SmarterMail Help

Troubleshooting

SmarterMail makes managing the mail server a breeze by isolating the monitoring and management aspects from the setup and configuration. In the Troubleshooting section, Administrators can access settings, tools and dashboards that will help them better understand what's occurring on their mail server and quickly take action while troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

A major part of troubleshooting issues is logging. By default, SmarterMail logs virtually every process and protocol available within the system. Having these logs means that, when issues DO occur, administrators can quickly and easily find out the what's going on and get the problems resolved. If nothing else, having access to logs makes working with SmarterTools much easier as it gives our support agents access to information that can then be used to further find and fix issues, or work with our developers to figure out what's going on so a fix can be implemented.

That said, logs CAN take up space on a server. By default, most of SmarterMail's log levels will be defaulted to "Exceptions Only". This means that the logs will capture and write out errors but not details. This keeps the log files small. At the other end of the spectrum, Detailed keeps the most amount of information available, but also means the log files can get quite large, quite quickly. However, this gives admininstrators the most information possible to help find the root cause of a problem.

To access standard troubleshooting tools, log in to SmarterMail as a System Administrator and click on Troubleshooting in the navigation pane. Within this section, System Administrators can access the following items:

Jump To:

  • Options - Configure the log and indexing settings for the server
  • View Logs - Review the logs to look for errors or monitor recent activity
  • Services - Enable or disable specific services, including IMAP, SMTP, etc.
  • Mailbox Indexing - View the status of user indexing occurring on the server
  • Mailbox Migration - View the mailbox migrations occurring on the server

Options

Use this section to manage how the logs are written and to customize the indexing configuration:

Log Files

  • Log Path - The default location for the logs that email messages in SmarterMail produce. If you would like to change the default location, enter a new path here. Note that changing the log path will not take effect until you restart the SmarterMail service.
  • Compress Log Files After - The number of days after which log files are automatically compressed. This preserves existing log files but also saves server space. To enable log file compressing, toggle the slider to the right.
  • Delete Log Files After - The number of days after which log files are automatically deleted. To enable this automatic deletion of log files, toggle to the slider to the right.
  • Debug Log IDs (one per line) - This section should only be used when instructed by SmarterTools Support. In order to better troubleshoot an issue within SmarterMail, SmarterTools Support may require additional logging. In this section, Debug Log IDs can be entered. Entering a log ID in this box will create a separate log file which will contain information Support needs for troubleshooting.

Protocol Logging

By default, SmarterMail sets all log detail levels to Exceptions Only. Use this section to adjust the log detail levels for the protocols used with SmarterMail. When set to Exception Only, SmarterMail will produce small-sized logs that record only errors. When set to Normal, SmarterMail will produce medium-sized logs that record most activity taken on the mail server. When set to Detailed, SmarterMail will produce log files that can get very large and contain extensive logging. Only change logs to Detailed when asked to by SmarterTools Support or when troubleshooting server operations.

The following log file types can be adjusted:

  • EAS - The log level for EAS connections. Useful for helping find issues with things like why a user on an iPhone is having an issue syncing their calendar properly, etc.
  • Autodiscover - The log level for Autodiscover. Useful for helping figure out why a particular user can't automatically connect their account to an email client.
  • EWS - The log level for EWS sessions. Useful for helping find issues trying to connect an account to a client such as Apple Mail.
  • IMAP - The log level for IMAP sessions. Useful for helping to figure out why a client can't connect to any email client that supports IMAP.
  • LDAP - The log level for LDAP sessions. Useful for helping find issues when using Active Directory as an authention method.
  • MAPI - The log level for MAPI sessions. Useful for helping find issues trying to connect an account to a client such as Microsoft Outlook 2019 for Windows.
  • POP - The log level for POP sessions. Useful for helping to figure out why a client can't connect to any email client that supports IMAP.
  • Sharepoint - The log level for Sharepoint Sync (Add to Outlook). Useful for helping to figure out why a client can't connect to any email client that supports Sharepoing Sync.
  • SMTP - The log level for SMTP sessions. Useful for helping figure out why a message wasn't delivered to a recipient, and helps ensure the message was, in fact, sent by the user.
  • WebDAV - The log level for CalDav and CardDav sessions. Useful for helping to figure out why a calendar or contacts app can't connect to any email client that supports CalDAV or CardDAV.
  • XMPP - The log level for Live Chat and Team Workspaces. Useful for helping with issues such as a user that is unable to connect their account to a live chat client.

Note: More detailed logs require more disk space. If you choose a detailed log, you may want to enable the auto-delete setting on the Options tab.

Process Logging

By default, SmarterMail sets all log detail levels to Exceptions Only. Use this section to adjust the log detail levels for common processed within SmarterMail. When set to Exception Only, SmarterMail will produce small-sized logs that record only errors. When set to Normal, SmarterMail will produce medium-sized logs that record most activity taken on the mail server. When set to Detailed, SmarterMail will produce log files that can get very large and contain extensive logging. Only change logs to Detailed when asked to by SmarterTools Support or when troubleshooting server operations.

Process Logging can help administrators in a number of ways. For example:

  • Delivery Logs can help find out what happened to a particular message: if it was delivered, if it was delivered but rejected due to spam rules, whether it was moved based on a content filter, etc.
  • SMTP Logs can show why a message was rejected by the recipient's mail server.
  • Administrative Logs can show when a setting was changed, and which system administrator made the change.

The following log file types can be adjusted:

  • Administrative - The log level for for any changes and/or modifications made by system administrator accounts.
  • API Service - The log level for web service calls using SmarterMail's API.
  • Calendars - The log level for calendar appointments.
  • Content Filtering - The log level for any changes made due to Content Filtering rules.
  • Delivery - The log level for message delivery and spool operations.
  • Error - The log log for capturing any Errors returned by SmarterMail.
  • Events - The log level for event sessions put in place for the system or user.
  • Folder Auto-Clean - The log level for any folder auto-clean rules in place for the system or user.
  • IIS - The log level for IIS sessions. This can be helpful for diagnosing issues with the SmarterMail website, app pool, etc.
  • IMAP Retrieval - The log level for IMAP retrieval sessions.
  • Indexing - The log level for SmarterMail indexing.
  • Licensing - The log level for any Licensing issues, such as activation issues.
  • Mailbox Importing - The log level for data imported during mailbox migrations.
  • Mailing Lists - The log level for items pertaining to Mailing Lists.
  • Maintenance - The log level for maintenance tasks performed by SmarterMail.
  • Message-ID - The log level for logging Message-ID's of all messages sent to mailing lists.
  • POP Retrieval - The log level for POP retrieval sessions.
  • Spam Checks - The log level for all Spam Checks set up and in use.

Note: More detailed logs require more disk space. If you choose a detailed log, you may want to enable the auto-delete setting on the Log Files tab.

Indexing

Search indexing allows users to instantly find files in their mailbox, including messages, attachments, appointments, contacts, tasks, or notes. Following the initial scan of the server, SmarterMail continually monitors each user's mailbox for changes and then updates the index accordingly. This method of indexing reduces server utilization while increasing the speed with which search results are returned. Use this section to adjust the indexing configuration for your server:

  • Max Threads - The maximum number of threads to use for search indexing. Increasing this value will cause SmarterMail to use more CPU, but will allow the system to simultaneously index more users. (By default, this value is set to 2 less than the server's processing count. For example, if your server has 32 processors, this value will be set to 30.) Please note that this value cannot be set to 0.
  • Segment Count Before Optimizing - The number of segment counts in an index before the index is reorganized. Increasing this number will increase file counts per mailbox, but will use less CPU. (By default, this value is set to 100.)
  • Items Before Garbage Collection - The number of indexed items across the server before freeing as much memory as possible. Increasing this number will increase memory usage and lower CPU usage. (By default, this value is set to 5000.)
  • Items to Index Per Pass - The number of items to index per user per index attempt. Increasing this number will increase memory usage and decrease the time it takes to index one user. However, it will increase the length of time it takes to index many small users if there are a few large users. (By default, this value is set to 2500.)
  • Seconds In Queue Before Indexing - The amount of time a user must be in the indexing queue before being indexed. This setting provides a buffer for many changes to a mailbox to ensure the same user is not indexed multiple times. Increasing this number will cause search results to be delayed further, but will result in indexing heavier users less frequently. (By default, this value is set to 60.)
  • Deleted Items Before Optimizing - The number of items that will be removed from the index before an optimization will occur. Increasing this number will slow search results. Decreasing this number will increase CPU and disk usage, but will increase search result speed. (By default, this value is set to 2000.)

MAPI Debug Captures

MAPI Debug Captures can help diagnose issues users face when using MAPI to connect their SmarterMail accounts to Microsoft Outlook. They can also assist SmarterTools Technical Support Agents and/or Developers troubleshoot issues if support tickets are required. There are a few settings to enable if you want to start the debug logging:

  • Stop logging after X requests - This is the total number of MAPI requests to save in the log. 5000 is a decent number as it provides a good amount of information, but doesn't create a log that takes up a lot of disk space.
  • User to monitor - This is the email address of the user you want to help debug.

After a user has been added, and a debug log captured, it's possible to turn off the monitor. After a page refresh, a download link will appear for the log so it can be downloaded and reviewed or sent to SmarterTools in a support ticket.

View Logs

Use this section to quickly view the server's log files. Viewing a server's log files, especially when it's possible to narrow down the type of server action or protocol that is being viewed, allows system administrators to look for any specific errors that could cause reliablity issues on the server or narrow down reasons why a specific behavior is being seen. For example, system administrators can review SMTP logs to see if an email was delivered or check ActiveSync logs to see if they can narrow down synchronization issues between a specific user's mailbox and their mobile device.

When viewing the SmarterMail logs, the following search strings will be available:

  • Start and End - The start and end dates for the log files you want to view.
  • Type - The type of log file that you would like to view.
  • Search - Type the words or phrases should be contained in the log files that SmarterMail returns.
  • Type - When searching the logs, you can choose whether to display only lines that match the search definitions or to display related traffic as well. Change this selection from Only Matching Rows to Display Related Traffic in order to display extra data that occurred within the same session.

To search for a specific log, complete the date range, select the log type, and enter a search string. Then click Search. Any matching log files will be displayed. Note: SmarterMail will only display up to 1MB of any specific log.

To download the entire log file in a .zip format -- NOT just search results -- click on Download. This allows you to get quick access to a domain's entire log file so that it can be reviewed more thoroughly on a local machine. If you only need the search results, click on Copy to Clipboard to copy the results to your clipboard, then past those results into your favorite text editor. (We recommend Notepad ++)

Services

Use this section to enable and/or disable specific services on the mail server. Generally, all of these services should be enabled. However, there are cases where an Administrator may want to disable one or more. For example, a web host or ISP may want to limit users' access to incoming mail to POP only when they connect with an email client in order to conserve disk space on the mail server. In this case, the system administrator would want to stop the IMAP services. Another example would be a mail administrator for a large corporation who doesn't want users to add multiple email accounts and therefore read and reply to email from personal accounts as well as their corporate accounts. In this case, the administrator would want to disable the IMAP Retrieval and POP Retrival services.

The following services can be enabled or disabled on the server:

  • IMAP - A client/server protocol in which email is received and held by the mail server. IMAP requires continual access to the client during the time that it is working with the mail server.
  • IMAP Retrieval - With IMAP retrieval, mail is retrieved from external IMAP servers (e.g., another mail server like GMail) and saved in a mailbox on the mail server.
  • Indexing - Indexes messages, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes so that users can search for specific mailbox items via the Web interface.
  • LDAP (Enterprise Edition Only) - A communication protocol for accessing online directory services. Programs like Outlook and Thunderbird use LDAP to retrieve contact lists from SmarterMail. SmarterMail will validate email addresses for user accounts, aliases, and mailing lists.
  • POP - An email protocol in which mail is saved in a mailbox on the mail server. When the end user reads the mail, it is immediately downloaded to the client computer and is no longer maintained on the mail server.
  • POP Retrieval - Similar to IMAP Retrieval, with POP retrieval, mail is retrieved from external POP3 servers and saved in a mailbox on the mail server.
  • SMTP - A TCP/IP (Internet) protocol used for sending and receiving email. However, since it's limited in its ability to queue messages at the receiving end, it's usually used with one of two other protocols, POP or IMAP, that let the user save messages in a server mailbox and download them periodically from the server. In other words, users typically use a program that uses SMTP for sending email and either POP or IMAP for receiving messages from their local server.
  • Spool - The internal message queue used to deliver messages locally and to remote services.
  • XMPP (Enterprise Edition Only) - An open-source IM protocol designed to allow interoperability between different IM client programs. SmarterMail uses this protocol to power its chat functionality in the Web interface and/or third-party chat clients.

To modify the status of a service, select the desired service and click Start or Stop.

Mailbox Indexing

SmarterMail Search Indexing allows users to instantly find any files in the mailbox, including messages, attachments, appointments, contacts, tasks or notes. Following the initial scan of the server, SmarterMail continually monitors each user's mailbox for changes and updates the index accordingly. This method of indexing reduces server utilization while increasing the speed with which search results are returned.

System administrators can use this section to view the status of SmarterMail Search Indexing. Viewing the status of indexing can be beneficial when troubleshooting a problem. For example, if the mail service seems to be using a large amount of CPU, the system administrator can check to see if the cause of the temporary increase in CPU usage is due to indexing.

Mailbox Migrations

SmarterMail's Mailbox Migration tool makes it easy for users to switch email providers by giving them the ability to import emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes to SmarterMail from most third-party mail servers.

That being said, users can do this on their own, with little input from a SmarterMail System Administrator. While this normally is not an issue, there are times when an Administrator may need to stop a migration altogether. That's where the Mailbox Migrations page comes in.

The following details can be seen for each entry in the list:

  • User - The name of the user performing the migration.
  • Status - The status of the migration being performed. The status displayed will be one of the following:
    • Queued - The migration was intitiated and is waiting to start.
    • In Progress - The migration was started and is currently processing.
    • Completed - The migration is finished for that user.

To end the selected user's migration, select the user and click on the End Session button. The migration will be stopped, regardless of where it is in process. As mailbox migrations are an "all or nothing" proposition, if a migration is stopped in the middle, none of the migration steps will be finalized unless the migration shows as "Completed."