How do I set up IsItUp to monitor an Email Server using a Roundtrip Monitor?

 

IsItUp has two types of monitors designed for testing Email Servers.  First, IsItUp has a Round Trip Email Monitor.  This monitor type sends a probe message to the Email Server you wish to test.  The Email Server you wish to test must have an account setup with an auto-reply rule to return the probe message back to IsItUp.  This insures that the Email Server is operational. The Round Trip Email Monitor can be used with any type of Email Server. Second, IsItUp has special tests for Pop3, IMAP4, and SMTP Email Servers.  The POP 3, IMAP4 and SMTP monitors connect to their Email servers and send requests and check for valid responses according to their respective protocols. For more information on how to monitor a POP 3 Email Servers, please click on the following link : How do I setup IsItUp to monitor a POP 3 Email Server.   To set up a Roundtrip Email Monitor please continue below.

 

To quickly get started, first:

Download and install IsItUp for a free 30 day trial.  Just click on the following link:

http://www.tarosoft.com/applications/IsItUpNetworkMonitor.exe

 

 

 

How to set up the Roundtrip Email Monitor

 

The Roundtrip Email Monitor determines if a server is working properly in the following way:

 

1.      First, IsItUp acts as an Email client when testing email servers and thus requires an account on an email server to send and receive test email messages.  This email server is called the IsItUp Host Email Server or IsItUp Host for short.   IsItUp’s host can be a private server or one of the many public servers.  It is also recommended that you setup a backup mail server to be sure you get alerts in case the primary fails.  

2.      To start a test cycle, IsItUp first sends a test message, also called a probe message, from the IsItUp Host email account to the email server to be monitored.

3.      The email server to be monitored is called the Target Email Server.  The target email server must have an auto-reply rule setup to automatically return the probe message back to the IsItUp host. As long as the probe message is returned within the time limits setup during configuration, the target email server is considered operational.

4.      Most often, you will be setting up IsItUp to monitor more than one Email system. However, IsItUp can monitor the IsItUp Host Email Server itself. In that case, the target email server and the IsItUp Host Email Server are the same.  Since IsItUp is effectively sending to itself, no auto-reply rule is required.

 

Setting up the IsItUp Host Email Server

 

1.      Create an email account on the email system to be used for IsItUp’s Host Email Server. This will be the account IsItUp uses to send and receive all messages including probes and alerts.  For this example, an account called IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com was created.

2.      Configure IsItUp to use IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com as the Host Email Server.   This is done on the email configuration screen. Select Setup/System Parameters from the menu. The system configuration screen will be displayed.  Then select the Setup Email System Parameters tab.  The following screen will be displayed:

 

 

In this example, the host email system is an Internet Email account – one that uses POP3 and SMTP protocols.  The dialog should be filled out as follows:

 

 

  

Many email systems use different addresses for the outgoing and incoming email servers.  Some POP 3 and SMTP servers require non-standard ports, use encryption, and authentication.   Click on the Settings button beside each server entry to set these features.  Please check with your email administrator for the details for your system.  If you are using MAPI with MS Exchange, just put in the email profile name.  The password is not necessary as MS Exchange generally uses integrated authentication.  Other MAPI implementations such as Lotus Notes or GroupWise may require the account password.  It is recommended that the connection parameters be tested by selecting the Test Email Connection button.  Additionally, IsItUp will maintain the IsItUp Host Email server account by deleting all probe messages returned by target email systems automatically.  By checking the “Delete all Email in Host InBox at Startup” checkbox, IsItUp will delete all messages in the host inbox, both probe and non-probe.  This is recommended as it improves performance since IsItUp does not have to load unnecessary messages.  However, if the IsItUp Host Email server account is used for others purposes then IsItUp, caution should be used when enabling this feature as it may delete important messages.

 

Monitoring the IsItUp Host Email Server

 

In order to monitor the IsItUp Host Email Server, you simply need to create an Email Loop Monitor.  There is no need to create an auto-reply rule for the Target Email Server since in this case the Target and the Host Email Server are the same.  When IsItUp is monitoring the Host Email Server, it is sending to itself so the probe message will already be in the inbox.  In this example, it is the inbox of IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com .  When you are monitoring the Host Email Server, it is critical that you setup an alternate means of alert notification since if the Host Email Server is down, IsItUp will have no means of alerting you to the problem.  The options for alerting are setting up a backup mail server, a paging notification, or playing an audible sound.  Frequently, customers setup a public SMTP server as their backup to insure alerts on transmitted.  Of course, if the network is down, IsItUp will not be able to send alerts by email or cell phone.  In that case, you may use the paging or audible alarm notification methods.

 

1.      Right click in the left most (Device View) windows to show the short cut menu.  Then select New Device / Email Loopback Monitor as show below:

 

 

2.      This will launch the Email Loopback Monitor Wizard.  Enter the email address of the IsItUp Host Email in the “Target Email Address” edit box.  In this example, it is IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com.

 

 

3.      Select the “Next” button to set the test frequency.  The frequency should be long enough for the email server to process the message and place it in the inbox.  The default is 30 minutes as show below:

 

 

 

4.      At this point, you can either setup alerts or just select the “Finish” button.   Once you click the “Finish” button, IsItUp will start testing your mail server.

 

 

 

Monitoring other Email Servers

 

1.      In order to monitor mail servers other than the Host Email Server, you must create loop back accounts on each of the servers you wish to monitor.  In addition, the accounts must have an auto-reply rule setup so that the probe message that IsItUp sends to the Target Email server is return to the IsItUp Host Email Server. If your target email system is Microsoft Exchange, please follow this link for assistance with setting up an auto-reply rule:  http://www.tarosoft.com/faqs/how to set auto forwarding.htm. Although IsItUp can manage the Inbox of its Host Email Server, it cannot manage the Target Email Servers’ Inbox.  It is recommended that the administrator of the target email system apply a method to keep the target email system’s Inbox from becoming filled. For this example, we are going to monitor the email server for the “Acme Manufacturing Company” whose domain name is AMC.COM. 

2.      Create an email account on the email system to be monitored (the Target Email Server).  The account can be called anything but for this example it will be Loopback@AMC.COM.

3.      Create an auto-reply rule for Loopback@AMC.COM to return messages back to IsItUp’s Host Email Server.  For this example, the autoreply rule would return all messages send to Loopback@ACM.COM to IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com.  Once the account is setup on the target server, it is recommended that you test it by logging into the IsItUp Host Email Server account(for this example IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com) with an email client and send a message to the target email server (for this example Loopback@ACM.COM).  If the target email server is configured with an auto reply correctly, the target email servers will return each message sent.

4.      Right click in the left most (Device View) windows to show the short cut menu.  Then select New Device / Email Loopback Monitor as show below:

 

5.      This will launch the Email Loopback Monitor Wizard.  Enter the email address of the IsItUp Host Email in the “Target Email Address” edit box.  In this example, it is Loopback@ACM.COM.

 

 

 

6.      Select the “Next” button to set the test frequency.  The frequency should be long enough for the email server to process the message and return it to the IsItUp’ Host Email Server account.  For this example, the auto-reply rule of Loopback@ACM.COM  must return the probe message to  IsItUpHost@TaroSoft.com.  The default is 30 minutes as show below:

 

 

 

7.      At this point, you can either setup alerts or just select the “Finish” button.   Once you click the “Finish” button, IsItUp will start testing your mail server.