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Operations Manager – My e-mail environment is down, how do i get notified?

March 18, 2013

Having redundancy in Operations Manager notifications is something that in my opinion is important enough to give some extra attention. Why? When big problems arrive you need to know as soon as possible so you can start repairing things.

In Operations manager SMTP is by far the most used channel for notifications.
In many organisations on-premise Exchange is used as a SMTP channel, but how do i get notified when Exchange is completely unavailable?

There are more answers for this question, but in this blog i would like to share a method with only using SMTP.

One common mistake is that only a secundary SMTP server is configured in the SMTP channel:

redundantSMTP1

SMTP is a role which can simply be added to a Windows 2008 server: http://technet.microsoft.com/nl-nl/library/cc772058(v=ws.10).aspx

This will work but please keep in mind the e-mail address this mail is send too should not also be on the same Exchange environment. As this is unavailble people will not be able to read to their mail!

There can be two ways to fix this problem:

  1. Use another e-mail account somewhere in a cloud
  2. Use SMTP to SMS

I am very charmed by the last option. Most telecom providers have a service in place where you can send your e-mail to a specific address which will convert it to SMS and send it. Having a smart phone with internet connected to the second e-mail box will of course also do the trick.

So if you do not want to recieve all the notifications Operations Manager generates when the primairy SMTP channel is down create a new SMTP channel and a subscription for the alerts you defenately need to recieve. (like for Exchange alerts)

If this rises any questions please let me know.

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From → System Center

2 Comments
  1. Bob Wilson permalink

    What about if the network is down, and you can’t get out to your SMS provider’s email server or a cloud email server? In the event of a network infrastructure problem, you need to be able to use some out of band notification system, such as TAP or SMS directly to the PSTN without using an email intermediary. What’s available for that?

    • Hi Bob,

      There are four different notification channels that can be configured in Operations Manager: E-mail; Instant Message; Text Message; Command line.
      You could add a GSM module in your management server and use the Text message option to send SMS. This can be configured to be used when SMTP is down or no internet connection is available.

      Hope this answers your question.
      Marthijn.

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