Exchange ActiveSync Servers Test

Where Exchange ActiveSync is used to synchronize mobile devices with Exchange server mailboxes, Exchange administrators may want to know which devices are connecting to the server at any given point in time, so that accesses by unauthorized devices can be instantly detected and blocked. Administrators may also want to track the usage of mailboxes by mobile devices over time and identify the most and the least effective users, so that access policies can be accordingly drawn. Moreover, when a device user complains of a slowdown when accessing his/her mailbox, administrators may want to take a look at the network traffic generated by every device that is connecting to the server at the time of the slowdown, so that devices that are choking the bandwidth and causing the slowness can be accurately isolated. The Exchange ActiveSync Servers test performs all these checks periodically and provides Exchange administrators with actionable information that will enable them to take well-informed and intelligent performance/policy decisions.  

This test auto-discovers the devices that are synchronizing with the Exchange mailboxes via ActiveSync, and for each device, reports the number of hits/accesses made by that device and the amount of data transmitted and received by that device. In the process, the test points administrators to the following:

  • Devices that are currently connected to the Exchange server; unauthorized devices can thus be quickly captured;
  • Devices that are accessing the Exchange server mailboxes frequently and those that seldom use the mailboxes; sizing and policy decisions can be taken based on this observation
  • Devices that are consuming excessive bandwidth resources and could hence be contributing to the sluggish quality of the network;

Target of the test : A Microsoft Exchange 2013/2016 server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each device or IP address that is currently accessing the mailboxes on the Exchange server

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. Test period - Indicates how often this test needs to be executed.
  2. Host - Indicates the IP address of the Exchange server.
  3. port - The port number of the client access server. By default, this is 443. 
  4. xchgextensionshellpath - The Exchange Management Shell is a command-line management interface, built on Windows PowerShell v2, which enables you to administer every part of the Microsoft Exchange Server. This test uses the Exchange management shell to run scripts and collect the desired performance metrics from the Exchange server. To enable the test to load the Exchange management shell snap-in (exshell.psc1) for script execution, you need to specify the full path to the Exchange management shell in the XCHGEXTENSIONSHELLPATH text box. For instance, your specification can be, c:\progra~1\micros~1\exchan~1\v14\bin\exshell.psc1.
  5. Logfile Name – The Client Access Server is an IIS web server that hosts Exchange-related web pages. This is why, like any other IIS web server, the client access server creates a daily log of its activities – including Exchange ActiveSync-related activities - in the C:\inetpub\logs\logfiles\W3SVC1\ directory by default. To report metrics on ActiveSync, this test parses the client access server’s log file, reads the ActiveSync-related errors/warnings/general information messages that were recently logged (i.e., during the last 5 minutes) from the file, and writes them to a ActiveSynchLog.log file it creates in the <eg_agent_install_dir>\agent\logs directory. Then, the test reads the metrics of interest from this log file and reports them to the eG manager. To enable the test to do the above, you need to specify the exact path to the directory that contains the client access server’s logs in the logfilename text box.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Total hits:

Indicates the current number of hits/accesses to the Exchange mailbox server from this device.


Comparing the value of this measure across devices will help you to identify the device that is constantly accessing the Exchange mailbox server and that which is not using the server as frequently. Based on these usage metrics, administrators can define access policies.

Also, this measure serves as a good indicator of the level of device activity on the Exchange server; based on this knowledge, administrators can right-size their Exchange infrastructure – i.e., decide on how much CPU, memory, bandwidth, and disk resources the Exchange server has to be allocated so that it can handle the ActiveSync load.  

Data sent:

Indicates the amount of data this device is currently sending to the Exchange mail server.


Compare the value of these measures across the devices to identify the device that is currently generating the maximum amount of network traffic when interacting with its mailbox on the Exchange server. In the event of a slowdown, this comparative analysis will point administrators to that device which is engaged in bandwidth-intensive conversations with the Exchange server, thus causing accesses to slow down.

During normal operations on the other hand, administrators can analyze these measures over time to gauge the average network throughput of ActiveSync activities; this can help them decide whether/not more network resources need to be allocated to handle ActiveSync load efficiently. 

Data received:

Indicates the amount of data currently received by this device from the Exchange mail server.


Average unique devices:

Indicates the number of unique devices currently accessing the ActiveSync server.