More useful things to Know about Exchange
One of the essential truths about living in the Internet world is that while
information may be at our fingertips, too much information exists for any
one human to make sense of it all. The information relating to Exchange is
clearly a very small part of the overall knowledge pool, but it is advanta-
geous for an administrator to know where to find help to get their job
done. This chapter covers some of the places where you can go to get help
and some of the tools that do not come with the Exchange kit that make
Exchange easier to work with. It is by no means an exhaustive list as new
items appear all the time. Think of it as a “tried and trusted” list that is
worthy of your investigation.
10.1 Automated analysis
Exchange is a complex product that requires administrators to have substan-
tial knowledge of the environment that a server operates within—network
connections, Windows configuration, third-party products, the Exchange
organization, and operational procedures all influence how efficiently and
effectively a server operates. It is genuinely difficult, even for the most experi-
enced Exchange administrator, to keep up to date with every technical devel-
opment that affects Exchange, including updates to Microsoft’s knowledge
base, new patches, independent commentary, and other sources of data. The
result is that there is a huge difference in how administrators manage servers
and management disciplines range from the very good to the very bad.
Administrators are not solely to blame for this somewhat confused state
of affairs. Microsoft owns much of the responsibility as it would seem appro-
priate for them to incorporate automated management in Exchange to drive
down the cost of owning and operating the software. I have frequently been
critical of Microsoft in the way that they develop administration utilities for
products like Exchange where it seems that developers like to complete fea-
tures that users see. However, when it comes to building management utili-
ties, less eagerness seems to exist within the development team to ensure that

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