When to Use Exchange Load Generator


Topic Last Modified: 2008-02-05

Microsoft® Exchange Load Generator simulates the server workload that is generated by user interaction with various message client software. It is a useful tool for server administrators or messaging deployment engineers who are sizing servers and validating a deployment plan. Specifically, Exchange Load Generator helps you determine whether each of your servers can handle the load that they are intended to carry. Another use for Exchange Load Generator is to help validate the overall solution. Because Exchange Load Generator simulates client requests, the effect of server-side solutions such as archiving, antivirus, or anti-spam products can also be validated.

Exchange Load Generator should be used only in test environments that have no connection to the production environment. This tool should not be used in a production environment, an environment that is mission critical, or one that contains important information of any kind anywhere in the network.
Exchange Load Generator uses many simulated user mailboxes to create the server workload. Because mailboxes must be part of a domain user’s account, the Exchange Load Generator tool therefore creates many domain user accounts to support these user mailboxes. By design, Exchange Load Generator requires that the password associated with these domain accounts be the same. Because this most likely does not comply with your organization's security requirements, to lessen any risk this could present, we recommend that this tool be used only on isolated test networks that do not have connectivity to your production network.
Because load simulation works by using system resources, Exchange Load Generator is unsuitable for use on production networks because it could interfere with production operations by competing for those resources.

Additionally, Exchange Load Generator does not account for all factors that are required to size servers completely. The following factors are not simulated by Exchange Load Generator and can affect server capacity planning:

  • Incoming unsolicited commercial e-mail (also known as spam) from the Internet

  • Incoming simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) mail flow from the Internet or other sites within your organization

  • Use of non-MAPI protocols for account access (POP3 and IMAP4, for example)

  • Use of mobile devices

Exchange Load Generator also does not provide a complete picture of user experience, and its results should not be interpreted in that manner.