GSX Blog

The Challenges of Maintaining a Scalable Multi-Tenant Infrastructure

Posted by Meryll Moreau on Thu, May 23, 2013

cloud-microsoft-exchangeMulti-tenancy has become a truly fundamental technology in the ever-expanding world of cloud computing. Revolutionizing the landscape of the IT industry, multi-tenancy is essential for maintaining a scalable infrastructure.

A hosting company’s Exchange infrastructure is often compounded of multiple Exchange organizations belonging to various sources.
But, there are some challenges when it comes to monitoring in a Multi-Tenant environment.

We have identified the 3 main challenges that IT professionals have to face:

High-Availability

It’s important to know how to instate built-in redundancy and store your resources in case of a failure. The Database Availability Group (DAG) is a central point of High Availability in Exchange 2010. Managing the DAG is critical to ensure High Availability.

If your system is at risk, you need to be alerted from the mailbox, mailbox database, and Database Availability Group levels. 

By receiving proactive alerts, administrators will identify bottlenecks by checking the service delivered with the Mailbox Role and Mailbox Databases to control their usage and prevent any capacity issues.

Service Delivery

When failures occur or when certain services generate abnormal loads, the service delivery can be interrupted. That is why monitoring the service delivery is critical to ensure that the service is properly delivered, as expected. Sometimes it is more complex on a messaging environment such as Exchange because of the Role architecture itself. Even with multiple role servers, which can save you costs on hardware, how can you ensure that because an Exchange VM is up with Client Access Server (CAS), Hub and Mailbox roles are there and that the service delivered by these three roles is also up? The uptime of the Exchange server has nothing to do with the ability for a mailbox role to be replicated. It also doesn't relate to the availability of the mailbox database, the potential for the Hub to proceed with the whole mail queue or the CAS to allow connections through different protocols you have configured.

Exchange is a collection of services provided by several applications, therefore the only way to measure its availability is to measure the one delivered by each of these “applications”.

To manage the service delivery, you need to measure the different services and prevent any of them from impacting the user experience.

Managing the Applications

In order to prevent any outages, you must monitor the applications and figure out which types of metrics should be tracked to manage your applications. 

Monitoring the High Availability, Service delivery and applications are all key for ensuring the health of you messaging environment.

In your day-to-day work, do you identify any other challenges that need to be taken into consideration when you are in a multi-tenant environment?

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Want to talk to our experts about your Exchange questions? Come visit our booth at TechEd North America and TechEd Europe and we'll be happy to help! If you would like to schedule a demonstration on site, or if you are not attending TechED, please let us know as we can set another time to present you the new version of GSX Monitor & Analyzer.



Tags: Microsoft Exchange, Cloud, client access server, multitenancy, CAS, Microsoft, TechED North America, TechED 2013, TechED Europe, DAG, microsoft server 2012, monitoring exchange, Exchange monitoring, High Availability, database availability group