Sunday, December 11, 2011

Managing BizTalk Server 2010 is not a simple process.

BizTalk Server 2010 consists of Services and Tools which can be used together or independently

These Services and Tools include the following.

BizTalk 2010 Administration Role

The BizTalk Administration Role requires someone that has knowledge and experience with the Common Administration Tasks.  See the section, Roles and Responsibilities for a BizTalk Server Environment, for more details.

Common Administration Tasks

These tasks include both Deployment and Operations.
o  Installing BizTalk Server on a Single-Computer Environment


Operations include:
Managing BizTalk Server

Managing BizTalk Server includes the management of the BizTalk Server along with deploying and managing BizTalk Applications

The personal responsible for these tasks must be knowledgeable and experienced with the following:

Monitoring BizTalk Server
Monitoring your BizTalk Server applications and infrastructure on a regular basis and resolving any issues that you find helps to keep your BizTalk Server applications accessible to your users. The goal of monitoring is to minimize the amount of time that an exception goes undetected and, therefore, unresolved. Additionally, you can use monitoring to help detect situations that might cause an exception.
  Availability Monitoring
Availability monitoring answers the question "Is the in availability of a system or application resource preventing your BizTalk Server applications from running optimally?" These issues are almost exclusively system-level, such as availability of services and connections.

For example, if an adapter is failing because the Enterprise Single Sign-On service is stopped, this is an availability issue. If one of the servers assigned to a host has failed and your application is falling behind on processing messages, you have an availability issue.Likewise, if an application is stopped and is unable to process messages, you have an availability issue.
  Health Monitoring
Health monitoring helps you answer the question, "Are any of my applications or resources in bad health?" For example, are any of my applications or their constituent artifacts currently experiencing exception conditions? Or, are messages suspended because of invalid data in the message payload?
Performance Monitoring
Performance monitoring answers the question, "How efficiently is the system performing its work?"This kind of monitoring focuses primarily on the load on physical resources like databases and disks. For example, if the CPU utilization is consistently at 90 to 100 percent and a backlog of messages is forming, this is a performance issue at the computer level.
  BizTalk Server Monitoring
You can run the Monitor BizTalk Server SQL Agent job to identify any known issues in Management, Message Box, or DTAdatabases
Managing BizTalk Server Security
Maintaining a secure Microsoft BizTalk Server environment requires that you manage accounts, certificates, and passwords.
Implementing Enterprise Single Sign-On
Enterprise Single Sign-On(SSO) provides services to enable single sign-on to end users for enterprise application integration (EAI) solutions. The SSO system maps Microsoft Windows accounts to back-end credentials. SSO simplifies the management of user IDs and passwords, both for users and administrators. It enables users to access back-end systems and applications by logging on only once to the Windows network.
This section provides information about how to back up and restore BizTalk Server and the Microsoft BizTalk Server databases, how to archive and purge data from the BizTalk Tracking (BizTalkDTADb) database, and how to move some of the more commonly moved BizTalk Server databases. It provides an overview of the backup and restoration process, as well as recommendations for maintaining the BizTalk Tracking database. It provides information on manually purging data from the BizTalk MessageBox database in a test environment.

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Operations Guide

The Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Operations Guide is a key resource for the BizTalk 2010 Administrator.  Within the guide is the section for BizTalk Server Roles and Responsibilities.
The development, maintenance, and administration of a BizTalk Server environment encompass several different roles with distinct responsibilities. This topic describes these roles, the responsibilities associated with the roles, and tools that can be used to complete the tasks associated with each role.
Operations Checklist Tasks
BizTalk Server Administrator
Maintain environment uptime by monitoring BizTalk Server exceptions and resolving BizTalk Server specific issues.
Platform Modifications
·         Create new hosts
·         Add and configure adapters
·         Create new MessageBox databases
·         Add additional BizTalk servers as required for scale out
·         Create new BizTalk groups
Platform Monitoring
·         Monitor for BizTalk Server platform exceptions
·         Debug application errors.
·         Manage load across the BizTalk Server group.
BizTalk Server Administration console. The BizTalk Server Administration console is the primary management tool for BizTalk Server. It provides a graphical user interface for performing deployment operations for a BizTalk application. For example, you can start the Import, Installation, and Export Wizards as well as add and remove an application's artifacts and make other modifications to the application.
Scripting and programmability APIs. Use Microsoft Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) or the BizTalk Explorer Object Model to create and run scripts that automate administrative tasks.
The WMI object model exposes and simplifies administrative APIs. All administration APIs expose some form of the following operations on every object they manage:
·         Create
·         Enumerate
·         Modify
·         Delete
WMI exposes this functionality in a consistent manner for all WMI objects.
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM). Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) provides an observation-based tracking framework that can be used to capture operational or business process metrics. Metrics are captured in SQL Server where they can subsequently be reported on using a reporting mechanism that is most appropriate for the situation. BAM uses a Microsoft Office Excel workbook to provide business users with the ability to see a real-time comprehensive view of business processes.
Health and Activity Tracking. Use the Group Hub page in BizTalk Server Administration Console to track the health of your BizTalk Server implementation, identify bottlenecks, and monitor the BizTalk Server environment. You can view the technical details of a particular orchestration, pipeline, or message instance, as well as see the message flow of a particular message that enters the system. Business users can view, monitor, and query tracked data. In addition, users can create custom views and queries, and save them for reuse in other locations. Business analysts and end users can track the state of their business processes by viewing both live and archived data.
Release Management
Deployment and Updating BizTalk Applications
·         Deploy new applications into the BizTalk Server environment
·         Manage strong name keys

For more information about deploying and updating BizTalk applications, see
Managing Applications
BTSTask command-line tool. BTSTask enables you to perform many administrative tasks from the command line.
Operations Support
Support Change Management
·         Support new service solutions
·         Support new technologies
·         Support new systems
·         Support applications
·         Support hardware changes
·         Support configuration management
·         Support release management
Normal Operating Procedures Effective, efficient execution of day-to-day tasks including the following:
·         Security administration
·         System administration
·         Network administration
·         Service monitoring and control
·         Directory services administration
·         Storage management
·         Job scheduling
Support Procedures Timely resolution of problems and inquiries.
·         Service desk support
·         Incident management
·         Problem management
Environment Optimization
·         Cost management
·         Performance optimization
·         Service level management
·         Capacity management
·         Availability management
·         Workforce management
Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool  Use this tool for analyzing performance counter log files.
Microsoft BizTalk LoadGen 2007 Tool ( This is a load generation tool for simulating message transmission load on BizTalk Server. You can use it to run performance and stress tests against a BizTalk deployment for BizTalk Server versions 2004 and later.
 This is used to view orchestration tracking data for a specified period of time; helpful for determining where performance bottlenecks exist in orchestrations.
Use of this tool is not supported by Microsoft, and Microsoft makes no guarantees about the suitability of this programs. Use of this program is entirely at your own risk.
This tool can be used with BizTalk Server 2010 as well.
Application Monitoring
·         Support application exceptions that are not resolved by the BizTalk Server administrator.
·         Provide updates to source code for resolving issues.
New and Existing Application Development
Create new applications and update existing application functionality on the BizTalk Server platform.
Visual Studio 2010 Development platform used to create, modify, and debug BizTalk Server solution source code.
Useful for unit testing .NET code.
Debug View for Windows Tool for monitoring kernel-mode and Win32 debug output either locally or remotely.
Database Administrator
Database Management
·         Define appropriate database space allocation
·         Monitor database usage
·         Tune SQL Server
·         Set up backup and restore jobs for all SQL Server databases.
·         Ensure that maintenance scripts are run regularly for the Tracking and Orchestration Persistence databases.
·         Work with the trend analysis specialist to identify appropriate thresholds.
·         Complete standard SQL Server maintenance procedures.
SQL Server Profiler SQL Server Profiler can be used to capture Transact-SQL statements that are sent to SQL Server and the SQL Server result sets from these statements. Since BizTalk Server is tightly integrated with SQL Server, the analysis of a SQL Server Profile trace can be a useful tool for analyzing problems that may occur in BizTalk Server when reading from and writing to SQL Server databases. For information about how to use SQL Server Profiler, see Introducing SQL Server Profiler
SQL Server Management Studio SQL Server Management Studio can be used to execute SQL statements directly against SQL Server databases. This functionality may be useful for querying the BizTalk Server databases or for updating the BizTalk Server databases in certain scenarios. For more information about SQL Server Management Studio, see Using SQL Server Management Studio

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Performance Optimization Guide
Generally, the performance of a server is determined by the component that has the lowest performance—the bottleneck in the system. The key to improving performance is being able to identify bottlenecks, determine their cause, and apply the appropriate corrective action.
This guide provides guidance for optimizing performance, based upon hands-on experience of IT professionals who have worked extensively with BizTalk Server.Specifically, this guide includes four main sections:

Finding and Eliminating Bottlenecks: The Finding and Eliminating Bottlenecks section describes various types of performance bottlenecks as they relate to BizTalk Server solutions and information about how to resolve the bottlenecks.
Optimizing Performance: The Optimizing Performance section provides guidance for optimizing performance of a BizTalk Server solution. BizTalk Server performance is closely tied to performance of the platform upon which BizTalk Server is installed. This section provides recommendations for optimizing performance of both BizTalk Server and the BizTalk Server platform.
 Scaling a Production BizTalk Server Environment: The Scaling a Production BizTalk Server Environment section provides detailed results of BizTalk Server 2010 performance testing completed by the BizTalk product team. These tests focused on scalability and measured the impact of adding BizTalk Server 2010 computers, the impact of adding BizTalk Server MessageBox databases, and the impact of adding both BizTalk Server 2010computers and BizTalk Server 2010 MessageBox databases to a solution simultaneously.
    • When increasing the number of BizTalk Server computers in a BizTalk Server group, for these tests only one BizTalk Server Message Box database was configured for the BizTalk Server group. These tests focused solely on the impact of adding BizTalk Server computers to a BizTalk Servergroup.
    •   When increasing the number of BizTalk Server MessageBox databases used by the BizTalk Server group. These tests focused solely on the impact of adding BizTalk Server MessageBox databases to a BizTalk Server group.
    • When increasing the number of both BizTalk Server computers and BizTalk Server MessageBox databases used by the BizTalk Server group. These tests measured the impact of adding both adding BizTalk Server computers and BizTalk Server MessageBox databases to a BizTalk Server group.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Howard,

    Great article! I am a BizTalk admin myself. Have you seen my custom made monitoring tool? It really helps keeping on eye on the health of my system.

    Kind regards,