Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007
Topic Last Modified: 2007-01-23

Microsoft Exchange performance is affected by many factors such as user profiles, system architecture, software, and hardware components. Make sure that Windows is functioning correctly because, if it is not, your Exchange performance will be affected.

Monitoring server performance helps to make sure that your servers are functioning correctly and helps you identify bottlenecks in the system. You can use the performance monitoring data to identify problems and apply corrective action. You can also use the monitoring data to enhance the performance of your servers by identifying areas that need additional resources. For example, you may need to increase your storage capacity to handle the growing number of users in your organization.

Monitoring the Operating System

If your organization is small, or if you rely on one server for most of your Microsoft Exchange Server operations, you may need to monitor only one server. If you have a larger organization, or if you want to monitor the performance of all servers and components in Exchange Server, such as the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service, you can use System Monitor, which is a Windows Server 2003 component.

You can also use the Windows Performance console, a Windows Server 2003 snap-in, to verify that your Windows Server 2003 operating system is functioning correctly. The Performance console, which is made up of the System Monitor and Performance Logs and Alerts snap-ins, is the primary toolset used to analyze and maintain Exchange and operating system performance levels. The Performance console is quite flexible and can be used to gather data interactively from a single server or automated to gather data from many servers. For more information about using the Performance console, see the Windows Server 2003 documentation.

You can also use Task Manager (Taskmgr.exe) to obtain information about the processes and programs that are running on your local computer.

There are important differences between Task Manager and the Performance console, such as the Performance console captures data to a file whereas the Task Manager can end a process. Task Manager is primarily a troubleshooting aid, and the Performance console is used for more detailed troubleshooting and analysis.

System Monitor

Using the System Monitor tool, you can define, collect, and view extensive data about the usage of hardware resources and the activity of system services on computers that you administer. System Monitor lets you monitor a single computer or several computers simultaneously. This flexibility can be helpful when you want to locate a problem in your system. You can specify the type of data you want to monitor, the source of the data, and establish sampling parameters, such as manual or automatic, within a time interval on real-time data. You can even change the appearance of your System Monitor to use graph, histogram, or report views.

Performance Logs and Alerts

With Performance Logs and Alerts, you can collect performance data automatically from local or remote computers. You can view logged counter data using System Monitor or import the data into spreadsheet programs or databases for analysis and report generation. Performance Logs and Alerts collect data in a comma-separated or tab-separated format for easy import to spreadsheet programs. It also supports setting sampling intervals for monitoring data about hardware resources and system services. You can set an alert on a counter, thereby defining that a message be sent, a program be run, an entry made to the application event log, or a log be started when the selected counter's value exceeds or falls under a specified setting.

An alert is a system-generated event that is triggered when counters that you are tracking perform outside predefined thresholds. You use Performance Logs and Alerts to configure alerts.

The alert functionality depends on the Windows Server 2003 Messenger Service, the Windows Server 2003 Alerter Service, and the existence of the recipient account registration in the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS). The Messenger and Alerter services are disabled by default and must be enabled and started to allow network messages to be transmitted.

For more information about creating and configuring alerts in Windows Server 2003, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 324752 "How to Create and Configure Performance Monitor Alerts in Windows Server 2003".

Task Manager

Task Manager is a Windows Server 2003 tool that provides information about the processes and programs that are running on your local computer. You can use Task Manager to monitor key indicators of your computer's performance. You can see the status of the programs that are running and end programs that have stopped responding. You can also assess the activity of running processes using up to 15 parameters, and see graphs and data on CPU and memory usage. In addition, you can view the network status and see how your network adapter is functioning. If you have more than one user logged on to your computer, you can see who is connected, what they are working on, and you can send them a message.

For More Information

For information about other important daily operations tasks, see Daily Tasks.