More information on ExBPA 2.1

Posted with permission from Paul Bowden.


We are pleased to announce the availability of the Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer v2.1. The new version can be downloaded from here. Starting next week, for those running ExBPA v2.0, you will be prompted to upgrade to v2.1 the next time the tool is started.


List of enhancements included in ExBPA v2.1:



  • HBA Collection – ExBPA.MSI package now installs the WMI extensions required for querying Host Bus Adaptors through the HBA API. This allows ExBPA to automatically collect configuration and diagnostic information from HBAs such as Emulex, Qlogic and LSI. The extensions need to be installed on the Exchange server. Either install ExBPA or the FCInfo tool on the server to enable collection of HBA information. NOTE: Once the extensions are installed on the server, ExBPA will be able to collect the information even when running from a remote workstation.
  • Performance Baseline – In addition to the regular ‘Health Check’ scan, a new scan type of ‘Health/Performance Check’ can be run. This tells the BPA engine to sample key Exchange and Operating System performance counters and produce statistics showing the 90th percentile and maximum value. The list of counters is based upon the Exchange 2003 Performance Troubleshooting whitepaper. The performance statistics will be displayed in the “Baseline” report once the scan has completed. By default, 240 samples will be taken at 30 second intervals (i.e. 2 hour run). These defaults can be overridden with the following registry parameters:




Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\ExBPA




Value: PerfSamples



Type: DWORD



Data: The total number of samples to collect (default: 240)



Value: SampleInterval




Type: DWORD



Data: The time to wait between each sample (default: 30)



NOTES:



1. The time estimation in the UI is fixed at 2 hours, it does not take into account any registry overrides.



2. ExBPA uses a global 3-hour timeout for processing each Exchange server. If you wish to increase the sample time beyond 2.5 hours, a modification will be necessary to the ExBPA.Config.xml. (MaxTime=”ALL,180;…”).



3. The percentage complete values shown during scanning are based on object completions. As the sampling process is implemented as a single object, the server completion state will appear to ‘stick’ between 35 and 40% for the 2-hour sampling period. This is expected.



4. It is possible to sample multiple servers at the same time. However, you should keep the number of servers in scope to a minimum (e.g. less than 10)



5. Unlike the regular ‘Health Check’ it is important to run the new ‘Health/Performance Check’ when the Exchange server is at its busiest. As ExBPA uses the performance data helper (pdh) library to sample counters, the overheads on the server should be no greater than regular sampling with performance monitor (sysmon). To reduce overheads, it is recommended that you run ExBPA from a workstation rather than the server console.



6. In the initial ExBPA v2.1 release, Error and Warning rules have not been implemented for performance data. These will be introduced in a web update.



7. The sample data is stored as a comma-separated list embedded within the output XML. The ExBPA UI does not support the graphing of this data, or direct conversion to performance monitor log format. The overhead of collecting and storing the data is small. For example, scanning an organization containing a single Exchange 2003/Windows 2003 server:



         Health Check – 2,938 KB



        Health/Performance Check – 3,078 KB



  • Cluster Reporting – Reports such as the ‘Full Issues List’ separates physical nodes from the virtual server. The new format makes it easier to identify issues that need to be corrected on individual physical nodes.
  • Wildcard Collection – The BPA engine now supports wildcard collection from the registry. This enables a new set of rules, in particular exclusion settings for file-level antivirus products and Windows firewall configuration.
  • Latest Rules – Includes the latest Config XML file (rules database). Over 100 new rules have been introduced in v2.1 – see the list at the end of this e-mail. Specific areas of improvement include the recipient update service, third-party anti-virus checking, and debug settings. In addition to the new rules, over 30 existing rules have been reconditioned to provide better clarity.
  • Better Screen Layout – The size of the main report window is now based on the screen resolution rather than fixed at 800×600.
  • Scan Selection Information – When viewing the list of previous scans, the Config XML version used for the collection is now displayed in the details panel.
  • UDP Support – In addition to TCP, the new version of the tool can connect to ports using UDP. For example, new rules use this function to test the availability of WINS servers.
  • Checksum Operations – The BPA engine now supports the calculation of MD5 checksums. While the current rules database does not utilize this feature, it can be enabled in the future without updating the binaries.


Bug fixes:



  • Command-line parameters used with EXBPACMD are now case-insensitive.
  • For automatic updates, the tool now uses IE configuration settings if the default proxy server is not available.
  • Better handling of Date/Time formats.
  • Export functionality no longer deletes the original output XML file.
  • The language of the tool is no longer derived from the regional settings. Instead, the OS language is used.
  • Clearer instructions for when the scheduler can be used.


Other notes:



  • ExBPA v2.1 is available for U.S. English only. Other languages will be refreshed later on in the year.
  • In-place upgrades from ExBPA v2.0 to v2.1 are supported.
  • The build number for ExBPA v2.1 is 7599  (Displayed as 2.1.7599.0 in the ExBPA UI. Files on disk will be version 6.5.7599.0).

Please send any questions and feedback to exbpafb@microsoft.com. Thanks!


The Microsoft Exchange Operational Support Tools Team


List of new rules introduced in ExBPA v2.1:

























































































































































































































































































































































 


More than 800 address lists are present


 


More than 800 global address lists are present


 


Intelligent Message Filter is not installed on one or more servers running Exchange Server 2003


 


MaxPageSize is set too high


 


Active Directory Connector software update is required


 


Exchange organization has zero recipient policies


 


Exchange organization has zero system policies


 


Everyone security group is not denied the right to create top-level public folders


 


Envelope journaling is enabled


 


Mailbox Enable User system policy change required


 


SMTP address is not defined in the default recipient policy


 


Message routing loop may exist


 


Search filter change required for recipient policy


 


Recipient Update Service software update required


 


Recipient Update Service is inactive


 


Recipient Update Service did not process all changes


 


Recipient Update Service appears to be stalled


 


Recipient Update Service is configured for full rebuild


 


Recipient Update Service full rebuild


 


Offline Address Book generation is set to update continuously


 


Replica of Offline Address Book version 3a not found


 


Replica of Offline Address Book version 2 not found


 


Cannot connect to the routing master on port 25


 


Cannot connect to the routing master on port 691


 


networkAddress attribute is not set correctly


 


RPC binding does not contain FQDN


 


Cluster debugging is enabled


 


Single global catalog present in topology


 


Active Directory round-trip response error


 


Server has less than four storage groups but more than four mailbox stores defined


 


Information Store service is configured to interact with desktop


 


Circular logging is disabled


 


Offline address book is not associated with mailbox store


 


Background Cleanup interval for a mailbox store is missing


 


Aging Keep Time interval for database is non-default


 


Default public store is remote


 


Maximum cached views has been modified


 


Maximum cached views is set too low


 


Maximum cached views is set too high


 


Message journaling is enabled


 


Background Cleanup for a mailbox store is non-default


 


Background Cleanup interval for a public folder store is missing


 


Background Cleanup for a public folder store is non-default


 


msExchAlternateServer attribute has been set


 


SMTP server accepts basic authentication


 


Anonymous access is enabled


 


External DNS server is used for SMTP


 


SMTP queue folder and pickup folder are identical


 


Intelligent Message Filter is not enabled on the server


 


Intelligent Message Filter is enabled on the mailbox server


 


Extended SMTP verbs are not available


 


System Attendant service is configured to interact with desktop


 


System Attendant service is not running as LocalSystem


 


Exchange Management service is not running as LocalSystem


 


Performance data from Epoxy Client Out Queue Length (DSAccess) counter


 


Performance data from Epoxy Client Out Queue Length (SMTP) counter


 


Performance data from Epoxy Store Out Queue Length (DSAccess) counter


 


Performance data from Epoxy Store Out Queue Length (SMTP) counter


 


Performance data from SMTP Local Queue Length counter


 


Performance data from SMTP Remote Queue Length counter


 


Performance data from SMTP Categorizer Queue Length counter


 


Performance data from RPC Operations/sec counter


 


Performance data from Virus Scan Queue Length counter


 


Performance data from RPC Requests counter


 


Performance data from RPC Averaged Latency counter


 


Performance data from Average Disk sec/Read counter of the LogicalDisk performance object


 


Performance data from Average Disk sec/Read counter of the PhysicalDisk performance object


 


Performance data from Average Disk sec/Write counter of the LogicalDisk performance object


 


Performance data for Average Disk sec/Write counter


 


Performance data for Log Record Stalls/sec counter


 


Performance data for Log Threads Waiting counter


 


Performance data for Available MBytes counter


 


Performance data for Pages/sec counter


 


Performance data for % Processor Time counter


 


Performance data for Bytes Total/sec counter


 


Performance data from LDAP Read Time counter


 


Performance data from LDAP Search Time counter


 


Update available for McAfee GroupShield 6.0 for Microsoft Exchange


 


Update available for Sybari Antigen 7.5 for Microsoft Exchange


 


Update available for Sybari Antigen 8.0 for Microsoft Exchange


 


Update available for McAfee GroupShield 5.2 for Microsoft Exchange


 


Messageware Plus Pack is installed


 


ASP.NET Rootver is damaged


 


Administrative file shares disabled


 


INO_FLPY.SYS version update available


 


INO_FLTR.SYS version update available


 


The version of the Tcpip.sys file installed on this computer may require a hotfix


 


URLScan is installed


 


Filter update for Intelligent Message Filter is available


 


Windows Server 2003 SP1: Outlook Web Access hotfix is required


 


MTA Stacks service is configured to interact with desktop


 


Exchange resident on domain controller that is not a global catalog server


 


Exchange Server 5.5 resident on Active Directory domain controller


 


Primary WINS server failed to respond


 


Network card checksum offloading is enabled


 


Network card teaming is enabled


 


SiteName is hard-coded


 


RestrictRemoteClients registry key is enabled


 


EnableAuthEpResolution registry key is enabled


 


Application log size


 


The TEMP/TMP variable appears to point to an invalid or inappropriate folder


 


NSI Software Double-Take is installed


 


Windows Management Instrumentation service is not running as LocalSystem


 


BCC journaling is enabled


 


TarpitTime has been implemented


 


ReloadOSInterval is non-default


 


Path for RPC proxy server extension is incorrect


 


DSAccess PreloadBaseDNs registry parameter is non-default


 


DSAccess PreloadFilters registry parameter is non-default


 


AssertOnEvent is set


 


BreakOnEvent is set


 


Debug Break At Startup is set


 


Store working directory is missing or incorrect



 

Messaging Webcasts in July

TechNet Webcast: Accessing Exchange Server from Your Mobile Device (Level 300)
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 – 11:30 AM-1:00 PM Pacific Time
Paul Limont, Program Manager, Microsoft
Does your organization have all the mobile access it could in the areas of security, flexibility, and affordability? This webcast will discuss and demonstrate how Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 provides secure and affordable remote and mobile access to e-mail and personal information management software across a range of mobile devices. Come discover how to leverage the mobile capabilities of Exchange Server 2003 and the new mobility features available in SP2.
http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032276821&Culture=en-US

Momentum Webcast: Fighting Spam the Microsoft Way (Level 100)
Thursday, July 21, 2005 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Microsoft Technical Experts, Microsoft Corporation
Sixty percent of all email hitting your network is spam. Last year alone businesses lost $22 billion due to dealing with unsolicited email. Left uncontrolled, spam severely impacts bandwidth on your network, storage space on your mail server, and support time of your information technology (IT) staff. This webcast discusses how Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 coupled with Microsoft Exchange Server can maximize the protection of your company’s email while minimizing IT time spent maintaining your network. Join us to learn what you need to combat spam from one end of your network to the other.
http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032276938&Culture=en-US

TechNet Webcast: Implementing Messaging Security for Exchange Server Clients (Level 200)
Monday, July 25, 2005 – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Kai Axford, Security Specialist, Microsoft Corporation
To ensure that messages can be read only by the intended recipients, it is as important to provide security for the clients of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 as it is to secure the server itself. Join this webcast to learn about solutions such as using Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension and Information Rights Management to protect e-mail content. We will also discuss remote procedure call over HTTP to help secure client connections to Exchange Server 2003 via the Internet. The presentation concludes with a discussion about how to control access to e-mail attachments and how to manage and secure Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access.
http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032276836&Culture=en-US