Microsoft offers a management pack that allows Microsoft Operations Manager to monitor your Exchange organization. This default management pack installation will certainly get the job done, but MOM can monitor your Exchange organization even more thoroughly if you create test mailboxes.
Create a mailbox access account
The first thing you have to do is create a mailbox access account. You can call this account anything you want. (In Figure C, you'll see that I called my mailbox test account 'MOM.') Initially, you will create this account the same way you would create any other account. The only thing special you need to do during the creation phase is create an Exchange mailbox for the account and set the account's password to never expire.
Once the mailbox access account is up and running, you need to delegate Exchange View Only Administrator privileges to the account:
- Open the Exchange System Manager, right click on the Exchange organization, and select Delegate Control. This will launch the Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard.
- Click Next to bypass the wizard's Welcome screen.
- Select the Add button and add the mailbox access account to the list as an Exchange View Only Administrator.
- Click OK, followed by Next, and Finish to complete the operation.
Create the necessary disabled mailbox accounts
Now you need to create some other mailbox accounts. These accounts will be disabled; but the mailboxes that go with the accounts will be used by the mailbox access account you just created to test mail flow across your Exchange organization.
- Begin by opening the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) console (be sure to do this on a server that also has Exchange System Manager installed).
- When the console opens, right click on the Users folder and select New -> User to view the New Object – User dialog box.
- At this point, you have to enter a logon name for the new user. The logon name should be server_nameMOM, where server_name is the name of the server.
For example, if you were creating a test mailbox for an Exchange server named Server1, you'd use the logon name server1MOM. If you are creating a test mailbox for an Exchange cluster, make sure you use the virtual server name (the cluster name) rather than the name of a physical server within the cluster.
If you have multiple stores on a single server, and you want to create a separate test mailbox for each store, follow the server_nameMOM with a number or a word that identifies the store. The first test mailbox on the server must be named server_nameMOM, but for other test mailboxes on the server, you can append anything that you want to server_nameMOM -- as long as the username does not exceed 20 characters.
The dialog box won't allow you to click Next until you enter at least a first name for the user. I suggest entering something like the server name as the first name and MOM Test Account for the last name, as shown in Figure A.
This is what the New Object – User screen would look like for a server named Tazmania.
- Click Next and you will be prompted to enter a password for the account. <>Don't. Instead, select the 'User Cannot Change Password,' 'Password Never Expires,' and 'Account is Disabled' checkboxes. Make sure the 'User Must Change Password at Next Login' checkbox is not checked.
- Click Next. You will be prompted to create an Exchange mailbox. Confirm that the 'Create an Exchange Mailbox' checkbox is selected. Also, select the server from the Server dropdown list that corresponds with the logon name that you are using, as shown in Figure B. If you are creating multiple mailboxes for multiple stores on the server, make sure the correct store is selected.
- Click Next to view a summary of the options you just chose.
- If everything looks good, click Finish. Repeat this process for any other test mailboxes that you need to create.
Be sure to create an Exchange mailbox on the appropriate server.
- Now that you have created the necessary accounts and mailboxes, go to ADUC -> View -> Advanced Features.
- Right click on one of the accounts you just created, select Properties, and then the Exchange Advanced tab (this tab will not exist if you have not selected the Advanced Features command in the previous step).
- Select the Mailbox Rights button and then click the Add button.
- Add the mailbox access account that you created earlier and click OK.
- Grant the mailbox account Full Mailbox Access, as shown in Figure C.
- At this point, select the Self account from the list.
- Assign the Associated External Account right to Self and click OK.
- Now, select the properties sheet's Security tab.
- Click the Add button and add the mailbox access account to the group or username list.
- Choose the account that you just added to the list, and then mark off the 'Send As' and 'Receive As' checkboxes.
- Click OK and repeat these steps for any other test mailboxes that you created.
Make MOM aware of the mailbox access account
The last part of the process is to make MOM aware of the mailbox access account:
- Install the Exchange System Manager onto your MOM server, if it isn't already there.
- Next, download the Exchange Server 2003 Management Pack, if you don't already have it, and run the installation program.
- Click Start -> All Programs -> Exchange Management Pack -> Exchange Management Pack Configuration Wizard. The Exchange Management Pack Configuration Wizard will, among other things, give you the opportunity to specify the login name and password for your mailbox access account.
- Once the wizard finishes, just give MOM a few minutes to catch up, and you're done.
You can now monitor your Exchange organization in greater detail than before.
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. Brien has served as the CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer he has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at http://www.brienposey.com.
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Regarding the third point in the "Make MOM aware of the mailbox access account" section, the Exchange Management Pack Configuration Wizard is a separate download from the Exchange Management Pack.
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