Step-by-Step Guide

How to analyze Exchange Server SMTP log files in Microsoft Excel

Compiling Exchange Server SMTP statistics in W3C Extended Log File Format using the technique described in the SearchExchange.com tip, Enabling protocol logging for Exchange Server, works -- but

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sometimes the end result can be challenging to read.


Figure A: An SMTP log looks in W3C Extended Log File Format.

Each line of the W3C Extended Log File Format file represents a separate log entry. The first half of each line follows a basic column format, but the second half of the log file entry defies any sort of structure.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. Exchange Server SMTP log files become much more legible if you import them into Microsoft Excel. An added benefit to this approach is that you can analyze your Exchange Server SMTP traffic patterns using basic Microsoft Excel functionality.

In this step-by-step guide, Exchange MVP Brien Posey explains how to convert an Exchange Server SMTP log file into a text file and import it into Microsoft Excel. He then walks through two approaches for evaluating those log files to determine your Exchange Server's SMTP bandwidth consumption.

If you have any comments or questions about the information presented herein, please send an email to editor@searchexchange.com.


STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE: HOW TO ANALYZE SMTP LOG FILES IN EXCEL

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Convert the Exchange Server SMTP log file to a text file
 Step 2: Import the Exchange Server SMTP log file into Excel
 Step 3: Analyze SMTP traffic bandwidth consumption in Excel
 Step 4: Related resources from SearchExchange.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien 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.

This was first published in February 2007

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