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Using Test-Mailflow with Exchange 2003 Servers

One of the challenges of managing a large Exchange Server environment is that you often need to support multiple versions of Exchange.

That means that often when you write a PowerShell script you need to account for servers running different versions and adjust accordingly. It can turn a simple scripting exercise into a big task.

Recently I was looking at ways to include our Exchange 2003 servers in some monitoring scripts that are already running for Exchange 2007/2010 servers. I wanted to perform a mail flow test for the Exchange 2003 servers, because that is a test that (if successful) very quickly confirms a lot of the elements involved in email availability are in fact healthy (ie the server is up, reachable, accepting SMTP connections, processing mail queues, the Information Store is running, and more).

For Exchange 2007/2010 the Test-Mailflow cmdlet can be used for these. You can build it into a health check script if you want to. But if you try to run it against an Exchange 2003 server you’ll get an error like this:

However, if the Exchange 2003 server is in the same organization you can use a different parameter with Test-Mailflow to achieve the same result. All you need is an email address for one of the mailboxes on the Exchange 2003 server. You might want to create a mailbox on each of your Exchange 2003 servers (or even each of the databases on those servers) specifically for this purpose.

Then you simply run the Test-Mailflow cmdlet with the -TargetEmailAddress parameter instead of the -TargetMailboxServer parameter.

As you can see this is a nice, simple way to test your Exchange 2003 server health using PowerShell.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.
Category: Exchange Server

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