Exchange Search Indexes Test

With increasing mailbox sizes and increasing amounts of data being stored in mailboxes in the form of messages and attachments, it's crucial for users to be able to quickly search and locate the messages they need. Exchange Search indexes mailboxes and supported attachments in Exchange mailboxes to enable fast searches and lookups through mailboxes and public folders stored in the Exchange Server. To perform content indexing, Exchange Search uses the Microsoft Search Foundation. This serves as the common underlying content indexing engine in Exchange and SharePoint. If this content indexing engine is slow in processing messages, then index creation will take too long, resulting in either the failure of search queries or significant delays in the execution of queries. To ensure that user experience with Exchange Search remains top notch and user productivity improves, administrators will have to periodically check how fast the Microsoft Search Foundation processes messages in each mailbox database, promptly capture processing delays, accurately identify the mailbox database contributing to the delay, and rapidly initiate remedial action. The Exchange Search Indexes test assists administrators in this endeavor. At pre-configured intervals, this test monitors how well the content indexing engine processes messages in every mailbox database, and proactively alerts administrators to a potential slow down in content indexing. In the process, the test also points you to the mailbox database where the slowdown could have originated, and thus aids troubleshooting efforts.

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 mailbox database on the Exchange 2013/2016 server

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. Test period - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host - The host for which the test is to be configured.
  3. port – The port at which the host listens.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Mailboxes to be crawled:

Indicates the number of mailboxes in this database that are yet to be crawled for content. 


A low value is desired for this measure. A high value or a consistent rise in the value of this measure is a cause for concern, as it indicates an indexing bottleneck.

Compare the value of this measure across databases to know which mailbox database has the maximum number of mailboxes that are pending processing by the content indexing engine. This database could be contributing to the indexing bottleneck.

Items processed rate:

Indicates the rate at which items in this mailbox database are processed.


A high value is desired for this measure. A consistent drop in this value could indicate a potential indexing bottleneck. Under such circumstances, you may want to compare the value of this measure across mailbox databases to identify that database which could be contributing to the slowdown.

Age of last notification processed:

Indicates the number of seconds between notification and processing for the most recent item in this database.


A high value indicates that index updation is taking too long.

Typically, indexes are updated based on notifications from the mailbox database as new messages arrive. If the time lapse between when a notification is sent out by the database to when processing is begun by the content indexing engine is very high, it hints at a lethargic content indexing engine.

Compare the value of this measure across databases to know where index updation is taking the longest.

Items scheduled for reprocessing:

Indicates the number of items in this database that have been scheduled for reprocessing.



Ideally, the value of this measure should be low. A high value is indicative of frequent processing failures. Compare the value of this measure across databases to know where the engine experienced the maximum number of failures.