In the Exchange monitoring concerns? Pick up the Slack article at TechGenix, I explore how to use Slack to send alerts to administrators’ mobile devices when something is wrong with Exchange.
A company’s messaging infrastructure is typically one of its most critical systems. Every administrator knows the importance of continuously monitoring Exchange. This is not only to prevent downtime and quickly fix problems, but also to be aware of the health of the infrastructure, to help identify potential problems, and spot performance degradations before they turn into actual problems and cause downtime.
Monitoring solutions such as Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), SolarWinds, Nagios, and MailScape are some examples of monitoring tools for Exchange. However, not every organization has the means and capabilities to acquire and use them. On top of that, many monitoring solutions alert administrators exclusively by email, which can be problematic if the mail flow itself is affected, or through a dashboard that administrators might not have access to outside business hours.
Throughout my career, I have developed several scripts that run continuously every x minutes, and if they detect something is wrong with Exchange, they send an email alert. There are, however, two issues with this approach:
- If mail flow is affected, as already mentioned, then administrators will not receive the email alert.
- When out of the office, not everyone is constantly checking their emails, meaning it might be a while until an administrator is made aware something is wrong.
For these reasons, I researched the best methods to send notifications to my phone when something was wrong with Exchange. I tried Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution we were using at the time, but it seemed there was no way to interact with its API in order to send alerts programmatically. An alternative I also considered was WhatsApp. Although it is possible to use PowerShell to send WhatsApp notifications, it has a few drawbacks, such as the need for the recipients to register with a service like WhatsMate WA Gateway and the fact that I would need to maintain a list of users who would like to receive the notifications on my scripts. Users wouldn’t be able to opt-in or opt-out from receiving notifications themselves.
Slack to the rescue
Slack is a messaging app for teams that is even used by the NASA team behind the Mars Curiosity Rover. Slack is becoming extremely popular, and I am starting to see why. Just have a quick look at the video below and judge for yourself.
To continue reading, please check the Exchange monitoring concerns? Pick up the Slack article at TechGenix where I explore how to use Slack to send alerts to administrators’ mobile devices when something is wrong with Exchange.