Administrator Activities Test

It is important to keep track of the activities of administrators on Exchange Online, as the changes they make may impact the way Exchange Online functions and how it performs. This is why, it is good practice to periodically run the Administrator Activities test .

This test keep tabs on the activities performed by administrators on Exchange Online. In the process, the test reports the count of operations that were performed, the number of admin users who performed the operations, and the count of client IPs from which the administrators initiated these operations. Detailed diagnostics reported by the test reveal which users performed which operations from which client IPs. In the process, you can accurately identify the admin user who has imposed the maximum operational load on Exchange Online. Moreover, if you notice any sudden change in the way the Exchange Online operates or any unexpected dip in the performance of Exchange Online, you can use this test and its detailed metrics to figure out if any critical configuration change was made, and if so, what change is it and which administrator effected the change.

Note:

This test will report metrics only if Audit Logging is enabled for Exchange Online.

Target of the test : Exchange Online

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the Office 365 tenant being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test

Parameters Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured. By default, this is portal.office.com

O365 User Name, O365 Password, and Confirm Password

For execution, this test requires the privileges of an O365 user who is vested with the View-Only Audit Logs, View-Only Recipients, Mail Recipients, and Mail Import Export permissions. Configure the credentials of such a user against O365 User Name and O365 Password text boxes. Confirm the password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

While you can use the credentials of any existing O365 user with the afore-said privileges, it is recommended that you create a special user for monitoring purposes using the Office 365 portal and use the credentials of that user here. To know how to create a new user using the Office 365 portal and assign the required privileges to that user, refer to Creating a New User in the Office 365 Portal.

Domain, Domain User Name, Domain Password, and Confirm Password

These parameters are applicable only if the eG agent needs to communicate with the Office 365 portal via a Proxy server.

In this case, in the Domain text box, specify the name of the Windows domain to which the eG agent host belongs. In the Domain User Name text box, mention the name of a valid domain user with login rights to the eG agent host. Provide the password of that user in the Domain Password text box and confirm that password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

On the other hand, if the eG agent is not behind a Proxy server, then you need not disturb the default setting of these parameters. By default, these parameters are set to none.

Proxy Host, Proxy Port, Proxy User Name, and Proxy Password

These parameters are applicable only if the eG agent needs to communicate with the Office 365 portal via a Proxy server.

In this case, provide the IP/host name and port number of the Proxy server that the eG agent should use in the Proxy Host and Proxy Port parameters, respectively.

If the Proxy server requires authentication, then specify the credentials of a valid Proxy user against the Proxy User Name and Proxy Password text boxes. Confirm that password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box. If the Proxy server does not require authentication, then specify none against the Proxy User Name, Proxy Password, and Confirm Password text boxes.

On the other hand, if the eG agent is not behind a Proxy server, then you need not disturb the default setting of any of the Proxy-related parameters. By default, these parameters are set to none.

DD Frequency

Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time the test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against DD Frequency.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option. The option to selectively enabled/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Total operations

Indicates the total number of operations performed by the administrators.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which operations were performed , who performed each operation, and when.

This information enables an efficient audit of the activities of administrators.

Unique operations

Indicates the number of unique operations performed by the administrators.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which operations were performed and how many times. From this, you can identify the operation that was performed most often on Exchange Online.

Unique users

Indicates the number of unique admin users.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know who are the unique users, what are the unique operations each user performed, and how many times every operation was performed. This way, you can quickly identify which user imposed the maximum operational load on Exchange Online.

Client IPs

Indicates the number of unique clients from which administrators initiated operations on Exchange Online.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know the clients from which administrators operated Exchange Online. The unique operations performed from each client and the number of times every operation was performed from that client are also reported as part of detailed diagnostics.

Microsoft admins operations

Indicates the number of operations performed by Microsoft administrators.

Number

 

The detailed diagnosis of the Total operations measure lists the operations were performed , who performed each operation, and when. This information enables an efficient audit of the activities of administrators.

Figure 1 : The detailed diagnosis of the Total operations measure

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique operations measure lists the administrative operations that were performed on Exchange Online and also reveals how many times each operation was performed. From this, you can identify the operation that was performed most often on Exchange Online.

Figure 2 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique operations measure

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique users measure reveals the unique users, what are the unique operations each user performed, and how many times every operation was performed. This way, you can quickly identify which user imposed the maximum operational load on Exchange Online.

Figure 3 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique users measure

Using the detailed diagnosis of the Client IPs measure, you can identify the clients from which administrators operated Exchange Online. The unique operations performed from each client and the number of times every operation was performed from that client are also reported as part of detailed diagnostics. This way, you will be able to identify the client IP that generated the maximum workload for Exchange Online.

Figure 4 : The detailed diagnosis of the Client IPs measure