At the end of calendar year 2003, we on the Exchange Server team started noticing three important CritSit trends for Exchange Server:
It was frustrating to see that a simple change in configuration could have such a dramatic effect on the critical nature of an electronic messaging environment, and we weren't happy to see similar CritSits across customers. What we needed was a tool that programmatically analyzed Exchange servers and flagged any issues that were known to cause performance, scalability, and availability problems.
In January 2004, I sent an e-mail to Jon Avner, one of the lead developers on the Exchange team, with an idea for such a tool. It just so happened that Jon had been thinking along similar lines, and so, in a matter of days, we fleshed out the specification and functionality of the tool over e-mail. Then, over one weekend, Jon hammered out what was to be the first version of the Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool, or what we lovingly call the ExBPA tool.
You can find the whole stroy here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996037.aspx
By the way, if you are running Exchange 2003, you can download the latest Exchange Best Practice Analyzer: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=dbab201f-4bee-4943-ac22-e2ddbd258df3&displaylang=en
For those customer running Exchange 2007, it is packaged and installed at the same time.