According to a recent Gartner report called “Hype Cycle for Unified Communications and Collaborations (UCC)”, the separate communication technologies at the heart of UCC suites and solutions are steadily progressing towards maturity. A major development to notice is the way that enterprises are embracing emerging collaboration tools in a very significant way: Basic Unified Communications (UC) are now including Collaboration Solutions (UCC).
This is exactly what we observed from our customers, as most SharePoint projects are no longer in the "project phase". The use of SharePoint is now central in large organizations and monitoring the availability of the services is becoming a "Must Have" for any IT expert.
The needs of SharePoint Administrators are still focused on how to administrate the tool and manage users, but the demand is moving away from administration tools and towards real service monitoring. Now the market is becoming more and more mature, which explains the growing need for usage statistics from a user perspective.
A lot of solutions are available on the market and many people find it hard to say which one is best for forecasting from an end customer's standpoint. SharePoint Data Proliferation usually increases dramatically over time and results in rapid growth for administrative demands, regardless of a company’s profile. Security and integrity requirements also increase with time including: permissions and profile management, versioning, search, and the indexer.
SharePoint collaboration services have to constantly be running and performing well...Would it be acceptable to say that your SharePoint service is available if it takes a user five minutes to upload a 10 KB document?
Unfortunately, most traditional SharePoint monitoring tools only give a system view of servers and services rather than a true view of the user experience. Additionally, management and control over an entire environment often requires several tools that are limited in monitoring and reporting capabilities.
Below I have listed the benchmarks (non-exhaustive) of tools available on the market:
- SCOM for SharePoint: SCOM 2012 has extended the monitoring capabilities of SharePoint monitoring, now including detailed monitoring on SharePoint Webpages (SCOM can check the details of how long it takes for each part of the page to be downloaded). It also includes basic Application Performance Management features that allow you to check the performance of SharePoint Applications.
- IDERA: SharePoint Diagnostic Monitor, the Idera solution, is a WMI counter collection tool that allows the user to graph the WMI counters. This tool provides you with SQL statistics as well as graph WMI counters, but it does not perform anything to test the SharePoint Platform.
- AvePoint: DocAve Report Center is a reporting tool. This solution is really complete as it includes backup, migration and auditing capabilities. The monitoring tool provides you with metrics from a server perspective, such as CPU / RAM, and checks the SharePoint site availability.
- Enow: Foresite collects very useful statistics on the SQL. It also manages services and the SharePoint site by providing metrics on the status of a SQL DB, the size of the DB, etc.
- GSX Monitor and Analyzer: This solution proactively checks the key services users need to access particular SharePoint servers. It monitors and reports on the SharePoint services, sites, servers (including SQL) and farms that have performance or availability bottlenecks, so Administrators can take action before major business impacts have occurred.
What makes GSX different?
- Tests SharePoint as a user at multiple levels: Site, Server, Farm
- Performs scenarios to alert on end user performance issues
- Allows people to report the availability of the service delivered by the SharePoint environment at the site, web service, server and farm levels
Improve your performance, enhance user and business experiences, boost user adoption with constant tests of your environment as a user and check the results of your efforts to adjust resources and demands. This is what really matters and it's exactly what GSX Monitor and Analyzer for SharePoint can provide for you.