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General Questions

  1. What Is Topper?
  2. What Platforms Does It Run On?
  3. What Email Systems Can It Monitor?
  4. Can Alarms Be Sent To Staff Automatically?
  5. What Windows Servers Can It Monitor?
  6. What Can Be Monitored On Those Servers?
  7. Is Agent Software Required on Other Servers?
  8. How Can I Get a 30-day Free Trial Version?

Email Probing

  1. What Problem is Topper Solving with Email Probing?
  2. How Does Topper Know Email Has Stopped Moving?
  3. How Many Kinds of Email Tests Are There?
  4. How are End To End & Loopback Tests Different?
  5. How Does a End To End Test Operate Within Topper?
  6. How Can Blackberry Delivery Be Monitored?

General Questions

  1. What Is Topper?   To Top

  2. Topper is a monitoring, alerting, and reporting software tool targeting email and Windows Server operations. A completely integrated series of applications that:

    Inform support staff of email slowdowns and breakdowns in electronic mail delivery. Alert on Windows processes and services that malfunction or exceed prescribed limits. Send alerts to staff in multiple ways: email, events logs, SNMP, and external programs. Issue real-time web charts and issues automated scheduled service level summary reports.



  3. What Platforms Does Topper Run On?   To Top

  4. Topper can be installed on any 32-bit or 64-bit version of: Windows XP, Version 7, as well as Windows 2000, 2003, and Windows 2008 Severs. Topper can also be run any one of these systems running as a guest Operating System under Vmware.



  5. What Email Systems Can It Monitor?   To Top

  6. Topper can monitor email delivery within and among Microsoft Exchange networks, Lotus Notes mail networks, SMTP, IMAP, and POP Servers.



  7. Can Alarms Be Sent To Support Staff Automatically?   To Top

  8. Yes. Alarms can be sent automatically via pagers, email, SNMP Traps, and also trigger any external program you would want Topper to execute.



  9. What Windows Servers Can It Monitor?   To Top

  10. Topper can monitor Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003, & 2008 Servers in any of the Professional, Standard, or Enterprise Editions in either the 32-bit or the 64-bit version.



  11. What Can Be Monitored On Those Servers?   To Top

  12. Topper can access any Performance Monitor Counter on these servers as well as the status of any Windows Service running on these machines. It can inform staff of Email Connector loss, runaway CPU times, and shrinking disk space, among others.



  13. Is Agent Software Required on Other Servers?   To Top

  14. No agent software is needed or installed on any remote server. The only computer being installed on is the one hosting the Topper software itself.



  15. How Can I Get a 30-day Free Trial Version?   To Top

  16. A 30-day free trial is offered that has all features enabled. We also provide unlimited domestic telephone and email support and assist you help trim Topper's mild learning curve and save you time. We only ask you to send us some basic information that is not shared or used in any way other than regarding your interest in Topper and our assisting. That is our guarantee and pledge to you.



Email Probing

  1. What Problem is Topper Solving with Email Probing?   To Top

  2. To inform operations personnel when email delivery has slowed down, is not moving, or has stopped completely. It acts as 24 by 7 robot with a stopwatch counting these periodic tests. It is the ideal user-level test because if Topper's emails for a specific server are delayed, then so are all the other emails for that segment of your network. It is unobtrusive and extremely low overhead and requires no agent software to be installed or maintained on the remote server.



  3. How Does Topper Know Email Has Stopped Moving?   To Top

  4. Topper acts as an automated user sending emails at consistent intervals and expects a rapid response to each email test sent. If the response does not come in, then Topper is counting the time. You set the expected email delivery service levle thresholds. If something has failed whether hardware, software, an email software upgrade, a communications provider, a DNS issue, etc? then email tests age and escalate in severity and operations staff is promptly notified.



  5. How Many Kinds of Email Tests Are There?   



  6. How are End To End & Loopback Tests Different?   To Top



  7. How Does a End To End Test Operate Within Topper?   To Top

  8. In a End To End test, Topper sends an email test from one account on one server to another account on another email server. Both email accounts on each server are dedicated accounts for Topper?s use only, (Exchange & Notes). Topper stays logged on to both accounts simultaneously. It sends from one and receives at the other. Topper has the ability to maintain a virtually unlimited number of such concurrent sessions with no noticeable overhead.

    Topper can also perform a Sendmail into an SMTP server as its send point. Such would not be a dedicated account but permission to do so would have to given to the computer where Toper is installed.



  9. How Can Blackberry Delivery Be Monitored?   

  10. Blackberry hand-held devices have some very nice facilities built into them. One is the  <CONFIRM>  directive. If entered withing the subject line then the Blackberry will initiate a confirm delivery back to the sender. If you have a BB device, try it yourself from your desk using Notes Mail or Outlook to yourself.

    Testing Blackberry delivery requires a dedicated device for one reason. It always has to be on and in range for successful reception and transmission.

    In Topper's menu go to: Configure > Email Probing
    Create an email test to the email address of the Blackberry device.

    Then locate this new test in the Monitor Pane, to the left of the Configure Pane. Expand its Advanced Settings. The expand BB Conf Deliv To Handheld and click on the option Set To: On/Enabled  You can then right click on the Item name above or the Email Test: address and send a test manually.

    Also whenever you end a Configure session, all tests are restarted as if Topper had just been started.
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