Do I need third-party software, or does Exchange have this feature built in? We are running Exchange 2003 Standard Edition, but are considering going to Enterprise Edition.
Good question. Native solutions go as far as providing (a) Performance Monitor counters, which can give you high-level stats for various items in Exchange or (b) message tracking log files that track all traffic sent across your environment. There are no native tools that focus on reporting e-mail statistics.
If you have Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 in your environment, you should look at two Management Packs (MPs):
- Native Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 MPs (free with Exchange Server) provide basic health reporting (i.e., volume of logons, etc.).
- Quest and Microsoft recently released an Exchange Reporting MP that is free to licensed MOM 2005 users and provides in-depth traffic analysis reporting, which sounds like what you're looking for.
If you don't have MOM 2005 in your environment, you can resort to a third-party solution.
MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A:
GFI MailEssentials lets me get any type of data per user. Its reporting software is well tuned for this. I can pull up user info by date, as far back as three years on some people. The database can be SQL Server or Microsoft Access based, depending on your setup. It is spam software, but the reporting function is the best I have found yet.
GFI MailSecurity (or, as I call it, super scrubber) is an amazing product that also has a nice reporting feature just like Mail Essentials.
GFI MailArchiver can also give you a very detailed inside look at the total amount of e-mail people have received by e-mail address. We have three different addresses for each person. I can see which e-mail address is receiving the most or least e-mail by a simple little key diagram in each person's archived profile.
GFI really has what I consider top-notch products. MailArchiver still needs a lot of work, but it is still rather new.
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This was first published in May 2005