In this article we look at the concept of managed availability in detail and see how health sets come into the picture.
As a mailbox server, MS Exchange would want all its users to have a hassle free mailing experience. Many of the earlier Exchange editions made use of an external application to make sure that all components are working properly and that user operations would be successfully carried out. However the more recent editions of MS Exchange do not have any such requirement, and instead come with an in-built functionality to scan all internal components responsible for efficient working of the application. This feature is the Managed Availability, present in the 2013 and subsequent editions of MS Exchange. This provides built-in features for monitoring and recovery actions.
This can also be called Active Monitoring or Active Local Monitoring. It can broadly be described as an integration of the recovery and monitoring techniques built in the high availability platform of MS Exchange. The Managed Availability feature has been created to recover from a problem right when it is spotted or discovered by the system. This feature unlike the previous ones, will not attempt to find the root cause of the problem. It is more focused on addressing problems in the key areas of the application, which are:
- AVAILABILITY – Are users able to access the service?
- LATENCY – What kind of experience are the users having?
- ERRORS – Can the users successfully accomplish their tasks.
The health view available in Managed Availability consist of Internal and External health view. The internal health view makes use of health sets. Managed Availability makes use of probes, monitors and responders for monitoring all components of Exchange 2013. A collection of monitors, probes and responders used for a single component are referred to as a Health Set. The health sets determines the health of each component as healthy or unhealthy.
External View in Managed Availability consist of Health Groups, which is exposed to the external applications used for monitoring Exchange components. The four main types of health groups in Exchange are as follows:
- CUSTOMER TOUCH POINTS – These include the components affecting real time interactions taking place between users, like protocols or information store.
- SERVICE COMPONENTS – This includes components which do not have any real time or direct interactions, like MS Exchange Mailbox Replication Service.
- SERVER COMPONENTS – This includes the physical components of a server, like memory, disk space and networking.
- DEPENDENCY AVAILABILITY – Ability of the server to access necessary dependencies, like DNS or Active Directory.
The role health groups in keeping an Ms Exchange Server is rather critical and it can also help you reduce the need to perform ost recovery operations.
This part of Managed Availability provides an administrator, that can be used for performing multiple important tasks. It can configure aspects of managed availability monitors, probes and responders. Fine tune few thresholds typically used by managed availability. Overrides can enable emergency actions during unexpected events which require different configuration. When applied to a single server, it is called Server Override. When applied to a group of servers, it is called Global Override. The configuration of Server Override is stored in Windows Registry, on server where override is applied. The configuration of Global Override is stored in Active Directory
Van Sutton is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair Outlook email and bkf recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com
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