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Smarthost testing and alerting


We have a Smarthost in Exchange that occasionally has delays that we have no idea about as it is a paid and shared Smarthost not managed by us. I'd like to try and see if anyone has ever used or tested any alerting where the basic idea is there is some sort of automated message we have going through the Smarthost to a certain recipient and this repiient can also be configured to send us a notification if it doesn't see the email for a certain duration (30 minutes?) and then we will know there is delays. Is this solution I am looking for something that I will have to code from scratch or is there services out there that offer something like this?

I understand the easiest solution would be to have our Smarthost provider notify us of any issues but they seem to wait until the issue is resolved to let us know.

Thanks for any help.

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the first thing that comes to my mind is SCOM, however I think it might be a bit overkill to be used just for this reason
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It's functional