The Exchange 2003 Load Simulator, or LOADSIM, is a tool written by Microsoft to allow testing of an Exchange 2003 server under simulated load conditions. It simulates the performance load of MAPI clients (Outlook users, for example) and can provide live statistics for how well an Exchange server will perform when dealing with a given number of users.
LOADSIM is run on one or more client or test computers and accesses the Exchange server across the network. The program sends messaging requests to Exchange, creating the kind of activity you would expect to see in a live environment. LOADSIM can be used to evaluate the capability of an existing Exchange server, or it can allow you to get an idea of what sort of setup would be needed to satisfy a given load.
Keep in mind that for the best possible results, LOADSIM needs to be run on a computer separate from the Exchange server, across a network. If it is run on the same server as Exchange 2003, actual network traffic to and from the server will not be simulated and the test will not be as accurate. In a sense, LOADSIM can also be used to test the capability of one's network vis-À-vis e-mail messaging loads.
Also, LOADSIM should not be used in a production environment of any kind, not even on a subnet. It should be used across a physically isolated network segment that is not connected to a live server or workstation in any way. This is done not only for the sake of keeping the testing immaculate, but also prevents live servers and workstations from being affected by the bombardment of the test messages.
LOADSIM can be downloaded directly from Microsoft here.
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.
Do you have a useful Exchange tip to share? Submit it to our monthly tip contest and you could win a prize and a spot in our Hall of Fame.