Configuring the Native Exchange 2007 MP for OpsMgr 2007 R2 (Part 6)

by [Published on 18 May 2010 / Last Updated on 18 May 2010]

Additional steps in the Exchange 2007 MP configuration process: migration options for the previous version of the converted Exchange management pack, common troubleshooting and reporting.

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

Co-Existence with the Previous Version of Exchange Server 2007 MP

If you are using the previously released version of the Exchange Server 2007 converted management pack, please be aware that  a direct upgrade is not possible to this new, native version of the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Management Pack.

There are some migration options though for you to consider. The following table (from the official documentation) illustrates the possible options, as well as the pros and cons of each scenario:

Option

Pros

Cons

Delete the previously released, converted management pack. Then import the native Exchange Server 2007 Management Pack.

The simplest approach. You delete the converted Exchange Server 2007 Management Pack and then import the native Exchange Server 2007 Management Pack.

In this scenario, you lose all the historical data of the converted management pack, including reporting data.

Keep the previously released, converted management pack and use a second management group and multi-homing for the new, native management pack.

You keep the history from the converted management pack, including reporting data.

A more complex approach with the overhead of setting up a second management group for the native management pack and multi-homing the Exchange 2007 agents to report to both management groups. Disable the Exchange 2007 synthetic transactions from one of the management groups because synthetic transactions consume CPU, disk IO, and memory resources on the Exchange 2007 servers. Eventually, you should disable the converted management pack synthetic transactions because the native management pack synthetic transactions use fewer resources on the Exchange 2007 servers.

Keep the previously released, converted management pack and plan a gradual introduction of the new, native management pack by enabling server role discoveries on a server-by-server basis.

You keep the history from the converted management pack, including reporting data. There is less complexity because you only use one management group.

An increasingly complex end-to-end migration solution because, although you avoid using a second management group, you incur management overhead on a server-by-server basis to enable server role discoveries of the native management pack. As you enable servers to be discovered by the native management pack, you must disable the discoveries for the same servers in the converted management pack. There is additional administrative overhead to run the Operations Manager Remove-disabledMonitoringObject cmdlet to remove the converted management packs objects from the management group in order to avoid running synthetic transactions from both management packs at the same time.

Table 1: Migration options for the previous Exchange 2007 MP

As you have hopefully realized by now, in order to keep historical data from the old Exchange MP, the 2 supported scenarios are quite complex. Fortunately, the Operations Manager Product Team has made available a new unsealed management pack that will automatically disable the monitoring from the old MP to avoid duplication of monitoring. 

The provided management pack, Microsoft.Exchange.2007.Disable.xml, will disable all the rules, monitors and synthetic transactions in the old converted Exchange 2007 MP.

To obtain the management pack and for more related information, please read their blog post: New Exchange 2007 Management Pack and Keeping Old Management Pack Data.

Common Troubleshooting Issues

There are some common problems you may get right after you import and start using the native Exchange 2007 MP. I will mention a few and give you the solution.

1. No Exchange 2007 Servers Discovered

If no Exchange 2007 servers are discovered, you might want to make the discovery run more frequently than the default (the discoveries run only once every 24 hours by default). You can change the frequency of the Exchange 2007 Discovery Helper Discovery in Object Discoveries located under Management Pack Objects in the Authoring section of the Operations Console (Figure 1).

Of course, If you are really desperate and do not mind server downtime, you can always opt for a more radical approach: restart the HealthService on each monitored server and then restart the OpsMgr RMS.


Figure 1: Override Properties: Exchange 2007 Discovery Helper Discovery

To further troubleshoot the discovery process, go the Discovered Inventory under Monitoring section. Click Change Target Type on the Actions pane, select Agent and click OK. Select the server that isn't correctly being discovered, from the list of available agent-managed servers, and then run Show Running Rules and Monitors for this Health Service from the list of available Tasks.

The task will produce the output depicted on Figure 2. Copy the Task Output section to Notepad and search for a workflow called Microsoft.Exchange2007.ServerRole.CcrNode.Standalone.Discovery. This will confirm that the agent is running the discovery workflow.


Figure 2: Show Running Rules and Monitors for this Health Service

2. No Standalone Exchange 2007 Mailbox servers discovered

Standalone Exchange 2007 mailbox servers are discovered by enabling the Exchange 2007 Standalone CCR Node Discovery. Configure the corresponding override (Figure 3) and restart the HealthService on each mailbox server.


Figure 3: Exchange 2007 Standalone CCR Node Discovery: Override Properties

3. "No Exchange 2007 Mailbox Servers were found" message when configuring Intra-Organization Mail Flow Synthetic Transaction

When configuring Intra-Organization Mail Flow synthetic transaction using the provided template, you get the error message depicted on Figure 4.

Make sure the Exchange 2007 Management Pack has already discovered mailbox servers. You can wait a while or check if the discovery process is correctly configured (see previous paragraph).


Figure 4: No Exchange 2007 Mailbox Servers were found

4. Erroneous IIS alerts on physical nodes of clusters

The IIS Management Pack, by default, checks the service statuses regardless of the startup type. This can result in erroneous alerts on the physical nodes of clusters that have IIS stopped. We recommend disabling the IIS Service monitors for the physical nodes of the cluster, so that you monitor only the clustered Mailbox virtual server.

See Configure Internet Information Services (IIS) Monitoring section.

5. Exchange 2007 MP incorrect discoveries

When you check the Exchange 2007 Computer Group, you realize it includes servers that aren't Exchange Servers. The group contains servers where the Exchange 2007 Management Tools are installed.

The Exchange 2007 Computer Group membership is based on instances of the Exchange 2007 Discovery Helper. Thus it will include computers (servers only, not client computers) that are not Exchange 2007 servers, including Windows Server installation that have Exchange tools installed. 

To resolve this issue, disable the Discovery of the Exchange 2007 Discovery Helper for the non-Exchange Servers, by means of an override. Next, to clean up the instances of Exchange 2007 Discovery Helper, you will need to run the Remove-DisabledMonitoringObject Poweshell cmdlet

6. Inter-organization mail flow perspective is not created

After the configuration of an inter-organization mail flow synthetic transaction, a discovery process runs and generates a new instance of an inter-organization mail flow perspective. (This discovery runs every 24 hours by default.).

If you navigate to the Mail Flow State view in the Monitoring section, which shows all instances of mail flow perspectives, you can't find the recently created one.

It may take some time for the perspective to be created, so you have to wait a little bit longer.

7. Exchange 2007 Test Active Sync Connectivity Monitor: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel

Exchange 2007 Test Web Services Connectivity Monitor: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel

Exchange 2007 Test OWA Internal Connectivity Monitor: The test was unable to log on to Outlook Web Access because the SSL certificate did not validate.

All of these 3 errors are related. I was getting 3 critical alerts related with SSL for the CAS synthetic transactions (Figure 5). After some troubleshooting, the only thing I noticed is that the certificate in use had a simple name (no FQDN) in its subject (the correct names were all in the Subject Alternate Names), as depicted in Figure 6.

After issuing a new certificate, with an FQDN name as the subject (Figure 7), the problem was solved. I was not able to confirm if this is a bug or just anything related with my own environment.


Figure 5: CAS synthetic transaction errors (SSL related)


Figure 6: Certificate with a simple subject name


Figure 7: Certificate with FQDN name in the Subject

Reports

Reporting was also one of the areas where the native Exchange 2007 MP introduced major improvements. There are more reports available and it is easier to customize a report using the new search and filtering functionality, which automatically returns objects of the correct type for the report.

Reporting is an optional component of Operations Manager 2007, but its value is unquestionable. Here's a list of all available Exchange 2007 reports:

  • Average Mailbox Size
  • Client Access Server Transaction Configuration
  • Client RPC Latency > 2 seconds
  • Database and Log Latency
  • Database File Growth
  • Mail Flow Transaction Configuration
  • Mailbox Messages Delivered Report
  • SMTP Messages Sent
  • Number of Mailboxes.
  • Server Disk Free Space
  • SMTP Messages Received Report
  • SMTP Messages Sent
  • Store RPC Performance
  • Top N Mailboxes by Message Count
  • Top N Mailboxes by Size
  • Top N Public Folders by Message Count
  • Top N Public Folders by Size
  • ActiveSync Site Service Availability SLA
  • Hub Transport Service Availability SLA
  • IMAP4 Site Service Availability SLA
  • Mail Flow Cross Organization Availability SLA
  • Mail Flow Local Availability SLA
  • Mail Flow Local Latency SLA
  • Mail Flow Remote Availability SLA
  • Mail Flow Remote Latency SLA
  1. To run a report, click the Reporting button in the Operations Console, expand Reporting and then click Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Reports (Figure 8).
  2. Double-click the report you want to run. In the Objects area, click Add object.
  3. Click Search to see a list of the available objects for the report. Select the object you want to add and then click Add.
  4. Use the settings on the page to further customize the report, and then click Run. Figure 9 depicts the Exchange 2007 Top N Mailboxes by Size Report.


Figure 8: Exchange Server 2007 Reports


Figure 9: Exchange 2007 Top N Mailboxes by Size Report

Conclusion

The new native Exchange 2007 MP is a must! There are so many improvements that you will start taking advantage of its value from the moment you import it.

And since Exchange Server 2010 was recently released, it is now time to start playing around with the corresponding Management Pack. I will let you know how it went in a future article.

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

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