How to buy yourself some time when under (back) pressure

One of the important skills in being a great tech is knowing how to keep things running while you sort out the root of the problem. From Catherine Barr, one of our technical experts…

As the song Under Pressure by Queen plays through my head, I’d like to share a tip on how to buy yourself some time.

More than a few times techs have been plagued with server hard drives running low on resources. We all have those risk taking clients that treat their systems like a car and like to take a chance of driving on empty to see how far they can get with the gas light flashing brilliantly in their eyes. When the system finally starts to red line then you get the call.  If this happens to be an email server then you know that email flow will stop due to back pressure restrictions.

Back pressure is a process Microsoft built in to Exchange for system resource monitoring to keep the server from having a nervous breakdown. For example, on a Small Business Server email flow will stop when drive space is pushed to the limit and becomes limited. There have been times when facing this problem isn’t as easy as deleting logs or moving data to a different drive.

If you get a call from a client who has Exchange on-premises and complains about email flow problems then one of the first things you should check is hard drive space. If you know or find this to be the problem but need a bit of time to solve then a quick fix is to disable the back pressure.

Here are examples of how this could be done in Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010.

Exchange 2007 (Default install to C drive) C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Bin

Exchange 2010 (Default install to C drive) C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14\Bin

Modify a config file where your Exchange program files are installed. The config file is called edgetransport.exe.config. Probably best to make a backup copy of it first then open it in notepad. Search for “EnableResourceMonitoring”. Change the value from “True” to “False”. Save the file back to the same name config. The final step is to restart the Microsoft Exchange Transport Service. Email should start to flow again making the client happy and giving you time to solve the issue at hand.

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