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 administrators the most information possible to help find the root cause of a problem.
System administrators have access to the following Troubleshooting tabs:
- 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
Use this section to manage how the logs are written and to customize the indexing configuration:
- 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.
- Delete Log Files After - The number of days after which log files are automatically deleted. To enable this automatic deletion of log files.
- 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 enable the creation of a separate log file which will contain information Support needs for troubleshooting. To disable a specific log, simply remove it from the list.
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:
- Autodiscover - The log level for Autodiscover. Useful for helping figure out why a particular user can't automatically connect to an email client.
- 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.
- EWS - The log level for EWS sessions. Useful for helping find issues trying to connect to a client such as Apple Mail.
- IMAP - The log level for IMAP sessions. Useful for helping to figure out why a user 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 a user to a client such as Microsoft Outlook 2019 for Windows.
- OAB - The log level for Offline Address Book (OAB). Useful for helping find issues with a user's offline address book, especially when using Microsoft Outlook.
- POP - The log level for POP sessions. Useful for helping to figure out why a user 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 online meetings. Useful for helping with issues such as a user that is unable to connect 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.
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.
- Calendars - The log level for calendar appointments.
- Content Filtering - The log level for any changes made due to Content Filtering rules.
- Conversion - The log level for any domain that is converted to SmarterMail.
- 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.
- EWS Retrieval - The log level for EWS retrieval sessions. (This also log information for mailbox migrations.)
- 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. (This also log information for mailbox migrations.)
- Indexing - The log level for SmarterMail indexing.
- Licensing - The log level for any Licensing issues, such as activation issues.
- 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. (This also log information for mailbox migrations.)
- 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.
Performance Tuning allows a system administrator to manage some settings that may cause an increase in server utilization of memory and CPU. For example, there are several settings surrounding search 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. However, especially on larger installations, search indexing can cause an increase in memory usage. Use this section to adjust the indexing configuration and cache size 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.
- 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.)
- Config File Cache Size - This is what stores all JSON configuration files in memory. By default, this is set to Automatic, but will most likely be set to 2GB, initially. This setting should only be changed when suggested by SmarterTools Support.
- Track Config File Cache Statistics - This is disabled, by default, as it can cause a decrease in performance due to CPU usage. As with the Config File Cache Size, it should only be enabled -- temporarily -- when suggested by SmarterTools Support. Enabling this will start tracking cache statistics in a performance counter on the system which can then be used to determine if a change in File Cache Size should be made.
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.
- Filter - 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 ++)
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:
- EWS Retrieval - EWS retrieval is similar to IMAP Retrieval except it uses the EWS protocol for downloading messages from Exchange servers as well as from other SmarterMail servers.
- 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.
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.
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:
- Email Address - The email address 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 Actions (⋮) button and select Cancel Migration. The migration will be stopped, regardless of where it is in process. 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 showed as "Completed."
For more information on the Mailbox Migration proces, including the fields necessary for different migration types, see the Migrating a Mailbox section of a User's Connectivity settings.
In addition, if there are issues with a migration, SmarterMail logs all migration activity. Therefore, a system administrator can check the Mailbox Importing logs for a user to see what happened, and find a resolution.
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