BizTalk Health Monitor 2020

What If I told you that you don’t need BHM as a separate tool to monitor the health of BizTalk Server?

Who does not want to run a business with utmost safety and healthy?. Of course, everyone does. As a company, it is always mandatory to have a healthy environment to ensure that the efficiency of the business is steady and keeps on improving. When it comes to companies that use BizTalk Servers as an integration tool, there is always this question that raises.

Is my environment running safely?

Well, the answer to the question can be said only with the help of some data which should state that the environment is safe.

Here comes, the role of BizTalk Health Monitor. BizTalk Health Monitor is a separate tool that needs to be downloaded and installed on your server to do a health check of your environment. What if I told you that you don’t need BHM as a separate tool to monitor the health of the BizTalk Server?

How you can analyze, run and do many more in your BizTalk Server with the BHM configured in BizTalk360 is explained in this blog.

Let’s find out.

Key takeaways:

  1. Monitoring overall health of BizTalk Server
  2. Why a health check is needed?
  3. What is BizTalk Health Monitor?
  4. What can you do with BHM?
  5. Challenges in BizTalk Health Monitor
  6. Advantages of integrating BHM with BizTalk360
  7. Configure BHM in BizTalk360
  8. BizTalk Health check with BizTalk360

Monitoring Overall Health of BizTalk Server

Regularly Monitoring the BizTalk Server applications and infrastructure helps to minimize downtime and avoid any exceptional error.

Hence, the monitoring process can be split into three categories

  • Availability Monitoring

When unavailability of a system or application resource prevents the BizTalk Server applications to run correctly, it can be said an availability issue. For instance, the adapters failing as the application is stopped can be considered an availability issue.

  • Health Monitoring

When any of the applications or resources are in a bad health, they can be considered as health issues to the environment. For example, if any applications or their artifacts face any exception issue, then it can be considered as “health issue” of the environment.

  • Performance Monitoring

Performance monitoring defines how efficiently the system works as it defines the performance of the environment. Generally, if the CPU or disk utilization is somewhere around 90-100%, there occurs a performance issue. Hence it has to be monitored to have the performance at optimum level.

Why a health check is much needed?

It is vital for a BizTalk administrator to have complete and detailed knowledge of a BizTalk group at any time, and detect any potential problems in advance. Normally, the health check is done for the following reasons.

  • To identify symptoms and potential problems before it affects the production environment
  • Review critical processes to achieve minimum downtime
  • Identify any warnings that might be affecting the users
  • To understand best practices for security

What is BizTalk Health Monitor?

BizTalk Health Monitor is a tool that helps to monitor the health of the BizTalk Server environment. Generally, what BHM does is that it does a quick scan of the BizTalk Management database and creates a report that contains the health status of the database. It has to be downloaded and installed on the server separately.

The latest version 5 of BizTalk Health Monitor has been out and it can be downloaded from here:

What you can do with BHM?

  • It is possible to monitor multiple BizTalk Environments in a single window. For instance, if there are production and acceptance environments in an organization, both can be monitored with the help of BHM.
  • Moreover, it is possible to generate and view the analyzed reports from the server where BHM is installed.
  • There is a Dashboard view in the BizTalk Health Monitor through which the overall health of BizTalk Environments can be monitored.
  • Also, the BHM has the option to schedule the time or date on which the health check has to be done.
  • If the health check report needs to be sent via email, it can be configured from the BHM profile settings.
  • By settings up the corresponding SMTP values, the email address can be configured to receive the email.
  • BizTalk provides a large number of performance counters to monitor such as, the state of the BizTalk databases, the BizTalk queues, the messaging and XLANG performances, the throttling states, the adapters performances, etc. BHM directly integrates with the performance monitor tool to provide a quick and easy way to monitor these counters.
  • Reports generated from the BHM can be managed as well.

Challenges in BizTalk Health Monitor

From the above explanation, it is understood that the BizTalk Health Monitor is essential to analyze the health of the BizTalk Servers in the environment. However, there are some challenges for the BizTalk administrators in using the BizTalk Health Monitor. Let’s find out the challenges below.

  • The main complexity of using the BizTalk Health monitor is that only system administrators can access BHM. If the access has to be shared with a normal user who is not an administrator, it is not possible in BHM, unfortunately.
  • Another important challenge is that the administrator has to be provided with BizTalk database access in order to run BHM.
  • In case if the database access is given to a user, just to run BHM, there is a possibility that they might make any changes in the database or add or remove any tables in the databases unnecessarily. This action can affect the performance of the SQL server and BizTalk Server.
  • It is not possible to schedule regular health check for alternative days or the days that we desire to choose or monthly basis.
  • It has a lack of tracking. Hence, it is not possible to check whether the schedule is created or not.

Advantages of integrating BHM with BizTalk360

BizTalk360

When there is a problem, there is always a solution. Here comes, the BizTalk360, a monitoring tool that can be useful to run the BHM and monitor the health of the environment by overcoming the above-mentioned challenges.

  • BizTalk360 has the ability to assign any specific user to access BizTalk Health Monitor. It is not needed to give the users access to the BizTalk database other than the service account running the BizTalk360 Monitoring service.
  • It provides a safe and secured way to use BHM without interrupting the process.
  • There is an option to set an alarm in BizTalk360 to check if the critical errors and non-critical errors exceed a certain limit. If they do, the users will be notified via an alert and the necessary action can be taken here in order to avoid unnecessary downtime.
  • Notifications from BizTalk360 could be sent through various channels like SMS, Email, and other widely used external notifications channels like Slack, ServiceNow, Webhook, Pager duty, and Microsoft Teams.
  • All actions are recorded, and the admin can track each and every activity performed in BizTalk360

Configure BHM in BizTalk360

Once BHM is installed in the server where the BizTalk360 monitoring service is running, the user needs to configure the integration with BizTalk360.

It is possible to do all the operational activities of BHM in BizTalk360 like configuring BHM, scheduling BHM runs, and also run BHM directly from BizTalk360 when required and view the reports.

The interesting point here is that BizTalk360 not only has the possibility to do all the operation activities but also provides an option to do a health check for multiple BHM profiles at any day, any time as per the requirement.

This feature will be really helpful for companies who want to monitor their BizTalk Server by creating different profiles.

The configuration of BHM with BizTalk360 is very simple as it has only a few steps to do.

Please find the link to the document for configuring BHM with BizTalk360 here:

BHM Installation

Here’s the screenshot for choosing multiple profiles to run a health check in BizTalk360:

run a health check

Please check the screenshot for the multiple profile configuration.

BizTalk health monitor 2020

It is possible to create alarms and map them to the BizTalk Health monitor in order to track the critical and non-critical errors.

As BizTalk360 provides the capability to create an alarm to monitor the BizTalk Health Monitor data, it will be very helpful in reducing manual intervention. The steps to create alarms can be found here:

BHM Mapping

Once the alarms are created, it can be mapped to the BizTalk Health Monitor profiles. An alarm can be mapped to as many profiles as the organization would like to have. The steps for mapping the alarm to BHM can be found here:

BizTalk Health check with BizTalk360

Let’s consider a scenario where a BizTalk health check is done with the help of BizTalk360.

Case 1: A logistics company called “ABC Pvt Ltd” deals with delivering valuables to customers. For instance, they face trouble when their applications are running but a server is down, even though there are enough servers assigned to the host to take over the load

Case 2: An automobile company that faces issues with their messages getting suspended because of invalid data in the message payload.

Both the above cases clearly represent the health issues of the environment.

In this case, the administrator of the company does a BizTalk Health Monitor run the check from the BizTalk360 Administration section. Unlike the vague reports generated from the BizTalk Health Monitor tool, the BizTalk360 provides the window where it is possible to check the critical errors, non-critical errors, summary reports, header information, and key indicators separately. From the reports, the admin can find out the errors that cause the unhealthy condition.

The necessary action can be taken in order to fix the critical and non-critical errors in order to improve the health of the environment.

Also, the critical errors and non-critical errors in the reports are shown in categories wise and there is an option to check the query report of each error with its corresponding message.

BizTalk health monitor 2020

Apart from generating the report and downloading it, they can create an alarm to monitor the no of critical and non-critical errors that occurred in the BHM.

As critical and non-critical errors are monitored in a simple way, the necessary action can be taken by looking at the data to improve the health of the artifacts. This is how BizTalk360 has been helpful for companies to improve their BizTalk Server health.

Here, you’ll find several BizTalk monitoring tools for administering and monitoring your BizTalk Server environment that still exist in the current market.

Get started with the new release of BizTalk360 v10.3 today!

With administrating and monitoring capabilities of BizTalk360 for BHM, there are also more than 80+ features in BizTalk360 to support the BizTalk Server in administrating, monitoring, and analyzing the artifacts to improve the performance of the BizTalk Server.

As the new version of BizTalk360 v10.3 is out, feel free to make use of the free trial to explore the product.

What are you waiting for?