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Article ID: 875435 - Last Review: September 3, 2013 - Revision: 2.0

Symptoms

After you configure monitoring in the Microsoft Exchange System Manager tool to monitor SMTP queue growth on your Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server computer, you may receive a warning state notification message or a critical state notification message. However, when you view the SMTP queue on your Exchange computer, that queue does not have excessive SMTP queue growth.

For example, you may receive a warning state notification message or a critical state notification message if an undeliverable e-mail message remains in the SMTP queue while all other e-mail is delivered successfully. In this scenario, you cannot determine whether the notification message that you receive indicates a problem with the SMTP queue that requires administrative action to address.

Cause

This issue occurs because Exchange uses the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) property IncreasingTime to determine SMTP queue growth. The IncreasingTime property has the following description:
Collapse this tableExpand this table
PropertyDescription
IncreasingTime Propertyuint32 IncreasingTime;
The IncreasingTime property specifies the amount of time, in milliseconds, that the number of messages waiting to be transferred by the link has been increasing.
To restate this description, this property describes the time that has passed since the number of messages in the SMTP queue has not decreased. In this scenario, if an SMTP message remains in the SMTP queue, that queue is not decreasing. Therefore, the number of milliseconds that passes since the number of messages in the queue has not decreased increases.

A message that has a status of RETRY remains in the SMTP queue until it times out or until it is delivered. Therefore, a message with a status of RETRY may cause a warning state notification message or a critical state notification message to be generated. This message status of RETRY may indicate a problem with the SMTP queue, and therefore correctly causes the warning state notification message or the critical state notification message to be generated. Typically, however, this RETRY status indicates an issue that is not "critical" and that may not require administrative action to address.

In this scenario, the Current Queue Growth indicates the total time of the oldest message that has a status of RETRY in the SMTP queue.

Resolution

To resolve this issue, configure the Local Queue Length performance counter for the SMTP Server performance object to measure the number of messages in the SMTP queue. You can also configure the Windows Performance tool to send a notification message if the number of SMTP messages reaches a certain threshold.

To configure the SMTP Server performance object, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type perfmon, and then click OK.
  2. In the right pane, click the Add button. The Add button appears as a plus sign (+).
  3. In the Performance object list, click SMTP Server.
  4. In the Select counters from list list, click Local Queue Length.
  5. In the Select instances from list box, click the SMTP instance that you want to monitor. For example, click SMTP 1.
  6. Click Add, and then click Close.
To configure an alert setting, follow these steps:
  1. In the Windows Performance tool, expand Performance Logs and Alerts, right-click Alerts, and then click New Alert Settings.
  2. In the New Alert Settings dialog box, type a descriptive name for the alert, and then click OK. For example, type SMTP queue alert.
  3. On the General tab, click Add.
  4. In the Performance object list, click SMTP Server.
  5. In the Select counters from list list, click Local Queue Length.
  6. In the Select instances from list box, click the SMTP instance that you want to monitor. For example, click SMTP 1.
  7. Click Add, and then click Close.
  8. In the Alert when the value is list, click Over, and then type the number of e-mail messages that you want to configure as your threshold in the Limit box. For example, type 20 in the Limit box.

    Note This value is specific to your Exchange organization. For additional information, see the Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Performance and Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Performance documents that are described in the "More Information" section.
  9. Click the Action tab, click to select the Send a network message to check box, type the name of the account that you want the message to be sent to, and then click OK.
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
324752  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324752/ ) How to create and configure Performance Monitor alerts in Windows Server 2003
302558  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302558/ ) How to create and configure Performance Monitor alerts in Windows 2000

More information

For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310315  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310315/ ) Troubleshooting monitoring and status in Exchange and in Small Business Server
329206  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/329206/ ) How to find out which SMTP and X.400 queues are being monitored on Exchange 2000
For additional information about how to configure performance monitoring in Exchange 2003, see the Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Performance document. To obtain this document, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/4b012bda-8711-4617-9239-f3527de884a3.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/4b012bda-8711-4617-9239-f3527de884a3.aspx)
For additional information about how to configure performance monitoring in Exchange 2000, see the Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Performance document. To obtain this document, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=bd16ee6a-c4ee-4ab0-aaf0-27705465154e&displaylang=en (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=bd16ee6a-c4ee-4ab0-aaf0-27705465154e&displaylang=en)
For additional information about the WMI IncreasingTime property, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa126772.aspx (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa126772.aspx)
Building Management Components for MS Exchange 2000 Server (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/maintain/bldgmgmt.mspx)
You can also use Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) to monitor your Exchange computers. You can use the Exchange 2003 Management Pack and Exchange 2000 Management Pack components for MOM to manage and monitor your Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000 computers.

For additional information about the Exchange 2003 Management Pack for MOM and the Exchange 2000 Management Pack for MOM, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/maintain/momtips.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/maintain/momtips.mspx)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/maintain/mom.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/maintain/mom.mspx)

Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbprb KB875435
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