Product Review – Lepide Exchange Reporter Tool

Lepide Exchange Reporter Tool is the proactive tool for the Exchange administrator. It provides some good reports to monitor the exchange environment and proactively helps administrators to keep the environment healthy and secure. Let’s delve deep into understanding some of the greatest features it offers.

The trial version of Lepide Exchange Reporter tool can be downloaded from the Lepide Website, which supports all legacy versions right from Exchange 2000, Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010 and to the latest version of Exchange 2013. It is a simple installable tool which can be installed on any server or client OS with the mandatory requirements demanded of outlook and SQL server. The requirement of the Outlook and SQL server versions needed to suit Exchange environment can be found at the download link given above.

The Lepide Exchange Reporter Tool generates various reports and has been divided as follows:

· Dash View

· Report View

· Mailbox Folder

Let’s get into each of these reports in detail to understand what it is able to provide its Exchange Administrators.

DASH VIEW

The Dash View provides some quick summary view for the administrator to get the following information:

1. Top 5 senders by number of the messages.

2. Top 5 receivers by number of messages.

3. Information Store by EDB and STM Size.

4. Information Store by Mailbox store and Public folder size.

5. Top 5 mailboxes by size.

6. Top 5 OWA users by usage count.

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Figure 1. Dash View

REPORT VIEW

The Report View provides detailed information about the exchange environments, which we may need to focus more here. This report view is further divided into three parts: Email flow, OWA Report and General Report.

Email Flow

The Email Flow report is generated from the message-tracking logs and archives all the history log information into the SQL database. The email flow information queries can be filtered on the basis of the required time stamp.

It has mail flow information based on the user, subject, receivers’ and senders’ messages from within and outside an organization. This information can be sorted based on their date and size. Shown below is a reference snap shot.

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OWA Report

The OWA Report is one of the important components of Exchange since many of the remote clients can connect OWA through Web browser in order to access their emails. Since these OWA connections majorly come from the internet, it is important to closely monitor them. For instance, sometimes, cyber attaches can happen over OWA, which in turn can adversely affect a user’s access.

The OWA Reports includes information of heavy OWA users, clients and server computers sending high OWA request and download the maximum data.

General Report

The General Report has a lot of information, which is necessary for day-to-day activities and can also be used for upgrades or transitions. It generates many reports, such as:

Directory Reports

It has detailed information of every user’s mailbox, distribution group and other directory objects in the organization.

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Message Delivery Reports

It has detail information on every message sent/received in an organization. It also keeps track on the time taken for the message delivered to the target recipient.

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Mailbox Information Reports

It provides detail information about every mailbox in an organization. It has information on each and every mailbox’s permission, rules, folder size, item age graph, item size graph, attachment per mailbox, etc.

I found this part to be informative, and hence it is imperative for users to take note on this. Shown below is the reference snapshot.

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Mailbox Traffic Reports

It has detailed information on the daily traffic, mailbox-traffic growth, traffic between users and other such useful data.

Shown below is a reference snapshot.

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Outlook Web Access

Outlook Web Access has important information to perform the strategic decision on the usage. It has information on the hourly and daily usage and also has information based on every OWA user.

Public Folder Reports

Monitoring public folders is very important to keep them in control. Many organizations do not monitor public folders and these folders grow enormously over a period of time. Public folder reports provide vital information like growth graph, along with the size, content, permission and restriction of the public folder.

Server Traffic Reports

Server Traffic Reports help to understand an email sent from and received of every domain based on the count and also has the traffic comparison graph between the domains.

Given below is the reference screen shot.

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Storage Reports

Storage Reports have the most important report to keep the storage growth under control. Generally after the initial build of an Exchange server, expansion of storage is not easy. Sometimes there can be limitation of expansion slots or companies may not have the budget for expansion. Sometimes database grow enormously over a period of time for various reasons. Storage reports helps to provide information on Mailbox size growth graph and Information store size growth graph. Monitoring these reports will help to predict the data growth to plan for the expansion. They also help in identifying abnormal mailbox growth.

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Mailbox Folders

Mailbox folders are the last report on Lepide Exchange Reporter tool which help administrators to access public folders and content of various mailboxes. It allow administrators to review the details of every mailbox folder and generate a report in the easy understandable format. For instance, report can be filtered on the basis of its date; and exported in various standard formats like CSV, PDF, and DOC etc. These reports are great helpful when huge amount of data needs to be tracked and it’s generate the report with all the minute change in the exchange mailboxes. For example sometimes we may wanted to get the report of mailbox size and its growth or unused mailboxes.

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Majority of the reports from this tool are generated from the SQL Server, which is installed along with this tool. This help to generate various history report, where logs are no longer available on the Exchange servers. It scans all the necessary logs from the Exchange servers on the regular basics or based on the schedule time and updates into the SQL servers. Logs Scan schedule can be configure to run “Full Scan” once and incremental scan for the next consecutive runs.

Various logs it scans from the Exchange servers are:

· Messaging Tracking logs

· IIS Logs

· Information Store

· Mailbox Information

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In my opinion, Lepide Exchange Reporting tool (http://www.lepide.com/exchange-reporter/) is an excellent tool which can help administrators to keep the environment under control and help in generating various reports for the management, as and when required, without writing any complex scripts. This is a tool that needs to be configured once and schedule it to collect reports on a day-to-day basis in order to generate a customized report, whenever needed. The reports, thus generated, can also be used for sizing, when you are upgrading your Exchange environment to a higher or to the latest versions of Exchange.