Monitor with AppInsight for Exchange
Designed exclusively for the Exchange Mailbox role, AppInsight for Exchange provides visibility into storage issues, mail queues, mailbox database status and growth, events, and critical processes and services. With AppInsight for Exchange you can get a single view of all relevant current and historical Exchange performance metrics.
You can add AppInsight for Exchange automatically during Discovery or add it to nodes manually via the Node Details view. After it is applied to a node, AppInsight for Exchange is considered an application and reports data to SAM through a set of component monitors.
Click here for an overview about AppInsight applications.
AppInsight for Exchange recommendations
When using and configuring AppInsight for Exchange, SolarWinds recommends the following best practices:
- Most Exchange servers already include PowerShell. Install PowerShell 5.1 or later on target systems, if it's not already installed.
To support AppInsight for Exchange, earlier versions of SAM used FullLanguage mode on target servers. Starting in SAM 2020.2.6, use RestrictedLanguage as the minimum PSLanguageMode setting in PowerShell on target servers. For a script to adjust that setting on existing servers, see this Success Center article.
- AppInsight uses the Exchange credentials you provide to directly access the servers, complete configuration, and collect data during polling. Before adding AppInsight to nodes, review requirements and account permissions.
- Manually configure AppInsight for Exchange on target servers in SAM provides additional configuration and usage options, but is recommended for experienced Exchange administrators only.
- You cannot edit component monitors in the AppInsight for Exchange template to exclude or include specific databases. To monitor specific databases, and not the entire Database Availability Group (DAG), consider using Exchange templates that provide a starting point for PowerShell scripts that monitor metrics for specific databases.
- After configuring AppInsight for Exchange, you may not see active data in widgets or receive alerts immediately because polling may occur at different intervals, ranging from minutes to hours. After 24 hours, widgets and alerts should start reporting data.
- After configure alerts to be notified about Exchange server usage and issues, monitor alerts for two weeks to generate stable baselines. Your environment's baseline and performance expectations may vary, as compared to the default thresholds.
- Create custom views with different AppInsight for Exchange widgets for user groups in your organization.
- Use AppStack to troubleshoot performance and availability issues. This visual mapping tool provides health and status information about related applications, servers, hosts, volumes, and more.
To expand Exchange monitoring in your environment, consider the following options:
- Use AppInsight for IIS to identify IIS Server, Website, and Application Pool performance issues related to Exchange.
- For virtual servers, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager (VMAN) can display in-depth information about your Exchange environment in AppStack. VMAN also correlates virtual disks to the physical disks in the back-end storage layer so that you can identify and correct storage problems. Use VMAN to troubleshoot disk usage issues in a virtual environment, such as storage I/O problems caused by a "noisy neighbor" that is consuming I/O resources needed by Exchange.
- SolarWinds Storage Resource Manager (SRM) monitors the storage arrays used to store Exchange data. SRM correlates disks to storage devices on the network, and provides data about the capacity and performance of your storage devices. With SRM, information about storage devices (including array, volumes, and LUNs) is shown in the AppStack.
- SolarWinds Web Performance Monitor (WPM) can run synthetic user transactions from office locations to the load balancer and Exchange servers. For example, WPM can provide information about what users experience when they access Microsoft Outlook, and alerts you if Outlook takes significantly longer than usual to load or if users cannot access the site.
Navigate AppInsight for Exchange
AppInsight for Exchange can be found in the All Applications widget on the Application Summary view.
To view the AppInsight for Exchange Details page:
- Navigate to the All Applications widget by clicking My Dashboards > Applications > SAM Summary.
- On the Applications Summary page, expand the AppInsight for Exchange tree in the All Applications widget.
- Expand the node tree and click the application. The default name is Microsoft Exchange.
The AppInsight for Exchange Details view includes customizable widgets that display statistics about your Exchange servers and services. Click links within widgets to drill down and review details about related performance counters, databases, mailboxes, and more.
- Click any performance counter in a widget to view the Exchange Performance Counter Details page.
- Click any database within a Database widget to view the AppInsight for Exchange Database Details page.
- Click any user name within a Mailbox widget to view the AppInsight for Exchange Mailbox Details page.
Additional learning resources include:
- Deep Dive on using AppInsight templates (webinar)
- AppInsight for Exchange: Two Geeks and a Goddess (SolarWinds Lab episode)
- Q & A: AppInsight for Exchange (SolarWinds Lab episode)
- 5 Tips to Optimize Exchange Server for Improved Performance (THWACK)