Jeroen Dielissen,Developer & Integration Architect
The Eindhoven University of Technology is a technical university in the Netherlands. It focuses on engineering and technology. The 2019 QS World University Rankings place Eindhoven 99th in the world, 34th in Europe, and 3rd in the Netherlands.
The BizTalk environment at the Eindhoven University of Technology consists of two BizTalk 2016 FP3 servers and a SQL Server 2016 active-passive cluster. Our environment hosts 84 applications. Before we used BizTalk360 we made daily use of a remote desktop login in one of our BizTalk servers to use the BizTalk Administration console. Beside the Administration Console we also used the ESB Portal, BAM Portal, separate logins at SQL Server to look into Management Studio. Of course we regularly looked into the Event Viewer at the different machines. This was a daily routine.
For monitoring we used SCOM with the BizTalk Management Pack. SCOM generated so many alerts, that we missed the important ones.
After finishing a large project where we implemented a lot of interfaces from and to our new Student Information Systems the time to administer our environment increased. Also the number of ‘false’ alerts generated by SCOM increased. This was the moment we started to investigate for a new monitoring tool.
We were looking for a tool which provides monitoring and administration functionality. Furthermore, we didn’t want to use Remote Desktop to physically login at the servers. One important other monitoring feature for us is negative or inverted monitoring. We have a lot of File Receive Locations for which the default state is unenlisted. We only use these Receive Locations for testing purposes or troubleshooting.
To come to the right decision, we performed a comparison between BizTalk360 and SCOM. For us BizTalk360 was the big winner, because BizTalk360 helped us overcome our major frustrations.
Installation and configuration of BizTalk360 is pretty straightforward. This process is well documented by Kovai. We’ve installed BizTalk360 on a separate server. Configuring BizTalk360 to our environment and specific needs takes a little bit more time. But far less than it would have taken us configuring this in SCOM. We were fully up-and-running in one day.
One of the biggest advantages of BizTalk360 is that all of the provided functionality is combined in one portal. We don’t have to login to the different BizTalk or SQL Servers anymore. This is only needed occasionally. Our daily administration tasks can be performed from within the BizTalk360 Portal. Our daily tasks consist of watching the Suspended Items, looking into the ESB and BAM Portal.
We also configured Web Endpoint monitoring, which helped us noticing downtime at one of our service providers. Our service endpoint was online, and responded with a valid HTTP 200. But the payload of the response message contained an error message. When we used SCOM, we didn’t notice the downtime, BizTalk360 helped us out on this one because we are now able to check the payload of the response messages.
The BizTalk Health Monitor is executed every day by BizTalk360, we receive a daily report of the status from the last execution
-Jeroen Dielissen, Developer & Integration Architect
BizTalk360 saves us daily a fair amount of time administering our BizTalk environment and answering questions from the business. We use the BizTalk360 portal to consult BAM and the ESB portal in an user friendly interface instead of the early 2000 look-and-feel of the default out-of-the-box BizTalk portals.
After a deployment we enable the BizTalk360 monitoring. We configured the auto correct feature for all of our artifacts, which means it starts Orchestrations, Send Ports, Receive Locations and stops the artifacts which we don’t want to be running. A simple look at the Monitoring Dashboard shows us the current state of our applications and environment. We don’t need to worry anymore the appropriate artifacts are online, BizTalk360 does that for us.
“To come to the right decision, we performed a comparison between BizTalk360 and SCOM. For us BizTalk360 was the big winner, because BizTalk360 helped us overcome our major frustrations ”
Organisation: Eindhoven University, Netherlands