What's New with Tools in Exchange 2007


Topic Last Modified: 2006-11-16

Our Microsoft® Exchange Server tools team has been busy working with existing tools to have them able to run in a Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 environment. This can be a relatively straightforward task such as adding new files to the build, or a complete overhaul, as in the case with the previous Load Simulator (LoadSim) tool, which has emerged as the new and improved Exchange Server Load Generator.

Here’s a brief rundown of some tools that are being released in the early part of 2007. The tools development and adaptation process is ongoing and we'll keep you informed about what’s happening through regular updates to Exchange TechCenter. For good, detailed articles about various tools see The Microsoft Exchange Team Blog.

The Exchange Load Generator will be replacing the current Exchange Load Simulator 2003. Exchange Load Generator will support Exchange Server 2007 and is backward compatible with Exchange Server 2003. Tests will now be run using a combination of methods, including a command line setup with which you can do many common tasks quickly. An example of a command line task is to generate a generic configuration xml file. This file then becomes the basis for achieving the setup and configuration of tasks through an easy-to-use xml configuration file.

There is also a new, clean approach to a graphical user interface (think Exchange Best Practices Analyzer), with an accompanying Help file in the left pane for accessing instructions for working with the user interface. Tasks that you can do by using the user interface include setting up remote users and generating reports.

Exchange Load Generator lets you simulate the delivery of multiple MAPI client messaging requests to an Exchange server. To simulate the delivery of these messaging requests, you run Exchange Load Generator tests on client computers. These tests send multiple messaging requests to the Exchange server, which causes a mail load.

You can look forward to better error recovery, if configured to do this, and an improvement in the code quality because of the issues that have been addressed over the past few months. Simulation accuracy has significantly improved and the tool will be supporting multiple types of Outlook clients. The new tool is currently in testing mode out in the community.

We hope you'll find that the improvements to this tool will make your job of benchmarking, pre-deployment validation, and stress-testing in a test (non-production) environment a bit easier and more robust. Expected date of release is January 2007.

The Exchange Server Profile Analyzer, which enables administrators to collect estimated statistical information from a single mailbox store or across an Exchange Server organization, has undergone the following updates.

  • Prerequisites now include Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86). Additionally, servers that are to be analyzed by the tool will be able to run Exchange 2007 with the release of the upgraded tool.

  • New data collectors that include several for Microsoft Office Outlook® Web Access have been added for the tool to work with Exchange 2007. Read the document that is included with the tool for the current listing of supported data collectors. The Outlook Web Access data collectors have been conveniently categorized in the document according to the Exchange version number.

  • We’ve provided guidance in the document to help you configure accounts in Exchange 2007 to reflect using the new Exchange Management Console, and Exchange Management Shell.

  • Enhancements to the Exchange Server Profile Analyzer report.

Availability for the new version of the tool is January 2007.

At the start of November, we released version 2.7 of the PFDAVAdmin tool to the Tools for Exchange Server 2003 Web site. There were no new features in this release, but planning and coding is underway for a major update that includes new features and official supportability of Exchange 2007 in the first half of 2007.

The 2.7 version addressed several issues, and also provides our users with an early or preview version to try on Exchange 2007. (Note that this version is not officially supported.) This current version works in a "pure" Exchange 2007 topology, meaning you don't need to have Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server computers present. PFDAVAdmin does not have to be run on an Exchange 2007 server—it can also be run from a remote workstation.

Use PFDAVAdmin to perform several tasks related to public folder management, such as modifying folder permissions on folders in the MAPI tree, export and import replica lists, look for event registrations, modify the permissions of the Calendar folder in bulk, and many more.

Look for a newly reorganized edition of the user documentation for the tool in early December. Note that at this point the tool will still be supported for Exchange Server 2003 only. However, in the first quarter of 2007, we will be releasing a new document that will cover support for Exchange 2007 and Windows Mobile® 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP).

The Exchange ActiveSync Certificate-based Authentication tool is intended primarily for IT professionals who must deploy and manage certificate-based client enrollment and authentication of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync®, which is a feature of Windows Mobile 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack.

Exchange Server Jetstress is an updated version of the Jetstress tool that was designed to help deploy Exchange Server 2007. This version is backward compatible as well with Exchange Server 2003. The updated Jetstress, which is what you should be using for your storage validation for Exchange 2007, offers several new features from previous releases.

This new version has been in a preview state for our partners for several months now, and the feedback was much appreciated. It has been very useful in addressing the new features and operational requirements of running stress testing on Exchange Server 2007. Here are some of the highlights of the new version.

  • More accurate measurement of maximum I/O throughput

  • Improved reporting

  • New graphical user interface (looks like the one for Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer) for consistency with the rest of our tools

Jetstress will be available in the January 2007 timeframe.

The Exchange Server Stress and Performance tool is being upgraded to work with Exchange 2007 with the addition of a new test module for Outlook Web Access. This new module has been designed to stress Exchange 2007 Outlook Web Access. However the current WebDAV test module will still need to be used if you are running and testing Exchange 2003.

Other changes in the Exchange Stress and Performance tool include the removal of two of the previously supported protocols: OLEDB and Outlook Mobile Access.

This new version will be available in January 2007.