SMBKitchen: Profiling your Exchange

On February 26, 2014, in smbkitchen, by

Back on our proof of concept project for migrating from a SBS 2008 to Essentials… and in the meantime good news – Exchange 2013 sp1 is out which means Exchange 2013 is now finally (about time) and officially supported on 2012 R2.  So while I’m still reviewing my existing setup, I’m going to download Server 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013 sp1 and get ready to build a new member server.

But let’s get back to where I was inventorying our setup on SBS 2008.

I was right at the Exchange profile analyzer section (and obviously taking this from someone in the UK that spells it Analyser)

Exchange Profile Analyser

The EPA tool allows us to scan mailboxes within the existing environment to determine some very important values that will assist with sizing the environment. When we size Exchange 2013, we’ll need to know the average message size and the average number of messages sent and received each day. We can collect this data using this tool.

First, we’ll need to assign the correct permissions to allow the EPA to read data from the mailboxes within the environment. To allow EPA to scan all mailboxes on our single Exchange Server, we’ll use the following set of commands at the Exchange Management Shell to set permissions against all Mailbox Databases on the server. In our case we’ll use E12M01 as the server name and Administrator as the username, so replace those values with appropriate ones for your environment:

Get-ExchangeServer E12M01 | Add-ADPermission -user Administrator -AccessRights ExtendedRight -ExtendedRights “Send-As”

Get-ExchangeServer E12M01 | Add-ADPermission -user Administrator -AccessRights ExtendedRight -ExtendedRights “Receive-As”

In my case it’s SBSTESTSERVER

So my commands will be

Get-ExchangeServer SBSTESTSERVER | Add-ADPermission -user Administrator -AccessRights ExtendedRight -ExtendedRights “Send-As”

Get-ExchangeServer SBSTESTSERVER | Add-ADPermission -user Administrator -AccessRights ExtendedRight -ExtendedRights “Receive-As”

Click start

Exchange management shell and right mouse click and click on Run As Administrator

Next, we’ll download the Exchange Profile Analyser from the Microsoft website. We can install this tool on an administrative workstation or for our example, we’ll install the tool on the local, single Exchange Server for simplicity.

After install using the default options, launch the Exchange Profile Analyser. After launch, choose Connect to Active Directory and press, next. Then, we’ll choose to connect to Active Directory using the current user credentials

And we install it on the box


We connect to AD using the existing user


The current Exchange topology will be loaded by the EPA.

Before beginning the scan, we’ll then set options including leaving Logging/Stats Options as-is with Information selected, and Output Statistics for Individual Mailbox left unselected, and select our Exchange 2007 Servers.

We’ll then ensure scanning over a period of time that is representative. For example, if it’s currently during the summer holidays and we only scan a couple of weeks, our data may be incorrect because end users are on holiday and therefore sending less mail. Or if we are only scanning a period of time that represents then busiest period, for example the week that coincides with the year end, then our average figures may be skewed too high. A period of perhaps three to six months therefore may be a good starting figure to consider.

Exchange BPA

Sadly the Exchange Best Practices Analyser, and it’s sibling the Exchange 2010 Pre-Deployment Analyser are no longer a part of Exchange 2013, but that isn’t to say that they are not useful. We’ll use the output from the Exchange BPA to help identify whether there’s any well known underlying issues we need to be aware of and correct before moving forward with the Exchange 2013 deployment.

To launch the BPA, open the Exchange Management Console and navigate to the Toolbox. Then select Exchange Best Practices Analyser:

There are some things to ignore…

At least on my virtual box anyway…

Next up checking for mailbox quotas..

Blogging my way (starting over) through a proof of concept migration from SBS 2008 to Essentials 2012 R2 series will be a SMB kitchen project whitepaper.  More about the SMBKitchen project at – 


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