BizTalk360 a monitoring and support tool for BizTalk Server environments (Part 4)

Posted: December 27, 2012  |  Categories: Administration BizTalk Tools

Monitoring and Alert Notification capabilities

BizTalk360 allows us to monitor all kinds of resources associated with the different BizTalk Server infrastructure layers in which we can highlight:

Services and Applications

Allows us to monitor HTTP address or external Web services codes for known errors (e.g. 200, 202, etc.).

BizTalk360 Services and Applications

We can monitor the expected state (Started, Stopped, Enlisted, Un-enlisted, Enabled or Disabled) of orchestrations, send ports or receive locations.

BizTalk360 Services and Applications

BizTalk360 also allow us to monitor processes. Process monitoring is designed to help customers tackle common scenarios, without any custom development, for example:

  • We expect to receive or send a certain amount of messages to or from a given environment. If this rule does not carry out, then there should be an implication in the business and someone needs to be notified.
  • Your trading partner sends you some files via FTP every day. If you receive the file, everything works smoothly, but what happens if there is a problem on your partner end (ex: some firewall patch) and you didn’t receive any messages from them for a couple of days.
  • You may want to keep an eye on the sales threshold, for ex: you expect to receive a certain volume of messages in your system every business day from your trading partner(s).
BizTalk360 Services and Applications

Automatic monitoring of failures or violations, which allows us to control how these are reported to us, for example:

  • If it is an intermittent problem? If so wait 10 minutes before sending alerts;
  • Send only 5 alerts instead of 100 in the next 4 hours;
  • If someone fixes the problem, we can also configure the system to notify us.

We can define these notifications to be sent via email or SMS.

BizTalk360 Services and Applications

BizTalk Server Platform

BizTalk360 allows us to monitor the state of the Host Instances, SQL Jobs or NT Services. For each of them, we can also define the state that is expected, this point, for example, is extremely useful to monitoring SQL job that comes with BizTalk since it is not supposed to be all active (MessageBox_Message_Cleanup_BizTalkMsgBoxDb must be deactivated and shall be activated by the job MessageBox_Message_ManageRefCountLog_BizTalkMsgBoxDb).

BizTalk360 BizTalk Server Platform

SQL Server and in particular “MessageBox” database are the heart of the BizTalk Server platform and it’s for this reason that Microsoft SQL Server usually comes as a “black box” when it comes to BizTalk Server, is something that we know exists, but we shouldn’t play around! BizTalk Server brings included a series of SQL jobs to perform its entire management: backups, cleaning and so on, that ensure the perfect functioning of the platform. In reality, and contrary to what many DBA use and do, the only way to ensure a full backup and enabling its trusted restoration is using these SQL Jobs and not other processes usually created for this functionality.

To ensure that all these activities, especially the backups are working properly, the BizTalk administration team or DBA needs to periodically monitor these Jobs. BizTalk360 help us solve all these challenges by providing mechanisms for monitoring and notifications:

BizTalk360 BizTalk Server Platform

As well a “BizTalk Backup and Disaster Recovery” view panel that displays all the details in a simpler/graphical way.

BizTalk360 BizTalk Server Platform

BizTalk360 also gives us the ability to monitor the Service Instances status, allowing, for example, to define different levels of warning and/or error for the number of services instances with a specific state (Suspended, Active, Scheduled, etc) in applications. If the services instances count crosses the threshold a notification will be sent.

BizTalk360 BizTalk Server Platform

Operation System

The ability to monitor the usage of CPU or memory consumption, allowing us to configure alert levels of error and/or warning on the amount of free memory or CPU consumption. For example, send a notification if the free memory falls below the values set for a period of 30 minutes or if the consumption of the CPU is maintained above of the values defined during a period of time.

BizTalk360 Operation System

And also the ability to monitoring event logs, allowing us to be able to configure various rules based on your requirements to different notifications, for example:

  • Trigger notification if the number of errors associated with BizTalk occurs more than 10 times in the last 30 minutes;
  • You can configure if there are 10 MSI installation events in the last 30 minutes then trigger a notification.
  • Or whenever a host instance is started/stopped so many times in the last 60 mins
BizTalk360 Operation System

Server Hardware

BizTalk360 Server Hardware

Ability to monitor hard drives, allowing once again sending notifications if the free space on the disks reaches the defined values.

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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