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Granikos Technology Blog

Thomas Stensitzki | MVP
Thomas Stensitzki | MVP

MVP LogoThomas Stensitzki is a principal technology consultant focusing on the Microsoft messaging and collaboration technologies and the owner of Granikos GmbH & Co. KG.

He was awarded as MVP for Office Apps & Services in 2018.

He holds Master certifications as Microsoft Certified Solutions Master Messaging and as Microsoft Certified Master for Exchange Server 2010. This makes him a subject matter expert for any messaging topic related to Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Online, Office 365 and Hybrid configurations.

Follow Thomas on: Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter

My sessions: https://sessionize.com/thomas-stensitzki

Personal blog: http://justcantgetenough.granikos.eu
Personal blog (legacy): http://www.sf-tools.net
Personal website: http://www.stensitzki.de
Contact Thomas at thomas@mcsmemail.de

 

Das Exchange Blog Cumulative Update (CU1014) fasst interessante Themen rund um Exchange Server und Office 365 (Exchange Online) des Monats Oktober 2014 zusammen.

Exchange Server

Office 365

Lync

Allgemeine Themen

Replay

Gerne unterstützten wir Sie bei der Planung und Durchführung Ihrer Exchange Server Installation. Sie denken über eine Migration zu Office 365 nach? Wir beraten Sie umfassend über die Möglichkeiten der Office 365 Hosting Plattform. Nehmen Sie mit uns Kontakt auf: info@granikos.eu 

 

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Migration and consolidation projects in the IT field face technical challenges individual to each infrastructure. Internal IT projects can be executed following well established organizational processes and requirements.

Projects related to M&A programs face additonal and very unique requirements and constraints. These contraints tend to be agile and require to work outside of the well established processes valid for internal projects. Especially the constraints provided by the M&A process itself might require immediate adjustments or major changes.

Our real-world experiences from global M&A IT consolidations can help you to lead your M&A program to success. Whether it is an internal infrastructure consolidation handling get-well activities in preparation for a takeover or merging of global IT landscapes in the context of a corporate takeover, our professional program team will assist you from establishing the technical design to project planning, execution and monitoring.

Some of our experiences have been summarized in a PowerPoint slidedeck. The scenario shows

  • Internal consolidation of a global IT infrastructure
    • Active Directory landscape which included more than 20 Active Directory domains and more than 7,000 accounts
    • Exchange landscape which included more five different Exchange organizations (partially hosted at an external provider) in preparation of an Office 365 Migration

  • Merging of two global IT infrastructures as part of a global M&A program
    • Migration of all user accounts to a new single Active Directory domain
    • Migration of more than 13,000 Exchange mailboxes to Office 365
    • Launch of a new single email Domain across seven Exchange organizations
    • Migration of regional file server data to central data centers
    • Rollout of a network infrastructure to each acquired regional Office, including new VPN Solutions
    • Rollout of new client hardware for all employees in the aquired enterprise
    • Rollout of a global data backup solution, including cloud storage
    • Consolidation of regional service desks into a single global service desk team

The following pictures demonstrate the situation pre merger:

 Picture Active Directory landscape 

Picture Exchange Server landscape

Picture Office 365 Migration 

 

We are keen to share our experiences to help you to bring your migration activites to a success. Ask for a workshop today: info@granikos.eu

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IT Migrationen und Konsolidierungen haben ihre ganz eigenen technischen Herausforderungen. Bei internen Projekten gibt es betriebliche Anforderungen, die den Rahmen solcher Projekte durch etablierte Prozesse abstecken.

Im Rahmen einer Unternehmensübernahme kommen zusätzliche Anforderungen und Zwänge hinzu, die die Planung und Ausführung, im direkten Vergleich mit rein internen Projekten, verschärfen.

Unsere Erfahrungen aus globalen IT Konsolidierungen in M&A Situationen, können Ihnen helfen ein solches Programm erfolgreich auszuführen. Ob es sich um eine interne Konsolidierung zur Vorbereitung einer Übernahme oder um das Zusammenführen im Rahmen der Unternehmensübernahme selber handelt, unser kompetentes Programm-Team unterstützt Sie von der technischen Planung bis zur Ausführung und Projektüberwachung.

Wir haben unsere Erfahrungen in einer Präsentation zusammengefasst, die folgendes Szenario beschreibt:

  • Interne globale Konsolidierung von
    • mehr als 20 Active Directory Domänen mit insgesamt 7.000 Benutzerkonten
    • fünf Exchange Organisationen und Vorbereitung zur Office 365 Migration
  • Globale IT Konsolidierung im Rahmen eines M&A mit
    • Migration aller Benutzerkonten in ein neues Active Directory
    • Migration von mehr als 13.000 Exchange Postfächern nach Office 365
    • Einführung einer einheitlichen E-Mail Domäne über sieben Exchange Organisationen
    • Migration aller Dateiserver Daten in zentrale Rechenzentren
    • Implementierung neuer Netzwerk-Infrastruktur in allen übernommenen Standorten
    • Implementierung einer zentralisierten globalen Lösung zur Datensicherung

Die nachfolgenden Bilder demonstrieren die Situationen vor der Migration:

 Bild Active Directory Umgebung 

Bild Exchange Server Umgebung

Bild Anbindung Office 365 

Haben wir Ihr Interesse geweckt? Gerne teilen wir unsere Erfahrungen im Rahmen eines Workshops, um Ihrer Migration zum Erfolg zu verhelfen. Kontaktieren Sie uns unter info@granikos.eu.

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Die Granikos führt eine Umfrage zum Thema Anti-Virus Lösungen für Exchange Server durch. Ziel der Umfrage ist es, eine Übersicht der eingesetzten Exchange Versionen und der Anti-Virus Lösungen zu bekommen.

Die Ergebnisse werden nach Beendigung der Umfrage auf unserer Webseite veröffentlicht.

Um an der anonymen Umfrage teilzunehmen, klicken Sie bitte auf folgenden Link: http://bit.ly/AVSurvey2014 


Gerne unterstützten wir Sie bei der Planung und Durchführung Ihrer Exchange Server Installation. Sie denken über eine Migration zu Office 365 nach? Wir beraten Sie umfassend über die Möglichkeiten der Office 365 Hosting Plattform. Nehmen Sie mit uns Kontakt auf: info@granikos.eu

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System Monitoring vs. Application Monitoring

When it comes to monitoring application, administrators often disagree with system administrators on what to monitor and which thresholds to configure. By nature system administrators focus on system-related counters and objects to observe. They do not care about application related monitoring as those information's are out of the scope of their daily work. Vice versa, the same is true for application administrators.

Therefore there is no and will never be a single monitoring solution to combine different interests in the information. On the other hand, the business is highly interested in implementing an individual monitoring solution to reduce the overall licensing cost (priority 1), reduce the number of servers required to host monitoring solutions (priority 2) and to eliminate the need for technical training (priority 3).

System monitoring and application monitoring systems sometimes share an intersecting set of “things” they can monitor. The fact is that both monitoring approaches have different procedures on how to control.

The following diagram illustrates the system monitoring approach, where a probe connects to a target and queries data using a dedicated protocol supported by the target (e.g., SNMP, WMI, SSH, etc.).

Schema PRTG System Monitoring

The solution illustrated uses PRTG, which is a network monitoring solution that supports all standard protocols for monitoring. You can enhance the monitoring capabilities with individual scripts, programs, and libraries. You can find a link to PRTG at the end of this post.

In comparison to system monitoring the application monitoring approach looks very different, as the following figure shows:

Schematic Overview ENow Application Monitoring

 

Application monitoring relies on the existence of agents installed locally on the servers hosting the applications. This approach provides the ability to monitor from an application perspective. The agent itself performs checks depended on the application running on the same server. For example, the agent checks that DNS name resolution works using the configured DNS servers on the server. If DNS resolution does not work, the agent responds with an error to central management even when the DNS server itself is reachable by the system monitoring probe.

In the current IT landscape where messaging and collaboration solutions provide business functionality at a large scale and are set up in high-availability configurations, the monitoring of such implementations from an application perspective is crucial. In a world where “always on” is the business goal for a mobile workforce, downtime of messaging and collaboration systems is an issue.

Application Monitoring Solution

 

The ENow Management Suite supports your monitoring efforts for:

  • Active Directory
  • Exchange Server
  • Exchange Online
  • Lync Server
  • Blackberry Enterprise Server
  • SharePoint Server
  • SQL Server

Mailscape is the part of the ENow Management Suite which helps you to monitor the messaging infrastructure components like Exchange Server, Blackberry Enterprise Server, and SMTP relay servers.

Mailscape 365 is part of the ENow Management Suite which monitors your Exchange Online and Hybrid Exchange deployment inclusive of required hybrid components like AD FS and DirSync.

Compass is the part of the ENow Management Suite which monitors domain controllers and Active Directory specific topics.

ForeSite is the part of the ENow Management Suite which monitors your SharePoint farms and the related SQL database servers.

Besides monitoring the vitals of the application components and the infrastructure requirements (network, AD, etc.), the solution provides an extensive reporting functionality. The default set of reports fits most reporting needs, but you can set up individual reports as well. A significant feature is the ability to provide reports to different groups of stakeholders.

Monitoring servers should not be a time-consuming task for an application administrator. Therefore the interface of the ENow Management Suite is quite handsome, as it displays all statuses in a dashboard. As long as all conditions are green, the application administrator can focus on other work. When using all parts of the ENow Management Suite, you act within one single dashboard, but each part utilizes it’s own security groups to access the dashboard.

How does a SharePoint administrator work with ForeSite?

The following screenshot shows the ForeSite dashboard:

ForeSite One-View Dashboard

If the dashboard uses a traffic light approach to signal good, warning, and error states for each component monitored. This makes it easy to focus on the section of the application infrastructure, where an element is not in a healthy state. It cannot be any more intuitive.

By just clicking on the signaling rectangle, you dig deeper to the next level of information:

ForeSite One-View Dashboard - Timer Job Error

It seems as if there is something wrong with a SharePoint timer job. But what is going on?

ForeSite One-View Dashboard - Timer Job Error - Level 2

Ok, it is not the SharePoint timer service itself. It is just one of the timer jobs itself.

ForeSite One-View Dashboard - Timer Job Error - Level 3

The Application Addressed Refresh Job is offline for 3.4 days. That is valuable information, and the SharePoint administrator knows where to start to solve this issue.

This is a basic example of how an application monitoring solution can help to identify the error.

The reporting functionality of ForeSite helps to gather a lot of different data from a SharePoint farm. Those reports can be executed manually or be sent automatically by email repeatedly. The report's overview displays a list of different reports which are available by default:

ForeSite - Professional SharePoint Reporting

With the proactive monitoring of critical SharePoint services, like Site Availability, Timer Jobs, Search, and Index, and content databases, ForeSite helps the application administrator to focus on daily work. The alerting functionality helps to reduce the response time in the case of an error and therefore helps to reduce the overall business impact to a minimum.

Conclusion

The classic system monitoring solution is the interface of the administrative personnel responsible for the IT infrastructure itself. The application monitoring solution is the primary interface for application administrators and runs on top of the IT infrastructure. Even when some components (disk, memory, CPU, …) are measured by both solutions.

Besides monitoring of different vital aspects of the application, an application monitoring solution provides the ability for application specific reports. Those reports and even the dashboard itself can be made available to different groups of stakeholders in the company using Windows credentials.

An application monitoring and reporting solution is a valuable addition to classic system monitoring.

What are your thoughts on system and application monitoring? Leave a comment.

Get your free 21-day trial of the ENow Management Suite today: http://www.granikos.eu/en/Products/ENowManagementSuite 

Need more professional consulting on Exchange Server, Office 365, or Exchange configurations? Do not hesitate to contact us by email: info@granikos.eu

Links 

 

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