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Microsoft Checks Exchange Health For Free

Microsoft on Wednesday launched a free diagnostic tool that gives Exchange server shops the once-over.

The new Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool stuffs top support issues and resolutions from the company's knowledge database into self-run software, said Microsoft. "I like to think of [it] as a Microsoft-engineer-in-a-box," said Paul Bowden, program manager for Exchange development, in a statement.

The tool includes about 800 XML-based rules that examine over 1,200 data points collected from the Exchange environment. It then generates a report that indicates errors, warnings, or non-default settings. In each case, the tool provides text to explain what it's found, then links to additional info on the Exchange TechCenter section of Microsoft's TechNet Web site.

Administrators can run the tool remotely against Exchange servers.

"One of the most important features of the tool is its ability to identify potential time bombs," added Bowden. "[It's] good at checking for things that may not be issues now, but might be three months from now."

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