate a delivery receipt and accepts SMTP addresses. Perform the following steps to configure inter-organization mail flow:

  1. To configure inter-organization and Internet mail flow transactions, go to Object Discoveries under Management Pack Objects in the Authoring node in the Operations Console. Ensure that your console is not scoped to a subset of management pack objects. In the Look for box, type Cross and click Find now.
  2. Right-click the Exchange 2007 Mailflow Cross Organization Discovery, click Overrides | Override the Object Discovery | For a specific object of class: Exchange 2007 Mailbox Role (Figure 10).
  3. Select the Exchange 2007 Mailbox server you want to use as the source server, and click OK (Figure 11).


Figure 10: Override the Object Discovery: Exchange 2007 Mail Flow Cross Organization Discovery


Figure 11: Select Object

  1. On the Override Properties dialog box, change the Target Addresses parameter. The destination mail service must be able to generate a delivery receipt. Choose a destination management pack to save the override, and click OK (Figure 12). This synthetic transaction runs every 30 minutes by default.


Figure 12: Exchange 2007 Mail Flow Organization Discovery: Override Properties

A discovery will now run that generates a new instance of an inter-organization mail flow perspective. (This discovery runs every 24 hours by default.) To check that the perspective was created, go to the Mail Flow State view, which will show all instances of mail flow perspectives.

Configure Client Access Server Synthetic Transactions

Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access, Exchange ActiveSync, Exchange Web Services, POP3 and IMAP services are tested by running some PowerShell cmdlets, supported by the Exchange 2007 MP:

  • Test-OwaConnectivity
  • Test-ActiveSyncConnectivity
  • Test-WebServicesConnectivity.
  • Test-PopConnectivity
  • Test-ImapConnectivity

These cmdlets require a special test mailbox on each Exchange Server 2007 Mailbox server managed by Operations Manager.  

To create the test mailbox, on each Exchange 2007 Mailbox server, open the Exchange Management Shell, locate the Scripts directory under the installation path for Exchange Server 2007 (usually \Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts) and execute the script New-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1 (Figure 13).


Figure 13: New-TestCASConnectivityUser.ps1

To monitor external Outlook Web Access URL, you must set an external URL on your Outlook Web Access virtual directory, by running a PowerShell cmdlet or by using the Exchange Management Console:

Exchange Management Shell (Figure 14):

  • Set-OwaVirtualDirectory "<Server name>\owa (Default Web site)" -externalurl:"https://<Fully Qualified Domain Name>/owa"

Exchange Management Console (Figure 15):

  • Open the Exchange Management Console, select Server Configuration, select Client Access, and then click the Outlook Web Access tab.
  • In the work pane, select the virtual directory that you want to modify, and then click Properties.
  • In the virtual directory properties dialog box, select the tab that contains the properties that you want to modify. Click OK to save your changes and close the properties window.


Figure 14: Setting the OWA external URL by using the Command Shell


Figure 15: OWA (Default Web Site) Properties

After preparing all the Exchange 2007 CAS to be monitored, use the following procedure to configure client access synthetic transactions.

  1. Click the Authoring button in the Operations Console, and then click Add Monitoring Wizard from the Actions pane. On the Select Monitoring Type page, select Exchange 2007 Client Access Server Monitoring, and click Next (Figure 16).
  2. On the General Properties page, type the Name for the object, optionally type a Description, select a destination management pack from the list and click Next (Figure 17).


Figure 16: Select Monitoring Type


Figure 17: General Properties

  1. On the Source Server page, select the Exchange organization where the tests will occur, search a Source server from the list of available servers and click Next (Figure 18). The management pack runs the synthetic transaction on the source server you designate.


Figure 18
: Source Server

  1. On the Test Settings page, specify the Test frequency value (between 5 and 60 minutes). Ensure that the test frequency you specify is more than two times greater than the Time-out value (between 10 and 1,200 seconds) you specify (take into account the fact that the test frequency is measured in minutes and the test time-out is measured in seconds). Select one or more Test types, and then click Next (Figure 19).


Figure 19: Test Settings

  1. On the Target Servers page, click Add to search for Exchange 2007 mailbox servers that hosts the user mailbox used in the transaction test. Available target servers are limited to Exchange 2007 mailbox servers residing in the same Active Directory site as the Client Access server specified as the source server and are monitored by this management group. Click Next (Figure 20).
  2. On the Summary page, review the settings, and click Create (Figure 21).


Figure 20: Target Servers


Figure 21: Summary

Summary

Wizard-style configuration of synthetic transactions was one of the great improvements of the native Exchange 2007 MP. With 8 steps already covered in the past 4 parts, the next part will have the final 3 steps to conclude the configuration process:

  • Configuring the Log Shipping Replay Queue Length Monitor for SCR and CCR Scenarios.
  • Enabling Remote Unified Messaging Connectivity Monitoring.
  • Adjust the Best Time to Run Report Data Collection Scripts / Resource-Intensive Rules and Monitors

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

The Author — Rui Silva

Rui Silva avatar

Rui Silva specializes in Unified Communications and Enterprise Cloud solutions, using Microsoft technologies, with a proven track record of 15+ years experience working with some of the biggest companies in Portugal and Western Europe. Rui can often be found in the cloud or on-premises contributing to the Technical Community through blogging, writing articles or with a presence in the social networks.

Latest Contributions

Featured Links