Managed Availability and Server Health

Every second on every Exchange 2013 server, Managed Availability polls and analyzes hundreds of health metrics.  If something is found to be wrong, most of the time it will be fixed automatically.  But of course there will always be issues that Managed Availability won’t be able to fix on its own.  In those cases, Managed Availability will escalate the issue to an administrator by means of event logging, and perhaps alerting if System Center Operations Manager is used in tandem with Exchange 2013. When an administrator needs to get involved and investigate the issue, they can begin by using the Get-HealthReport and Get-ServerHealth cmdlets.

Server Health Summary

Start with Get-HealthReport to find out the status of every Health Set on the server:

Get-HealthReport –Identity <ServerName>

This will result in the following output (truncated for brevity):

Server State HealthSet AlertValue LastTransitionTime MonitorCount
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Server1 NotApplicable AD Healthy 5/21/2013 12:23 14
Server1 NotApplicable ECP Unhealthy 5/26/2013 15:40 2
Server1 NotApplicable EventAssistants Healthy 5/29/2013 17:51 40
Server1 NotApplicable Monitoring Healthy 5/29/2013 17:21 9

In the above example, you can see that that the ECP (Exchange Control Panel) Health Set is Unhealthy. And based on the value for MonitorCount, you can also see that the ECP Health Set relies on two Monitors. Let's find out if both of those Monitors are Unhealthy.

Monitor Health

The next step would be to use Get-ServerHealth to determine which of the ECP Health Set Monitors are in an unhealthy state.

Get-ServerHealth –Identity <ServerName> –HealthSet ECP

This results in the following output:

Server State Name TargetResource HealthSetName AlertValue ServerComponent
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
Server1 NotApplicable EacSelfTestMonitor   ECP Unhealthy None
Server1 NotApplicable EacDeepTestMonitor   ECP Unhealthy None

 

As you can see above, both Monitors are Unhealthy.  As an aside, if you pipe the above command to Format-List, you can get even more information about these Monitors.

Troubleshooting Monitors

Most Monitors are one of these four types:

 

 

The EacSelfTestMonitor Probes along the "1" path, while the EacDeepTestMonitor Probes along the "4" path. Since both are unhealthy, it indicates that the problem lies on the Mailbox server in either the protocol stack or the store. It could also be a problem with a dependency, such as Active Directory, which is common when multiple Health Sets are unhealthy. In this case, the Troubleshooting ECP Health Set topic would be the best resource to help diagnose and resolve this issue.

Abram Jackson

Program Manager, Exchange Server

Google Chrome: Add a Send Link Button to the Bookmarks Bar | a Tech-Recipes Tutorial

Google Chrome: Add a Send Link Button to the Bookmarks Bar

Most browsers provide you with a way to easily email a link to the page you are currently viewing. When clicked, your default email application will produce a new message with the link in the body and the page title in the Subject line and the To field left blank for you to address. This functionality is missing from Chrome, but can easily added by creating a button on the Bookmarks bar.


1. Open Chrome.

2. Right-click the Bookmarks bar and select Add Page.

3. In the Name textbox, input the word Send Link.

4. In the URL textbox, input the following:
javascript:location.href='mailto:?SUBJECT='+document.title+'&BODY='+escape(location.href);

5. Make sure that the Bookmarks bar folder is selected and click OK.

or just drag this link to your Bookmarks bar: Send Link.

Log Parser Studio 2.0 is now available

Since the initial release of Log Parser Studio (LPS) there have been over 30,000 downloads and thousands of customers use the tool on a daily basis. In Exchange support many of our engineers use the tool to solve real world issues every day and in turn share with our customers, empowering them to solve the same issues themselves moving forward. LPS is still an active work in progress; based on both engineer and customer feedback many improvements have been made with multiple features added during the last year. Below is a short list of new features:

Improved import/export functionality

For those who create their own queries this is a real time-saver. We can now import from multiple XML files simultaneously only choosing the queries we wish to import from multiple query libraries or XML files.

Search Query Results

The existing feature allowing searching of queries in the library is now context aware meaning if you have a completed query in the query window, the search option searches that query. If you are in the library it searches the library and so on. This allows drilling down into existing query results without having to run a new query if all you want to do is narrow down existing result sets.

Input/Output Format Support

All LP 2.2 Input and Output formats contain preliminary support in LPS. Each format has its own property window containing all known LP 2.2 settings which can be modified to your liking.

Exchange Extensible Logging Support

Custom parser support was added for most all Exchange logs. These are covered by the EEL and EELX log formats included in LPS which cover Exchange logs from Exchange 2003 through Exchange 2013.

Query Logging

I can't tell you how many times myself or another engineer spent lots of time creating the perfect query for a particular issue we were troubleshooting, forgetting to save the query in the heat of the moment and losing all that work. No longer! We now have the capability to log every query that is executed to a text file (Query.log). What makes this so valuable is if you ran it, you can retrieve it.

Queries

There are now over 170 queries in the library including new sample queries for Exchange 2013.

image

image

PowerShell Export

You can now export any query as a standalone PowerShell script. The only requirement of course is that Log Parser 2.2 is installed on the machine you run it on but LPS is not required. There are some limitations but you can essentially use LPS as a query editor/test bed for PowerShell scripts that run Log Parser queries for you!

image

Query Cancellation

The ability to submit a request to cancel a running query has been added which will allow you to cancel a running query in many cases.

Keyboard Shortcuts

There are now 23 Keyboard shortcuts. Be sure to check these out as they will save you lots of time. To display the short cuts use CTRL+K or Help > Keyboard Shortcuts.

There are literally hundreds of improvements and features; far too many to list here so be sure and check out our blog series with existing and upcoming tutorials, deep dives and more. If you are installing LPS for the first time you'll surely want to review the getting started series:

If you are already familiar with LPS and are installing this latest version, you'll want to check out the upgrade blog post here:

Additional LPS articles can be found here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/karywa/

LPS doesn't require an install so just extract to the folder of your choice and run LPS.EXE. If you have the previous version of LPS and you have added your own custom queries to the library, be sure to export those queries as a backup before running the newest version. See the "Upgrading to LPS V2" blog post above when upgrading.

Kary Wall

Exchange Server 2013 Architecture Poster PDF Download Available

ExchangePoster_Final_052313

We just released a downloadable PDF version of the Exchange Server 2013 Architecture Poster. This is the poster that we handed out at the Office booth and in various Exchange 2013 breakout sessions last week at TechEd North America 2013 in New Orleans, LA.  We’ll also be handing out printed copies of the poster at TechEd Europe 2013 in Madrid, Spain in a couple of weeks.

While we cannot provide printed copies for everyone, you can download the PDF file and take it to your favorite printer/copy center, and have them print it for you.  It is designed to be printed in 36” x 24” format.

This poster highlights the significantly updated and modernized architecture in Exchange 2013, and highlights the new technologies in Exchange 2013, such as Managed Availability, the new storage and high availability features, and integration with SharePoint and Lync.  In addition, it illustrates the new transport architecture in Exchange 2013.

A zoom.it version of the poster can be found at http://zoom.it/BuoF.

We welcome your feedback on the poster.  If you have any, please feel free to send it to  eapf@microsoft.com.

Scott Schnoll

VMworld Blog: VMworld 2013 Content Catalog is Live!

As pressures mount to maximize IT agility and increase profitability, small and midsized organizations like yours face unique challenges. Limited budgets, minimal resources, increased service demands and reliability are top of mind for IT professionals like you.

At VMworld 2013, you’ll gain the tools you need to transform conventional legacy IT into seamless, agile solutions that can dramatically simplify your operations.

Check out VMworld’s 2013 Content Catalog today. The Content Catalog is your guide to VMworld 2013 information. Find detailed descriptions of designated tracks, sessions, speaker information and Hands-on Labs, and customize your own event experience.

Register now and learn how to Defy Convention by extending the benefits of virtualization to all data center services.

Together, we can evolve from the ordinary and leave the pitfalls of legacy computing behind.  This is VMworld 2013 – 10 years of Defying Convention.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Free e-learning course – VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator Fundamentals

This free e-learning course covers how to install vCenter Infrastructure Navigator as well as how to use its main features. You can use vCenter Infrastructure Navigator to leverage the application dependency context to proactively manage the virtual infrastructure.

With intelligent operations groups and vCenter Operations Manager integration users are enabled to quickly identify in-context performance and capacity issues, as well as optimization opportunities, as they relate to grouped objects either by business, or operational relevance.

The course consists of three modules:

  • Overview discusses the major vCenter Infrastructure Navigator functions, its architecture, resource requirements, and installation considerations.
  • Installing and Configuring vCenter Infrastructure Navigator discusses how to install and configure vCenter Infrastructure Navigator. 
  • Using vCenter Infrastructure Navigator covers how to use the vCenter Infrastructure Navigator vApp and specially define a custom service.

After completing the course, you should be able to: 

  • Recognize the main functions of vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 
  • Describe the vCenter Operations Manager 5.0 vApp resource requirements and installation considerations. 
  • Diagram the vCenter Infrastructure Navigator virtual appliance architecture. 
  • Describe the vCenter Infrastructure Navigator virtual appliance resource requirements. 
  • List the vCenter Infrastructure Navigator virtual appliance installation considerations. 
  • List the tasks for deploying the vCenter Infrastructure Navigator virtual appliance. 
  • Discuss how to apply a license for vCenter Infrastructure Navigator. 
  • List the initial configuration tasks. 
  • Demonstrate how to use vCenter Infrastructure Navigator. 
  • Discuss the steps for defining a custom service.

Register for free: VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator Fundamentals [V2.X]

VMware vSphere Blog: vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide goes mobile!

Hi,

In order to get a wide audience for this topic, I’ve cross posted this post from the VMware Security and Compliance Blog. Enjoy!

It has been a couple of weeks since the release of the vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide. Right around that time there was a call for updated content for the VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal app Well, I really wanted to see the updated Hardening Guide available on that  platform. That presented a challenge. For most customers, the format of releasing it as an Excel spreadsheet meets their need but have you looked at a spreadsheet on an iPad? Not a pretty sight.

So, using Microsoft Word’s Mail Merge capability I whipped up a proof of concept and showed it to a couple of folks. When your boss says “That’s awesome!” you know you’re on the right track. After some updating, we came out with a decent template and I’m happy to say that it looks great on my old iPad.

Here’s some examples:

First, a picture of the Mobile Knowledge Portal app itself. You can see a list of all the Hardening Guide content.

Now the Introduction Page that explains what the Hardening Guide contains

Finally, here’s an example of Hardening Guide data reformatted for a tablet. This is useful for browsing through all the guidelines.

ESXi-Config-NTP guideline

If you don’t have the VMKP, get it now for iPad and Android! Here’s some more info about the app and where to get it.

Get it for iPad on iTunes
Get it for Android tablets at Google Play

The VMKP is designed to provide a simple way for VMware customers to view technical collateral around the Datacenter & Cloud Infrastructure and Infrastructure & Operations Management products.
VMKP 2.0 adds the following enhancements over the original version
- Android and iPad support
- Ability to rate collateral
- Ability to provide feedback to VMware on pieces of collateral
- Integration with Facebook and Twitter to let others know what you have been reading on the VMKP
- Mechanism to request additional collateral items

I hope you find this useful. If you have feedback, please send it on!

Thanks,

mike