Introduction

Slow logons have been the most common complaint in Exchange infrastructures. For an Exchange user, slow logons can lead to frustration, lower productivity and efficiency. For an enterprise that uses Exchange for its business correspondence, slow logons and frustrated users can increase support costs and can result in significant revenue loss.

A typical user logon in an Exchange infrastructure begins with the user attempting to access his/her mailbox via one of the following interfaces:

  • Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface
  • Office 365 portal

Once the user connects to the preferred interface (OWA or Office 365), he/she provides his/her login credentials at the login prompt. As soon as the credentials are validated, he/she will be allowed access to their mailbox.

Many factors impact a user's logon experience. Slowness/failure of the web interface, authentication failures/delays, and network latencies can contribute to a sub-par logon experience. Because the failure points are one too many, proactive detection of a failed/slow logon and precise isolation of its root-cause is often a challenge for administrators. Another bottleneck to effective troubleshooting is the fact that logon issues do not come to light until a user actually logs in.

Collecting logon metrics of real user activity is challenging. Metrics have to collected from the different tiers involved - the web interface, the network, and the Exchange server. Furthermore, there will be times when no one is logging into the Exchange server, and at those times, it is important to know if Exchange logon is working or not.

The eG Enterprise Logon Simulator for Exchange, a part of the eG Enterprise suite, is a purpose-built solution for delivering proactive visibility into the logon performance in Exchange infrastructures. Using an agentless approach, the eG Enterprise Logon Simulator for Exchange simulates a user logging into an OWA interface or Office 365 portal through a browser and accessing his/her mailbox. By emulating the exact same process that users go through when they logon to Exchange, the eG Enterprise Logon Simulator for Exchange provides a realistic measure of the user experience during Exchange logon. Since every simulation tests the entire Exchange infrastructure, the results represent the cumulative health of all of the tiers supporting Exchange logons.

Unlike traditional simulation tools that require recording of a script that captures the typical steps a user performs, the eG Enterprise Logon Simulator for Exchange requires no recording and hence, is simple to implement. Installed on any , the simulator targets the configured logon URL and mailbox at pre-configured intervals and tests the Exchange logon availability and performance. When a problem is detected, the offending step is clearly highlighted, so administrators can start working on a resolution immediately.

The simulation can be configured to run from different remote locations to understand the logon performance from each location. By testing the simulated session from different locations and at different times, administrators can diagnose and resolve logon issues before users experience them and call up the helpdesk. Licensing is based on number of simulation locations, not on the number of logons simulated.