SharePoint Headaches ebook

January 2012

SHAREPOINT HEADACHES
GSX
SOLUTIONS

EBOOK

Project: Microsoft SharePoint Headach...
Content
Introduction .................................................................................................. 2	...
Introduction
Many organizations are experiencing an uncontrolled proliferation of SharePoint servers and
custom applicatio...
After setting up your SharePoint monitoring interfaces in GSX, you can then choose the web
services and scenarios that you...
The scenario tests involve multiples actions in order to see how various scenarios play out in
your environment.
For examp...
Headache 2: Anticipating capacity issues
Issue
Your SharePoint environment constantly evolves, as users upload documents, ...
Instantly, GSX will test the availability of the connection to your SQL server and you’ll be
alerted to any issues concern...
Figure 7 GSX Analyzer: Sharepoint Trend Graph

GSX will automatically send your trend at a defined date and time, in pdf o...
Headache3: Provide trusted data around the world
Issue
Many big companies have large SharePoint environments with multiple...
The crawling index could also timeout for several reasons. GSX Monitor will alert you to
threshold issues so you can take ...
Headache 4: Enhancing your environment
Issue
How can you know if an action will improve the user experience if you can’t m...
Under the Main view, you can see various LEDs regarding your SharePoint environment. The
first one shows you the real-time...
 

Headache 5: Resources constraints
Issue
Skilled SharePoint architects and administrators are scarce commodities. You ne...
It’s done! GSX will perform the testing regularly, automatically. GSX will display the statistics
in the statistics view f...
Headache 6: Managing user complaints

Issue
SharePoint	
  users	
  often	
  complain	
  that	
  the	
  service	
  is	
  sl...
 
Under	
  the	
  server	
  setting	
  tab,	
  you	
  can	
  choose	
  the	
  web	
  services	
  you	
  want	
  GSX	
  to	...
GSX Solutions
36 Boulevard Helvétique
1207 Genève
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 735 82 40
Fax: +41 22 735 82 45
sales@gsx.com

G...
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How to Cure SharePoint Headaches with GSX - Monitor, Measure, Manage - From Atidan

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How to Cure SharePoint Headaches with GSX - Monitor, Measure, Manage - From Atidan

  1. 1. SharePoint Headaches ebook January 2012 SHAREPOINT HEADACHES GSX SOLUTIONS EBOOK Project: Microsoft SharePoint Headaches Targeted Product: GSX Monitor & Analyzer [Adresse de la société] Page 0
  2. 2. Content Introduction .................................................................................................. 2   Headache 1: Load Testing your environment ........................................................... 2   Issue  .........................................................................................................................................................  2   The  GSX  cure  ............................................................................................................................................  2   Headache 2: Anticipating capacity issues ............................................................... 5   Issue  .........................................................................................................................................................  5   The  GSX  cure  ............................................................................................................................................  5   Headache3: Provide trusted data around the world ................................................... 8   Issue  .........................................................................................................................................................  8   The  GSX  cure  ............................................................................................................................................  8   Headache 4: Enhancing your environment ............................................................. 10   Issue  .......................................................................................................................................................  10   The  GSX  cure  ..........................................................................................................................................  10   Headache 5: Resources constraints...................................................................... 12   Issue  .......................................................................................................................................................  12   The  GSX  cure  ..........................................................................................................................................  12   Headache 6: Managing user complaints ................................................................. 14   Issue  .......................................................................................................................................................  14   The  GSX  cure  ..........................................................................................................................................  14   About GSX ................................................................................................... 15   GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 1
  3. 3. Introduction Many organizations are experiencing an uncontrolled proliferation of SharePoint servers and custom applications to serve diverse business lines, leading to inefficient use of IT resources and frequent calls to high-level engineers to resolve outages and other issues. They often find that the more mission-critical SharePoint becomes, the more performance degrades and administrative headaches escalate. GSX Monitor is engineered to cure six common SharePoint headaches, to keep your system running smoothly and bring administrative costs under control. Headache 1: Load Testing your environment Issue While deploying SharePoint within your company, you have to load-test your environment with multiple scenarios. Architects and administrators normally use a load-testing tool to see how their environment reacts with 2,000 users, 10,000 users, and so on. Analyzing the results, you’ll easily see that your System can support a certain amount of users or and actions before breaking down. But a status of the system won’t give you any insight on true performance experienced by users. For example, if no critical capacity is encountered, systems are deployed and typically accept the load, but does this actually mean the user experience is good? To be able to truly test your environment and predict its performance you need to measure the performance of the service delivered to your users before, during and after initial testing. The GSX cure By simulating actual end user activities and performance, GSX Monitor gives you the information you need to see how the number of sites and users affects your environment’s performance. Figure 1 GSX Monitor: Mainview GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 2
  4. 4. After setting up your SharePoint monitoring interfaces in GSX, you can then choose the web services and scenarios that you want to test on a regular basis. Figure 2 SharePoint Web Services Setting Web Services tests are true tests of end-to-end performance. Not only will they tell you which services are up or down, but also the time it takes as a user to perform the actions. For example, GSX will try to make a copy of a document, use a form, access document versioning, and access the webparts. The statistics view below shows you the response times for each of the tests you have selected. You can then follow performance during load testing to see how your environment actually delivers services to your users. Figure 3 List of SharePoint Web Services GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 3
  5. 5. The scenario tests involve multiples actions in order to see how various scenarios play out in your environment. For example, you can create a blog post, create a meeting, create a site collection, test the search services, test the Excel services, upload a document and List Item. Each test will show the performance that your environment delivers to your users during load testing. Together, the service and scenario tests allow you to see, adjust, and forecast actual enduser performance before and during your load tests. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 4
  6. 6. Headache 2: Anticipating capacity issues Issue Your SharePoint environment constantly evolves, as users upload documents, create sites, and update files. Storage and site administration become a nightmare when administrators do not have a real-time view of their SharePoint environment and SQL back-end. Specifically, they are unable to track trends and forecast the future. Moreover, in most companies the SQL team is separate from the SharePoint team. This division can really become a problem as SharePoint administrators desperately need to know what is going on database-wise to anticipate capacity issues or resolve performance problems on critical site collections. SharePoint administrators need to have access to a real-time view of trending statistics in order to predict the evolution of the SQL environment as it affects the performance of the indexer, crawl and SharePoint frontend servers. The GSX cure GSX connects to your SQL server and tests its availability, giving you real-time insight into the size of your environment. To configure that in GSX Monitor, you simply click the server setting tab, click on SQL, and then just enter the information for the SQL server (single or mirror). Figure 4 SharePoint SQL Settings GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 5
  7. 7. Instantly, GSX will test the availability of the connection to your SQL server and you’ll be alerted to any issues concerning email, popup, sound, snmp trap to SCOM, and so on. To verify the connection is a first step, but what you need is data, figures that describe the size of your environment. The SharePoint statistics view gives you all the real-time information you need to manage the size and evolution of your environment, including the number of site collections, the total size of sites, the number of documents, and the total size of documents. Figure 5 Content DB Information The size of site collections is generally larger than the total size of all documents -- you’ll also find valuable information on webparts, workflow configuration files, etc. Just below this you will see the content database names, number of site collections per database, the sizes of the sites, the number of documents and their size. Hence, database-by-database and site-by-site you have the ability to easily understand the storage needs for your SharePoint Infrastructure. Figure 6 SharePoint Sites Information for WSS_Content You can export all of these statistics to Excel, or consolidate all of the data in our GSX Analyzer tool, to create reports or to trend specific periods. The GSX Analyzer reporting section lets you to quickly trend the evolution of your SharePoint environment GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 6
  8. 8. Figure 7 GSX Analyzer: Sharepoint Trend Graph GSX will automatically send your trend at a defined date and time, in pdf or csv, with the graphs you select. With this you can reliably forecast emerging prevent capacity issues. In sum, GSX Monitor offers you a complete set of tools to spot emerging issues as your environment evolves. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 7
  9. 9. Headache3: Provide trusted data around the world Issue Many big companies have large SharePoint environments with multiple farms that require specific tools to replicate across the globe. The Data replication is managed by these tools but how beneficial is a replicated database that has not been crawled in a week and for which you find 40 percent rate of unsuccessful crawl elements? Replicated data must be trusted and indexed -- otherwise you are simply replicating errors. Providing accurate and trusted data is not only a question of crawling, it is also a question of the information attached to a document. For example, are you sure that the project manager will find the right version of an important document if versioning is not functioning as it should? The GSX cure GSX not only constantly checks the indexer, it alerts you on the last crawl and the percent of unsuccessful elements, but also checks the performance and the availability of the web services involved in the selection and the display of the documents. The Indexer Alerts allow you to set two different alert thresholds according to your needs. • The “Elapsed time” threshold alerts you if the last crawl hasn’t taken place in the specified time. If not, there could be an issue between the indexer and the SQL server. Figure 8 SharePoint Indexer Alerts • The “Unsuccessful crawl element” threshold alerts you to possible non-normalized documents or damaged data in the SQL database. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 8
  10. 10. The crawling index could also timeout for several reasons. GSX Monitor will alert you to threshold issues so you can take action before a problem impacts the users. Then, to ensure the accuracy of data, several webservices must be checked. GSX is not only checking the basic status of the service, but in real time GSX checks the service providing the response time, from a user perspective. Several web services settings help assure the accuracy of the data delivered by the SharePoint environment to the users; Figure 9 SharePoint Web Services settings Site Data: If it’s down, the search will be only able to find the site name and content, but not the metadata. The user then will experience difficulties in finding the sites and information they need. WB Alert: Without this function, an administrator cannot guarantee the integrity of lists of SharePoint documents. Administrators and users lose view and control over SharePoint libraries. Versions: If this web service is down, the user cannot access a previous version of a document, with the possible loss of critical information. Finally, GSX lets you check the Search Service itself. If the service is down, no one will be able to find anything in SharePoint. Thus, GSX offers you multiple ways to be sure that the data provided by SharePoint and your SQL environment is the best accurate data for your users. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 9
  11. 11. Headache 4: Enhancing your environment Issue How can you know if an action will improve the user experience if you can’t measure it? In order to measure the benefit of any change in their environment, administrators have to be able to measure the user experience before and after the change. For that, they desperately need data. The GSX cure You can perform several performance tests alone before, during and after the change, spending days and days, collecting data, or you can just let a tool doing that for you. GSX constantly tests your environment as a user, performing actions, using web services, checking the availability and the size of your SQL environment, and so on. When you make a change, or undertake a major project, be sure to start collecting data before you begin. GSX will inform you on the performance delivered to your users before and after any change that you’ve made in your environment. When you click the Performance Tab, for example, you will find a way to constantly measure the time it takes for a user to access any SharePoint site you define. GSX will try to connect to these sites exactly the same way a user would. Scan after scan, you can see the impact of your changes from a user perspective. Figure 10 SharePoint Performance Graph GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 10
  12. 12. Under the Main view, you can see various LEDs regarding your SharePoint environment. The first one shows you the real-time availability of your SharePoint frontend server from a user perspective. When you click the Server Setting tab, you can define how often you want to perform user simulation of your web services via scanning frequency and retry settings. Figure 11 GSX Monitor: SharePoint Server Settings Then you can select what types of web services you want to test. GSX will use them, as a user, and display in the SharePoint statistics view the time it takes a user to use these features. You will then be able to check the impact of any improvements to your environment, before and after the changes you’ve made, again, from a user perspective. Likewise, you can run various SharePoint scenarios from a user perspective, as previously described. You can also create trends on availability with GSX Analyzer reporting tool. Under the Trends tab, you can create automatic reports on availability, including the use of the web services, to see evolution over a defined period. You can configure and receive these reports automatically, in PDF and CSV, according to the schedule you define. Finally, if you have SLA’s or you want to track the performance of all your servers across several Key Performance Indicators, GSX analyzer offers you a single view for all your servers, comparing one with another to prioritize any potential actions. Figure 12 GSX Analyzer: Environment Health In sum, GSX gives you the tools you need to test your changes, and to easily see if your actions to improve user experience are really worth the money. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 11
  13. 13.   Headache 5: Resources constraints Issue Skilled SharePoint architects and administrators are scarce commodities. You need whatever experts you have to focus on user acceptance, SharePoint applications, business analysis, upgrades, and new technologies in order to improve your company’s ROI. Unfortunately, they often get bogged down by the routine tasks of monitoring and reporting. How GSX can free up the time of your SharePoint expert by automating monitoring and reporting of your SharePoint user experience and SQL environment. The GSX cure GSX is an out of the box solution that does not require any agent on your server. Just set it up on any VM or workstation, configure the servers and SQL databases with our wizard, and let it run. There are no scripts to write, and everything is configured for you. In the Main view, the first LED shows the availability of your SharePoint frontend servers and web services from a user perspective. The second LED shows the log scanning status, and last shows the availability of the SQL database. Figure 13 GSX Monitor : SharePoint Servers Mainview To configure the LEDs, you can just use the wizard or go directly to server settings. Then, click on the web services that you want to test, define the scanning frequency, retry and see where the alert is going. To check logs, just go to the log configuration and enter any string you want to look for. To check the disk space, just define your threshold. To check the performance of user scenarios, just click on those you want to perform. Finally, to check the availability, from a user perspective, of your critical sites, just enter their URL in the SharePoint performance section. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 12
  14. 14. It’s done! GSX will perform the testing regularly, automatically. GSX will display the statistics in the statistics view for you. You will have real time information on your systems and the size of your environment. This information is also available in GSX Analyzer to create automatic reports on the availability and size of your environment over a determined period. For example, to create a report forecasting the size of your environment, open GSX Analyzer and go to the Trend section. Create a new trend, select the statistics of the size of your environment, define the scheduling option, distribution option, and pdf customization. Then just click on the Forecasting box and click on Generate. Figure 14 GSX Analyzer: Customized Report It’s done. You will receive a customized report including your brand guidelines, showing the statistics and graphs you have defined. With GSX, anyone can monitor and report on your SharePoint environment, freeing your valuable experts to focus on value added tasks. GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 13
  15. 15. Headache 6: Managing user complaints Issue SharePoint  users  often  complain  that  the  service  is  slow,  that  it  doesn’t  work  right.     Sometimes  users  are  right,  even  when  you  think  they  are  wrong.  Why?   Because   users   access   SharePoint   from   the   outside,   not   from   inside   your   datacenter.     For  example,   when   it   takes   a   user   five   minutes  to  upload  a  document,   your  system   management   tool   may  still  tell  you  that  everything  is  fine.     Not   only   do   you   need   data   to   make   your   user   experience   better,   you   also   need   to   anticipate   their   complaints  and  work  on  problems  before  you  receive  a  call.     The GSX cure GSX  acts  as  a  user,  accessing  web Lotus Domino, Microsoft  services  and  critical  sites,  to  provide  you   with  response  times  from  a  user  perspective.     In  the  main  view,  the  first  LED  shows  a  user’s  ability  to  connect  to  the  SharePoint  server  and  use  web   services.   If   there   is   any   problem,   GSX   will   alert   you   based   on   your   profiles.   Hence,   you   will   be   able   to   take  action  usually  before  users  notice  that  there  is  a  problem.     Figure 15 SharePoint Alerts Configuration   GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 14
  16. 16.   Under  the  server  setting  tab,  you  can  choose  the  web  services  you  want  GSX  to  use.  Each  of  them  is  very   important  because  it  represents  the  common  SharePoint  features.  GSX  will  test  them  as  a  user,  so  you   can  see  how  long  it  takes  for  a  user  to  display  an  image,  access  versioning,  access  a  webpart,  use  a  form,   copy  a  document,  and  so  on.       In  testing  SharePoint  site  performance,  GSX  again  acts  as  a  user,  trying  to  access  your  critical  sites  and   giving  in  real  time  how  long  it  takes  to  access.   In  sum,  GSX  lets  you  constantly  track  performance  from  your  users’  point  of  view,  to  head  off  their   complaints,  and  justify  system  enhancements. About GSX GSX Solutions is the global leader in proactive, consolidated monitoring, analysis, and management of enterprise collaboration and messaging environments, including Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Blackberry Enterprise Server, Lotus Domino, as well as LDAP and SMTP ports, and any URL. Monitoring millions of mailboxes for over 600 global enterprises, GSX is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with R&D in Nice, France, and offices in the UK and the US. For more information, please visit www.gsx.com.             GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 15
  17. 17. GSX Solutions 36 Boulevard Helvétique 1207 Genève Switzerland Tel: +41 22 735 82 40 Fax: +41 22 735 82 45 sales@gsx.com GSX Headquarters Switzerland: +41.22.735.82.40 North America: +1.877.894.0961 / Europe: +33.4.93.81.17.98 16

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