What Certificates Should My Microsoft Exchange Server Have?

Much like any other network application, in order to secure the functionality and safety of Microsoft Exchange Servers, it’s essential to adopt specific certificates. Due to the literally thousands, if not millions, of security threats bombarding your Exchange Server every day, these certificates ensure users have a safe messaging experience while simultaneously safeguarding your data and sensitive information from being intercepted. It’s important to note that as technology changes and adapts so does the type of ceritificates you should implement.

SSL Certificate for Unified Communications

While an SSL Certificate is essential for all websites, when it comes to the unique infrastructure of Microsoft Exchange Server, you must adopt a security certificate capable of safeguarding an entire transaction from beginning-to-end. The SSL Certificate for Unified Communications offers a vast array of security benefits, but perhaps one of the most acclaimed advantages of this certificate is its ability to secure client access for up to 100 various SAN, or Subject Alternative Names. This feature allows you to host various SSL websites on a single Exchange server without requiring multiple IP addresses.

Subject Alternative Names Certificate (SAN) 

The Subject Alternative Names certificate allows an SSL certificate to apply to multiple names. For example, an organization must use multiple DNS names. While it’s possible to have SSL certificate security on multiple DNS names, to manipulate the certificate administrators were required to engage in complex customization techniques. The larger the environment, the more complex and time-consuming this process would become. According to the website loadview-testing, this is where a SAN certificate comes into play. When adopted, a SAN certificate offers the flexibility of multi-domain protection without having to manually adjust SSL certificate attributes. Resulting in a significant reduction in time spent dealing with standard SSL certificate manipulation.

How to Establish an SSL Certificate

One of the most common questions asked by administrators revolves around establishing an SSL certificate. While each version of Microsoft Exchange Server differs in how an SSL certificate is applied, the basic steps are universal. However, always refer to the documentation specific to the version of your Exchange. This being noted, common steps to establish an SSL Certificate include:

  • Access the built-in SSL Certificate Wizard. This is found in Exchange Server 2010 and newer.
  • Once you’ve filled out the necessary information within the wizard, submit a certificate request to a Certificate Authority of your choosing.
  • After the request has been processed, install the newly issued certificate directly on the Exchange server.
  • Assign the newly installed SSL certificate on all applicable services within the Exchange server.

The Four Pillars of Web Application Monitoring

The services offered by Microsoft Exchange Server are among the most powerful and dynamic out of any business support environment. While many businesses utilize Microsoft Exchange as a means of streamlining internal and client communications, the effectiveness of this solution is only as effective as its performance and availability. Email downtime can severely alter the foundational levels of business operations. Therefore, continual Exchange Server monitoring is essential when it comes to addressing concerns. Comprehensive Exchange Server monitoring is dependent on the usage of this platform; however, there are several key metrics to provide consistent and effective monitoring.

The Four Pillars of Exchange Server Monitoring

While each of these factors contains numerous subcategories of monitoring, when it comes to implementing an effective solution, each of these pillars must be tended to:

  • Queue Expansion – If you find the queue of sending or receiving messages is growing at a faster rate than it shrinks, it may be a sign that a connector is malfunctioning; resulting in queue growth. Monitoring solutions must manage Exchange Server queues to detect this accumulation and identify the source of its growth.
  • Available Disk Space – The space available on disks is an essential component of a fully functioning experience. Exchange Server infrastructure is largely based on disk availability. Therefore, as your Exchange begins to grow, having ample disk space is vital. Monitoring solutions must monitor available space and alert administrators when storage limits are being approached.
  • CPU Usage Rates – Have you noticed high CPU usage rates from your Exchange Server? If so, it may indicate a lack of resources available to execute requested functions. This could prove detrimental to the fluidity of Exchange Server functionality and performance. A monitoring solution must alert administrators when CPU utilization becomes This allows necessary resource expansion to happen before performance issues affect end-users.
  • Virtual Memory Availability – This is one of the most important pillars, as low virtual memory can result in a complete lack of functionality on Exchange Servers. The inability to perform actions and events could prove detrimental to business operations. Exchange Server monitoring alerts administrators when virtual memory becomes dangerously low. Some services available to monitoring web applications offer more available memory, while others offer less available memory. You can compare some of these various services on sites like Web-Application-Monitoring and Honkiat.

While the aforementioned pillars are essential to the performance of Exchange Servers, the actions needed to accomplish these monitoring goals differ based upon your implementation and utilization methods. Regardless, Exchanges of any size must adopt a comprehensive monitoring solution as a proactive way to maintain full functionality.