SharePoint Web Front-Ends (WFEs) can be quite challenging to monitor and troubleshoot. We often hear administrators scheduling IIS restarts, Application pool recycling or even server restart on a daily basis. Therefore it is really important to have monitoring in place so that you can tell when and what is affected in case of service disruption. Apart from parsing the SharePoint diagnosis logs manually or with tools (LogParser, PowerShell, …) it gets really tricky to check the status of individual SharePoint Web Front-Ends.
This is why in GSX Monitor we give you the ability to test every single Web Front-End of your SharePoint farm individually by leveraging the SharePoint Web Services. Using these services ensure complete end to end tests for the WFE, by going through these main steps:
- Http request to the IIS website
- Authentication of the user on the SharePoint site
- SharePoint object model handles the request
- Retrieve information from the SQL backend, ensuring that this particular WFE server is able to communicate with the SQL backend.
This really allows to test a complete user transaction and would report any issues encountered like if an IIS application hangs, any unresponsiveness, latency issues, SharePoint object model not responding or even backend connectivity issues.
The other advantage of these web services is that they were designed to be used for third party applications that would leverage SharePoint interactions. Therefore the error messages that are return are usually very user friendly, here is an example:
You can even trigger specific scripts to be executed based on the alert received therefore providing endless possibilities like restarting application pool or specific Windows Services.
How to configure Web Front-End monitoring in GSX Monitor?
In order to target specific Web Front-End server, it is required to configure Alternate Access Mapping (AAM) so that the server hostname can be used in the URL.
Once this is achieved it is possible to configure multiple Web Services on each WFE server and see the status and response time for each of these services:
So feel free to check out GSX Monitor & Analyzer for SharePoint, it supports all version of SharePoint on premise from 2007 to 2013. And not only you can monitor your WFE servers but also SharePoint application servers, SQL Server backend and what makes GSX Monitor a unique tool is the different SharePoint user scenarios that it can perform in order to know exactly the service that is delivered to your end users.
User scenarios include creating a Site, adding an item to a list, uploading a document, creating a meeting, performing a search, resolving a username or even consuming Excel services to read spreadsheet documents.