Troubleshoot & Health Check Microsoft Exchange 2013 with M.A.T.S

Microsoft Exchange 2013 introduced us to Managed Availability, with the aim of providing a mechanism to “detect and recover from problems as soon as they occur and are discovered by the system

However, as Tony Redmond explains with great clarity and insight here

“Because of the blizzard of data generated by Managed Availability and the sheer number of probes, monitors, and responders required to measure all of the interactions and processing that happen within a complex software product like Exchange, it can be confusing to understand just what data is being gathered and why”

One of the presentations at MSIgnite 2015 was a new tool called the Managed Availability Trouble Shooter (M.A.T.S.).  Available to download here.  This tool is intended to streamline the troubleshooting of Managed Availability in Exchange 2013.  I’ve been looking at this tool and I think it will go a long way towards helping deciphering the vast array of logs created by Managed Availability.

In this blog I’ll be looking at:

  1. Logging into MATS
  2. Performing an Overall Health Check
  3. Troubleshooting Exchange with MATS

 Logging into M.A.T.S.

  1. Download the tool from the TechNet Gallery here and run the mats.exe executable.
  2. Enter the FQDN of your Exchange server e.g. http://ex2013svr01.testlab.local/powershell
  3. Click Connect. Enter your credentials

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Note:  If you don’t enter the FQDN you will get an error

When one or more Exchange servers are found, click the drop down menu and select an Exchange server

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You’re now connected.

Performing a Health Check with M.A.T.S

For general health checking we have two options

  1. Health Report
  2. Server Health

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Health Report

Click on the Health Report button which provides the output of Get-HealthReport in a grid format.

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You can quickly see in this example that the Network is reporting unhealthy

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Server Health

Click on the Server Health button gives us another grid listing all the probes and their last value

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Troubleshooting Exchange using M.A.T.S

Where I think this tools is most effective is in troubleshooting specific issues

  1. Click on Critical Events
  2. Select a test to perform g. OWA
  3. Click Get Results

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As you can see from the output below, you can very quickly see detailed information about any issues which may be occurring

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The documentation for this tool (included in the tool download) details what each of the available tests does:

  1. High Availability: Would you like to check on the status of your DAGS?  Just use the HA option in the Critical Events dropdown as shown below and then click on “Get Results”.
  2. AD: Checks the status of this server and Active Directory related information or errors
  3. EWS: Checks the status of any Exchange Web Services related information or errors.
  4. HM: Checks the status of any Health Management related information or errors
  5. Monitoring: This was explained above however this will display all events that have been “Escalated” for an administrator to review.
  6. OutlookMapiHttp: If this is enabled in your environment it will display any information or errors related to Mapi/Http.
  7. OutlookRPC: Will display any information or errors related to Outlook Anywhere.
  8. OWA: Will display information and errors related to Outlook Web Access
  9. Perf: Reviews system and application logs for any performance information or errors.
  10. Recovery: This was mentioned above as well, but to review it displays and Managed Availability Recovery Actions on the server selected.
  11. Store User: Displays any Store related information or errors on the selected server.

You can then go a step further and check the Probe Failures, to help determine exactly where the problem is coming from

  1. Click LAM Results (LAM = Local Active Monitoring)
  2. Select a test (or all tests)
  3. Select a Working Type Item (e.g. Probes)
  4. Click Get Results

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As you can see from the output below, very detailed information is presented in an easy to navigate, searchable format

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So there you have it… a quick look at the M.A.T.S tool and how it can be used for troubleshooting and health checking Exchange 2013.  Overall this a great tool and one that I think every Exchange admin should be using

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