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Is there a way to verify that the Exchange 2013 server is still using the other SMTP connectors that have been setup?

Posted on 2016-09-22
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Last Modified: 2016-11-07
Greetings-

These SMTP connectors were setup before my time with the organization and I would like to retire them.  I have tried utilizing the Message Tracking tool but with no valid information.  Please advise.  

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:g000se
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Amit earned 190 total points
ID: 41810910
Use pipeline tracing:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125018(v=exchg.150).aspx

Or just disable the connector and wait for sometime, if no issue reported, you can remove them.
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by:Gary Dewrell
Gary Dewrell earned 310 total points
ID: 41810916
You can use messagetracking log to list the connectors in use.

get-messagetrackinglog -start 09/22/2016 -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector*
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by:g000se
ID: 41811068
Thanks for your postings.  Is there way to see when the last time traffic ran through the SMTP connectors?
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by:Gary Dewrell
Gary Dewrell earned 310 total points
ID: 41811072
Sure. Just add the timestamp field to the select

get-messagetrackinglog -start 09/22/2016 -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector* , timestamp
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by:g000se
ID: 41811163
I had tried the "get-messagetrackinglog -start 09/22/2016 -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector* , timestamp" for two different SMTP connectors which both had the same date/time output stamp.  I changed the timestamp to a later date but didn't see the output.  On the third run- I changed the ...-start 09/22/2016 to 6/22/2016 but only saw part of the entries.  Can I pipe the output to txt file? Thanks.
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by:Gary Dewrell
Gary Dewrell earned 310 total points
ID: 41811253
Sure can.

get-messagetrackinglog -start 09/22/2016 -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector* , timestamp | export-csv  logs.csv
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by:g000se
ID: 41812560
When I ran the "get-messagetrackinglog -start 09/22/2016 -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector* , timestamp | export-csv  logs.csv", the output only shows the SMTP connector name and timestamp date.  I had tried a different SMTP connector and received the same results.  Maybe I'm overlooking something,  Is there supposed to be additional information?
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by:Gary Dewrell
Gary Dewrell earned 310 total points
ID: 41812573
I understood you only wanted to see the last time a connector was used. The command above will show every SMTP connector that was used since the -start date specified and what time they were used.

You probably need to take out the -start parameter, which will then show you every SMTP connector used and what time it was used as far back as you have exchange logs.

get-messagetrackinglog  -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector* , timestamp | export-csv  logs.csv",
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by:Amit
Amit earned 190 total points
ID: 41812591
That is not the right method to test connector is in use or not. You should disable it and leave it for sometime. Then only you know, if it is required or not.
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by:g000se
ID: 41812597
My bad...I had replaced the "timestamp" to the actual date.  Now when I run- get-messagetrackinglog  -ResultSize unlimited -eventid Send | select *connector* , timestamp | export-csv  logs.csv ,  I get the additional dates for the SMTP connection. Thank you!
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by:g000se
ID: 41812606
Sorry didn't see your posting Amit until after I had posted.  When I run the command with the date of 06/22/2016,  I see entries for August and September but nothing for June or July.  So this information doesn't proved it's in use or not?
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 41812610
As I advise, you disable the connector. I have use this method several times and it is much easy to find out, if connector is in use or not. Secondly, you can enable back in few seconds, if you encounter any issue. Back-out plan need to be always in place whenever you are doing changes on servers.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Dewrell
ID: 41812642
Your logs probably do not go back that for but at I would think if you have not seen any traffic through that connector for all of August and September it is a safe bet it is not in use.

Though Amits method would work I am not a big fan of such an approach. At least in my environment mail is very important and we try not to break it on purpose if we do not have to. :)
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by:g000se
ID: 41812714
I tried the command method on an already disabled SMTP connector only to receive the same output results as an SMTP connector that is enabled.  It there another method other than disabling and then renable the SMTP connector?
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by:Amit
Amit earned 190 total points
ID: 41812721
There only two method as far as I know and used, Check the logs and next step is to disable the connector to verify it is use or not. I don't see any harm in disabling it. It takes few seconds to enable back. As per change process, you should look for solution, which can be reverted ASAP and bring back business normal. Rather deleting and recreating again.
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by:Gary Dewrell
Gary Dewrell earned 310 total points
ID: 41812722
If a connector is already disabled it will not have any traffic and therefore will not show up in the logs.
If it has already been disabled for a while and your mail queue has not built up you should be ok leaving it disabled.
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Author Comment

by:g000se
ID: 41817703
I was doing more research and was going through these logs on the Exchange server but didn't see any activity related to the SMTP connectors.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\TransportRoles\Logs\ProtocolLog\SmtpReceive
C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\TransportRoles\Logs\Connectivity

I rather not disable the SMTP connectors because they could be in use.  It will be disruptive.  Is there another means to pull the activity for those SMTP connectors?  Thanks.
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