Last year at MWLUG I gave a session to a packed room on the basics of DDM, can grab it here.
This year I am speaking at The View's Admin Conference in Las Vegas June 22-24 for the 2nd year in a row and one of my 3 sessions is about DDM for the uninitiated.
So what is so special about this for DDM that you should use it for mixed environments? Ever have mail stop flowing to one of them(Exchange Connector), long time no messages from it? How would you know unless the executives or help desk told you? Hopefully few of you reading this find out this way.
The smarter way is of course to use either built-in and FREE tools or a 3rd party tool like RPR Wyatt's Vital Signs or GSX's Monitor. Note: We have a relationship with both of these great products.
But FREE is for me..and you.
DDM actually is a nice GUI that wraps around the events4.nsf but I use DDM as the terminology to represent stats and alarms. If it wasn't for the probes I set up I would be constantly putting out fires and taking phone calls never ending at a time when I need to be focused on the clients problems.
How do you enable DDM probes? Here are the steps:
- Open the events4.nsf
- Click on DDM probes from the list in the Left column
- Select By Type
- Click on "New DDM Probe" from the sub menu
- Select Messaging from the drop down list
- A new window will open with details to be filled in.
- Probe Subtype, look at the list
- Select Mail Flow Statistic Check or whatever else your heart desires
- Enter a description if you want, like "This will let us know when Exchange crashes"
- Select which servers it should run on. Hint your mail server or gateways
- Select a destination or leave it as all
- Select Services
- Finally on thispage select the limits you can accept. keep in mind if you set it to 1 email you will get MANY notifications. I like to set it to a retry of 3-5 and a message count exceeds 30 for Fatal but it is up to you.
- Click Save and Close
Or you could have run the Setup Wizards from the left column. But where would your education be if everything was simple? How would you ever troubleshoot a problem again? Yes I am talking to the Exchange admins.
But if you read my blog regularly, you know I am a lazy admin. I prefer to be proactive not reactive, so I spend my time upfront configuring events to notify me when something is wrong. Looking at DDM would take me away from my other work.
How to notify yourself or other admins about the probes:
- On the Left column click on event Handlers
- Select By Action
- Click on New Event Handler
- Select which server to notify about
- Leave the Trigger as default
- Click on the Event tab
- LEave events can be any type
- For the second option, I select events must be one of these severities and pick Fatal, Failure, Warning High it is up to you but at least pick what you selected up above for your mail routing probes.
- Then select events can have any message, hey you might get lucky and see other built in probes. Neat huh?
- Select Action tab
- Method you should select
- Enter names or servers or mail-in db for the notices
- Select when to enable it.
- Save and Close
And you are done! Cool huh? and none of that wizard stuff. Real admin coolness in under 5 minutes.
Any questions? Speak now so my attendees in Vegas get your knowledge as well as mine.
PS here is what your notification will look like in your email: