I have a question which I could not find anywhere on the net. It is not a "how to" question that you hear everyday. What I am looking for is a procedure to monitor mail flow. This monitor is not internal between servers within a domain or forest, but between two separate domains via the internet. To understand better, here is my situation:
We are company A, we have a parent company, B. There are times when company B's email system does not send us mail in a timely fashion (via the internet, no special WAN setup). There are times when we do not get mail for over three hours, but this is not the issue - we need to know when this is happing so we can notify them. I am the Exchange Admin at company A where I was asked to monitor the mail flow between the two companies. It is not enough to ping the server to check if it is online, they want me to have system or third party program that automatically sends an email from a test mail box on company A to a test mailbox on company B. Then a confirmation or reply from B to A. This test will run every hour, if mail is not sent within and hour or two, automatic notifications are send via email, pager, snmp, etc.
Have you ever heard of anything like this? Right now to satisfy the VP of IT, I have a small program that sends a test email to a non-existent account to company B every hour. The system administrator returns an undeliverable message in return so I know that they are at least sending mail back from their SMTP servers on time, but this does not verify that mail originating from their system is sending out in a timely fashion. Our 24 Ops center is making sure they receive a message every hour. It would be best if we had an automated system running in place.