Cisco Email Security Appliance

ESA FAQ: How can I debug how a message is processed by the ESA?

Document ID: 118102

Updated: Jul 29, 2014

Contributed by Jerry Orona and Robert Sherwin, Cisco TAC Engineers.



This document describes using the Trace tool in order to debug how a message is processed through the Email Security Appliance (ESA).

How can I debug how a message is processed by the ESA?

If you have ever wondered how the messages are processed and interpreted trough the ESA, or you are having a specific issue with a message not processing as expected, you can use System Administration > Trace from the GUI, or trace in the CLI, to debug the flow of messages through the system by emulating sending a test message.  Trace can be a powerful troubleshooting or debugging tool, especially if you have combined many of the advanced features available on the ESA.

Trace emulates a message as being accepted by a listener and prints a summary of features that would have been "triggered" or affected by the current configuration of the system (including uncommitted changes).

Note: The test message is not actually sent.

After you have entered the values, click Start Trace.

A summary of all features configured on the system affecting the message is printed.

You can upload message bodies from your local file system. (In the CLI, you can test with message bodies you have uploaded to the /configuration directory.)

After the summary is printed, you are prompted to view the resulting message and re-run the test message again. If you enter another test message, the Trace page and the trace command uses any previous values from the information you entered.

NoteThe sections of configuration tested by the trace command listed are performed in order. This can be extremely helpful in understanding how the configuration of one feature affects another. For example, a recipient address transformed by the domain map feature will affect the address as it is evaluated by the recipient access table (RAT). A recipient that is affected by the RAT will affect the address as it is evaluated by alias table, and so on.

Tip: See the online help from your appliance GUI for full, detailed information.  First, click System Administration > Trace to visit the Trace tool, and then select Help and Support > Online Help from the upper right hand corner of the GUI.

Related Information

Updated: Jul 29, 2014
Document ID: 118102