Why were some Exchange administration tools retired in Exchange 2013?

It seems like many native Exchange administration tools have been phased out in Exchange Server 2013. Why did Microsoft go this route, and what options should I consider instead?

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While Exchange Server has a long history of native tools that admins can use for various diagnostic purposes, Microsoft has indeed retired a number of native tools in Exchange 2013. The following tools have been removed:

  • The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer
  • The Mail Flow Troubleshooter
  • The Performance Monitor
  • The Performance Troubleshooter
  • The Routing Log Viewer

In some cases, the functionality found in the retired Exchange administration tools is available through another mechanism. For example, the Mail Flow Troubleshooter is gone, but Microsoft recommends using the Exchange Administration Center's Message Tracking feature instead. Additionally, while the Performance Monitor no longer exists in Exchange Server 2013, you can still use the Performance Monitor in Windows Server.

Unfortunately, there aren't any replacements for the Routing Log Viewer or Performance Troubleshooter. I heard that Microsoft did away with these tools because they simply were not used enough to be worth including in Exchange 2013.

Personally, I find the exclusion of the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer to be a bit baffling. That said, there is a lot of speculation that an Exchange 2013 Best Practices Analyzer will either be made available for download or included in a future Exchange 2013 service pack. Unfortunately, there is no definitive information on if or when this tool will be released.

About the author
Brien Posey is a ten-time Microsoft MVP with two decades of IT experience. Before becoming a freelance technical writer, Brien worked as a chief information officer at a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the nation's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox.

This was first published in March 2013

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