BizTalk Server in most cases is an important part of the infrastructure of organizations because it allows us to connect different systems within organizations but most important because in most scenarios BizTalk Server processes critical data of the organizations themselves. This means that any data that is lost or downtime of the server can have a significant impact on the business that it supports. Like any component or service that are critical inside organizations, it should be administered and monitored by technicians who have the knowledge and experience required, however, most system administrators are unfamiliar with this platform, which can hamper the proper functioning of the platform and as a result, the own organization.
The BizTalk Server infrastructure can and will vary from organization to organization, from a single server (standalone server) to a robust platform with BizTalk Server and SQL Server in a cluster environment providing high availability through server/failover clusters and load balancing, and availability through disaster recovery.
The figure below shows a graphical representation of the different layers of the BizTalk Server infrastructure that need to be actively monitored in order that BizTalk Server Administration Team can ensure maximum availability of the platform:
Failure or error events can occur on multiple servers or even in multiple locations, for example, event viewer, applications logs, and so on.
Due to the complexity in the infrastructure behind the BizTalk Server platform, is not very efficient and effective when an administrator must manually check each server or application by events that may have occurred. Ideally, the administration team should make use of all monitoring tools at their disposal, whether they are included with the product such as BizTalk Server Administrative console, Event Viewer, HAT or BAM. Whether they are other monitoring tools from Microsoft such as Microsoft System Center Operation Manager (SCOM) or whether they are third party monitoring solutions such as BizTalk360, in order to easily monitor all these events and thereby prevent the occurrence of failures taking preventive measures, diagnose or recover the fault.
These tools should be able to read events from all layers of the infrastructure and help the administration team to take preventive measures, notifying them when a particular incident is about to happen, for example, when the free space of a hard drive is below 10%. Furthermore, they should allow the automation of operations when a specific event occurs, for example, restart a service when the amount of memory used by it exceeds 200MB, thereby preventing incidents or failures, without requiring human intervention.
In this series of posts, I intend to demonstrate how the tool BizTalk360 can help administration teams to monitor BizTalk Server, provide support and automate operations, thereby preventing the occurrence of failures in the platform.
What is BizTalk360?
BizTalk360 (http://www.biztalk360.com/) is a web-based (RIA) designed primarily to perform monitoring and support for BizTalk Server environments (Production, Test, Development). It addresses some of the common problems customers face today like governance/auditing, fine-grained authentication, remote access and so on. It also makes life easy for people who support production BizTalk systems by providing several dashboards and greater visibility.
Currently, the fifth version of this tool is available for download, which shows steady growth over these three years. BizTalk360 it’s a product developed by Kovai Limited, based in London UK, but everyone knows this tool through its CTO Saravana Kumar, Microsoft BizTalk Server MVP since 2007 and a well-recognized member of the BizTalk community.