Monitor an Email Server with loop back monitoring


The Loopback monitor is used to test email servers. Set up is simple. First, select an email server for IsItUp to use for its mail relay. Then create an account on the mail relay. The mail relay can be on or off premise. All emails, including alerts, are forwarded to the mail relay for delivery. Next, create an email account on the target email server. Add an auto-reply rule to the account on the target email server. The auto-reply rule must return email to the mail relay account. That's all there is to the setup.

To perform a test, IsItUp sends a probe message to the account on the target email server using the mail relay as the mail transport. IsItUp then checks for the probe message to be returned to the account on the mail relay. IsItUp will set the target mail server to the down state if the probe does not return within the user-specified time.

The DNS MX records must be set up correctly on both the mail relay and the target email server for the Loopback monitor to work. In addition, both the mail relay and the target server must be able to send and receive emails.
 
Configure IsItUp to use your organization's email server as the mail relay
1. Create an email account on the organization's email server. This account is used to send and receive all messages. Please refer to your email server's documentation for details. For the following example, we will create IsItUp@TaroSoft.com. The account you create on your server may be named anything you wish.
2. Configure IsItUp to use account IsItUp@TaroSoft.com as the mail relay on your organization’s email server. Select the Configuration tab and then the Program options button. IsItUp will then display the system configuration screen. Then select the Email Relay link on the left side of the dialog. IsItUp will display the screen on the right:
Mail Relay
3. Using the example on the right for guidance, fill in your organization's information. Many email systems use different addresses for the outgoing and incoming email servers. Some POP 3 and SMTP servers require non-standard ports, use encryption and authentication. Click on the Settings button beside each server entry to set these features. Please check with your email administrator for the details of your system. If you are using MAPI with MS Exchange, just put in the email profile name. The password is not necessary as MS Exchange generally uses integrated authentication. Other MAPI implementations may require the account password. We recommended testing the connection parameters by selecting the Test Email Connection button. IsItUp will maintain the Host Email server account by automatically deleting all probe messages returned by target email systems. By checking the "Delete all Email in Host InBox at Startup" checkbox, IsItUp will delete all messages in the host inbox, both probe and non-probe. This feauture should be used with caution as it may delete important messages if the account is shared. However, if the account is dedicated to IsItUp, it may improve startup performance.
Installer Dialog
Configure IsItUp to monitor the mail relay (usually the organization's email server)
1. When IsItUp is doing an Email Loopback Test, it acts just like a desktop Email client. It logs into the account configured in the email configuration screen and sends messages using the configured SMTP server. It reads the contents of the inbox using the configured POP3 server. For this example, we have been using IsItUp@TaroSoft.com as the user name. To test the mail relay email server, IsItUp sends a message to the same account it is logged into(i.e. IsItUp@TaroSoft.com). It then checks the inbox to make sure the message has been received. This test demonstrates that the organization's email server is working correctly. The following steps will walk you through the setup.
Mail Relay Setup Example
2. Click on the Add Monitor button on the main menu. Then select the Email Loopback Monitor.  
Add monitor menu EMail loopback
3. First, enter a name for this Email monitor. We have used "Organizations Email Server" as the name for this example. You can use any name you wish. Next, click the "Check to test mail relay" checkbox. IsItUp will then set the target email address to the address of the mail relay. No auto-forwarding is required when testing the mail relay.

At this point you can click Next to configure other parts of the monitor or simply click Finish to start monitoring.
Add monitor menu EMail loopback
Configure IsItUp to monitor email servers other than the mail relay
1. Set up the target email server for the loopback test. For this example, we will test an email server used by our sales department called Sales.TaroSoft.com. You must create an email account on the target email server for the loopback account. For this example, we have created an account on Sales.TaroSoft.com and called it LoopBack@Sales.TaroSoft.com. The loopback account must have an auto-forward rule to return all mail back to IsItUp's mail relay account. If you don't create the auto-forward rule, no probe message will ever be returned to IsItUp, and the monitor will always fail.
2. Set up IsItUp to monitor the target server. First, complete steps 1 and 2 of "Configure IsItUp to monitor the mail relay." Then, enter a name for the new monitor. We will use "Sales Department Email Server" for the monitor’s name for this example. Next, enter LoopBack@Sales.TaroSoft.com for the target email server. User the image on the right as a guide. At this point you can click Next to configure other parts of the monitor or simply click Finish to start monitoring.
Loopback Monitor to other than relay