If you've been following the Exchange Team blog you'd know that I released version 2.0 of PelNet recently.

I thought I’d share some info on my blog to cover some of the benefits in using this tool for any Exchange environment. 

PelNet v2.0 has been updated to optimize execution time in large environments and the new code will allow an administrator to test SMTP against a large list of transport servers to multiple smarthosts in a matter of minutes. 

In the Exchange Online Dedicated environment I’m able to validate transport on 1000’s of transport servers in matter of minutes. This increases the efficiency of the change team and incident response teams tremendously when dealing with send connector changes, smarthost changes and mail flow issues. This is amazing considering that most SMTP validation and/or troubleshooting still happens by using TelNet in the community.

The other new feature is the welcomed addition of TLS validation. The administrator has the ability to test TLS from all the transport servers to a specific smarthost (this can actually be any remote organization server, such as Exchange Online Protection in a hybrid scenario). PelNet will essentially try and find the TLS certificate assigned for SMTP and use that certificate for the encryption stream. The other cool thing about this is that an administrator has the ability to override the certificate logic by providing a thumbprint of a certificate to test prior to assigning the SMTP service.

With the new performance enhancements, PelNet could also be used to check SMTP mail flow daily if an administrator sets up some daily task. This way the administrator is being proactive in mitigating any mail flow issues.

PelNet can also be used in change management processes, such as pre- and post change validation. If a transport change occurs such as a new sendconnector, smarthost, MX change etc. PelNet can be used to test all these scenarios to ensure a successful change occurs prior to production switchover.

If you are starting to get excited about this, head over to the Exchange Team blog, read about and download the tool, and then go do some PelNetting!

Until next time,

Michael Hall
Service Engineer
Office 365: Exchange Online