I have an email archiving application on a Windows 2003 server that requires a lot more manual intervention than I prefer. As the application moves the mail messages throughout it’s various directory queues, sometimes it experiences an event that causes processing to halt. This results in a particular directory filling up until an administrator manually clears out the queues. The last time this happened we had 75,000 files, 10GB worth of messages we had to remove and recover by hand.
This server is only monitored by SolarWinds, which has the ability to monitor a volume, by not a particular directory. In the past the only time we knew there was a problem was when the volume filled up with backlogged messages.
I decided to implement a system that would periodically poll the queue directory and would send email notifications that the queue was empty, or that files were backlogged. Because of our strict change control procedures I am unable to load any freeware monitoring solutions, so I needed to create my own via scripts. Luckily V-Mailer
, a freeware SMTP batch mailer is already approved for usage on our internal network, so I was able to utilize this software.
The script shown below, chksize.cmd, utilizes the built in DIR command to determine if the server’s e:\msw\internet\pending directory is empty.
REM delete existing mailarch1file.txt file
if exist mailarch1file.txt del mailarch1file.txt
REM determine if files are queued using dir and output results to mailarch1file.txt
e:\msw\internet\pending /A-D /B mailarch1file.txt
REM If mailarch1file.txt is empty (EQU 0), files are not queued
For %%R in (mailarch1file.txt) do if %%~zR EQU 0 goto nofiles
REM delete existing results.txt file if exist results.txt del results.txt
REM combine message file mailarch1fail.txt with results of mailarch1file.txt into results.txt
copy /B mailarch1fail.txt + mailarch1file.txt results.txt
REM email notification that files are queued in directory e:\msw\internet\pending
REM notification to technical support using vmailer.exe that mailarch1 may be failing
vmailer.exe results.txt 172.17.61.83 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
REM email notification no files are queued in directory
REM notification to technical support using vmailer.exe that mailarch1 is okay
vmailer.exe mailarch1isok.txt 172.17.61.83 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
REM exit script
If the DIR command’s output file mailarch1file.txt is empty, a notification text file mailarchisok.txt is emailed to myself that states the server is okay.
If the output file is not empty, the results of mailarch1file.txt is concatenated with a text file mailarchfail.txt that states the server may be failing. Because V-Mailer does not really handle attachments, I have to combine the results text file with the notification text file into results.txt, which is an ugly but effective method.
Here is my mailarch1fail.txt file, which is pre-formatted for use with V-Mailer
Subject: mailarch1 may be failing
mailarch1 DOES have messages queued in the E:\MSW\Internet\PENDING directory
Here is my mailarch1isok.txt file, which is pre-formatted for use with V-Mailer
Subject: mailarch1 is okay
mailarch1 DOES NOT have messages queued in the E:\MSW\Internet\PENDING directory
Finally, I used the Windows schtasks command line utiliy to run c:\chksize.cmd daily at 4pm. The task, named chksize4pm runs as as the email@example.com user with a password of 3rv1c3.
This is a single command that may have wrapped in your browser.
schtasks /create /S \\mailarch1 /U firstname.lastname@example.org /P $3rv1c3 /SC Daily /TN chksize4pm /TR c:\chksize.cmd /ST 16:00