Mail Queue Sizes

Mail Queue Sizes

When someone asks me, What’s the size of the mail queue?, my response is going to be the number of email in the queue. And when you think about it, that makes sense. In geek jargon, a queue is defined as a FIFO-organized sequence of items, as data, messages, jobs, or the like, waiting for action. It’s similar to a number of people standing in line. If someone asks the size of the line, you’ll naturally respond with a numeric response. Something along the lines of Oh, probably 15 to 20 people. You would not respond with an estimation of how much those people collectively weigh, or how much physical space those people are taking up. What’s the size of the line? About 30 feet. In my mind, that answer (while being technically correct at some level) is non-responsive.

I have a script that counts the number of email in the Microsoft Exchange 2003 queue. Well, that’s what it does now that I’ve modified it. I’d been counting obj.Size because, in my mind, that seemed the appropriate attribute. However, the response of over 39,000,000 alarmed me. I began digging in the queue, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with my system. And along the way I discovered several things which needed tweaking. I found many accounts which needed to be greylisted. And Monday morning, when the script reported approximately 9,000,000, I thought I was on to something. I’d at least done something right.

39,000,000 again this morning. So I started digging again. But this time, I focused on the script. And found the .MessageCount attribute and immediately knew where I’d missed the boat. .Size is the byte representation of the queue (or something similar). .MessageCount is the number of messages in the queue.

267 email in the queue. I told BossMan that I’d fixed the problem and left for home. Hey … I did fix the problem.