We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

SMTP Queue Growth in Exchange 2003


I am currently setting up a email notification for monitoring when SMTP queue growth happens in Exchange 2003. What would be some good values for the warning state (minutes), and the critical state (minutes)? I'm just not sure what would be appropiate values for this. Any suggestions would be greatly appriciated.

James Murphy
Watch Question

That is a difficult question to answer without knowing your environment.  I'm going to give you a generic answer, as well as a method you can use to determine values specific to your environment.

For anybody following, minutes is the number of minutes that the queue as been continuously growing.  

First, the generic values that should be safe.  Warn at 15 minutes.  Critical at 30 minutes.  Assuming your organization is not huge and your Internet pipes are good, it would take a lot of e-mail to keep your queues legitimately growing for 15 minutes.

A much better approach though is to look at your specific environment to determine "normal", then set your warning value somewhat above normal.  Critical value is going to be specific to you and when you want bells and whistles to go off.  For some people this means when mail is totally broken.  For others it means when monitored values indicate pending failure.

So the method is

1)  Set temporary values based on your best estimate, or just generic values.
2)  Baseline (monitor) your environment for 2 - 4 weeks  (don't try to monitor for just a day or two unless you absolutly know that your environment is extrodinarily static from day to day).  
3) Use baseline values to set alarm thresholds.


The generic values you gave sounds like a good starting point. We are a small business with 42 users. I already monitor some aspects of exchange in a performance monitor, but will add counters if necessary to monitor the SMTP queue growth. Thanks for the link. I had already found it and that has been very helpful.

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.