When deploying or troubleshooting Exchange servers I regularly encounter the need to jump onto a host outside of the customer network to perform remote access testing. Over the years I’ve gotten into the habit of maintaining a host running 24/7 on my home internet connection that I can RDP to and perform these test. While this has been useful in the past it is also a massive pain (not to mention costs me electricity) to manage this host and keep it running so that it is always available when I need it.
A few days ago I learned about the Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer, and this morning I had cause to give it a try for the first time.
The Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer lets you perform useful tests such as ActiveSync, Autodiscover, Outlook Anywhere, and inbound SMTP. I ran through the ActiveSync test to verify for one of our remote staff that it was working properly.
The test required valid network credentials in order to perform its analysis. Though the site is owned and run by Microsoft and the credentials are transmitted via SSL if you had any security or privacy concerns you could simply create a temporary account for the tests and then change its password or delete it immediately afterwards.
In summary, a great tool and one that goes a long way to solving the headache of properly testing new Exchange Server deployments at customer networks.