Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SharePoint 2010/2013 Health Checking and Monitoring

[Update Mar 2015: I have written another article on SharePoint Governance, published on my new blogsite www.mycloudview.net ]


I have lately tested another SharePoint health check tool SPDockit for SharePoint 2010/2013 (SharePoint Documentation Kit) for SharePoint 2007/2010/2013 and have to say it saved at least 2-3 days of my time on a consulting engagement, this tool is impressive and works better than the out of the box health check rules. In my job I often conduct SharePoint farm health-checks and  perform farm audits and honestly SPDocKit does help me immensely in collecting and analyzing SharePoint farm and site data. The idea itself is no rocket science, it is simply all about extracting almost every possible piece of information from your SP farm and then presenting them by means of an elegant and interactive dashboard interface. The same information displayed in the dashboard can also be generated and saved as reports in pdf and word formats.

The reports can be used as AS-Built documents, created with speed. The tool has its own set of health check rules that enables you to quickly perform healthcheck on your farm against the SharePoint best practices though in some cases you may find not all the rules and recommendation applicable to your environment. Nevertheless it does explanation or refers to best practices if you are not clear what you should do. Another feature that I love is that you can take a snapshot of your farm configuration/settings, save them in a file and then can compare them with other farms or with the same farm later using them as a baseline for comparison.

It is priced reasonably around $400-700 /farm or consultant. If you are working for a consulting company then I suggest buying licenses for consultants. For the clients/business farm based licensing would be a better option.

You can download the SPDocKit here and try it for 30 days : Download

(I was able to deliver my engagement by using the trial version, was fully functional with all information available through the dashboard options, the only limitation was the cut-down version of reports generated, nevertheless I used the screenshots of the dashboard screens to populate my reports, we are going to buy the full version for the future.)

B. SPFarmReport:
A free tool that I tested on a farm e where I had to do a quick sp2010 farm (with 5 servers) healthcheck, produced a very detailed and nicely formatted report, however I did find it missed some details, on content databases and application pools. Still a good tool that you can pass it on to admins to provide you with a detailed view of Farm configuration and settings.
C. Out of the Box:

So if you opt to go Out of the Box then you have to leverage SharePoint Health Anayzer.

- To configure the SharePoint health analyzer jobs
  1. And then ask the System Admin in prod to grab the SharePoint Health Analyzer reports from the central admin
D. SCOM - System Center Operations Manager

The SharePoint 2010 Products Management Pack (MP) is built to detect, diagnose, and alert on software and hardware incidents discovered by agents installed on SharePoint machines.
  1. Health monitoring of SharePoint Server 2010, Project Server 2010, Search Server 2010, and Office Web Apps
  2. Monitors Events and Services and alerts when service outages are detected
  3. Monitors Performance and warns users when SharePoint performance is at risk
  4. Forwards users to up-to-date TechNet knowledge articles
E. Custom Health-check rules

One more thing that can be done (looks beyond the scope of engagement but for future reference) is creating custom health check rules.

Probably you won’t create the rules, but prefer to wait till they appear on codeplex or as a separate product

F. FlyView For SharePoint - Helps you with SharePoint Site content structure health check

Also like to share this Site exploring tool FlyView that I created. It allows you to explore the information architecture of your entire site with ease, you can see and search the sub-sites, libraries, lists and documents with ease. This way you can check how healthy your site is from content structure perspective. It is a free tool that you can add to your Chrome browser in seconds and it works when you login to your SharePoint site. It is compatible with SharePoint Online, SharePoint 2013, 2010 and 2007. 

(Installation Video)

Download FlyView browser plugin for SharePoint from the Chrome Store 

Hope it would help