This is a common scenario in most organizations: end-users complaining of slow email performance. Sometimes all users experience it, or just a few people (maybe in a specific location, or just randomly). It could also be a home user connecting via VPN complaining that email Web access is slow. IT teams face different types of email performance issues, which arise due to a variety of reasons, fairly consistently.  At times, slow email is blamed on a slow network, even though the problem could very well be an application issue. So, where is the problem and who should attend to it – network admin or sysadmin? It could be:

  • A network issue that has nothing do to with email application.
  • The email server is experiencing a performance issue.
  • Some other IT infrastructure problem is affecting the email server.


Let us take  Microsoft® Exchange®, for example. Slow email performance does not always have to be associated with a root cause in the network, or the Exchange Server application. It could stem from any of the dependent IT components that support Exchange: the physical server, some OS processes, resource contention for the virtual machine running Exchange Server, or the storage array.

Even within the Exchange Server roles, it is difficult to know if it is a mailbox issue or a failed service in the CAS role issue. With so many possibilities out there, where do you start, and how can you fix the issue fast?

SolarWinds® AppStack™ dashboard and Quality of Experience (QoE) dashboard are helpful tools to quickly isolate the root cause of email performance issues.

  • AppStack is a combination of four SolarWinds products: SAM, WPM, VMan and SRM. An application dependency map presents the data in one view, which allows you to see how various infrastructure entities are connected to one another, from website transactions to applications, databases, physical and virtual servers and storage systems.
  • QoE dashboard is built into SolarWinds SAM. It gives you the ability to analyze network packets and measure network latency and application latency for specific application traffic types. This helps you isolate whether it is a network or an application issue.


The infographic below shows how IT teams can use the AppStack and QoE dashboards to determine the root cause behind slow emails and provide faster resolution.


Download the full infographic at the end of the blog.

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To see detailed performance metrics on the AppStack dashboard, simply drill down to the specific application or server node, virtual machine, or storage array/LUN for further analysis and troubleshooting.


  • AppStack is NOT a separate product. It’s available as a built-in dashboard for SAM, WPM, VMan, and SRM. You can benefit from AppStack even when you are using these products individually. But when integrated, the collective insight across all IT layers will simplify IT troubleshooting significantly. Learn more about AppStack »
  • QoE is available as part of SAM and NPM. There is no additional license needed for this. It simply requires installing network and server packet analysis sensors (which are available with SAM/NPM) on your network to scan traffic for specific application types. Learn more about QoE dashboard »