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Exchange 2007 - Messages stuck in Submission queue

Phal44
Phal44 asked
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We have been getting this problem for a few weeks now. Every now and then our SBS 2008 box with Exchange 2007 seems to develop a problem and mail starts piling up in the Submission queue. No mail goes in or out and just sits in the queue and restarting Exchange services doesn't make a difference.

Currently the only fix seems to be a reboot but obviously this isn't a proper fix!

Firstly - does anyone have any suggestions on what could be causing this problem or any suggestions on anything I could try when this problem happens?

Secondly - does anyone know of something which can monitor the Exchange queues and alert us when the queues start backing up?
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Co-Owner
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
Please add DNS forwarders to your DNS server.  I had the exact same problem and this cured the issue for me.
Add the IP's of your ISP's DNS servers to the forwarders and job done.  No need to reboot regularly.
My question:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/SBS_Small_Business_Server/Q_24846426.html 

Author

Commented:
So in your case it worked 90% of the time and then would suddenly stop?

Seems weird since other DNS stuff doesn't stop working but I might have to give it a try!
SteveArchitect/Designer

Commented:
are there any events logged around the time it stops working?
Do you have a junk mail filter installed?
have you checked the transport logs in exchange to see if it shows any errors or clues?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Yes - it threw me as the websites would work, but adding the forwarders resolved the problem.
Have seen the problem time and time again with SBS 2008.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:

Author

Commented:
Yeah I've seen a problem on SBS2008 before when using Root hints but there was a fix for this which we have implemented by configuring the MaxCacheTTL setting (might not be correct since I got that from memory :P )

We have a few other SBS 2008 boxes that we look after and they work fine so it would be odd that this one alone would be having issues. The other issue with Forwarders is that we have 2 different connections from 2 different ISPs so using one ISP's forwarders can sometimes cause issues.




@TotallyTonto

It's hard to pinpoint when it stops working which is why I was asking about software which monitors queues. I shall have a look in the transport logs.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
If you restart the DNS service, does the problem go away (until the next time)?
Having two ISP's makes life interesting, but you can always use DNS servers not relating to either, such as 158.43.240.4 and 158.43.240.3 (Pipex).

Author

Commented:
We had this problem earlier today and I restarted DNS but it didn't make a difference in the 10 mins or so before we rebooted.

We have our own DNS servers too so I was going to point it to one of those and maybe another random public DNS server to see if it makes a difference unless something else happens!
SteveArchitect/Designer

Commented:
@phal44

Did you look at any of the logs/events during the time it wasnt working this morning?
Also, try sending a message yourself as soon as you know it isnt working. Its easier to trace a message in the logs if you know who it was to/from etc.

Author

Commented:
I didn't spend too much time this morning looking through the logs since the customer who owns the server opted to reboot the server for a quick fix rather than have no email for any longer.

Tracking the emails wasn't a problem though! Everything was just stuck in the Submission queue and not categorised :\
SteveArchitect/Designer

Commented:
cant you look through the logs retrospectively if you know when it wasnt working?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Have you added the forwarders yet?

Author

Commented:
I added the forwarders on the 15th and will continue to monitor until the middle of next week or so. Unfortunately the problem hasn't been regular or predictable so Im only able to sit around and wait for it to happen again or not.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
So far so good?

Author

Commented:
Yeah so far so good but thats not any different from how it was before. For the last few weeks it has worked fine for a week or just over a week before deciding it fancies a break!
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Sure - just making sure that all is well.  Leave it a few weeks (you have 21 days before the question could get marked as abandoned) before you make you rmind up if anything works.

Author

Commented:
Ill wait till Monday or Tuesday this week coming since all the problems we've had have been Monday or Tuesday morning and if its all still working then I'll close the question

Its looking good so far though! :)

Author

Commented:
No problems yet so looks like a fix!
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Excellent news - glad the problem has gone away (and let's hope it stays gone) : )
Many thanks for the points.
Alan