GSX Blog

Correctly Assess your Messaging Infrastructure

Posted by Meryll Moreau on Wed, Dec 04, 2013

Screen Shot 2013 12 04 at 11.52.51 AMAn Infrastructure Assessment is one of the most critical aspects of managing the health of your messaging and collaboration environment.

Exchange customers often need to consider having a tool that can provide them with this information prior to beginning any new projects. Here are some examples of when you should consider putting an assessment tool in place:

  • Migrating to a new version of Exchange
  • Migrating to a Hybrid or cloud delivery service
  • Starting a massive project on Infrastructure optimization

When beginning an assessment, it's important to not add anything on the Exchange, SharePoint, BlackBerry or IBM servers to make sure that you do not overload them.

Environment Autodiscovery

A tool can automatically use the server to inquire about all the other servers, discover how they are organized, detect how many servers are in the CAS Array or the DAG, see how many SQL servers are attached to the SharePoint environment, observe how many Front-end or application servers exist, etc.

You will no longer need to interview anyone and spend time trying to understand the architecture because the entire environment will be perfectly drawn out and easy to understand.

Assessment of Server Usage and Performance

This is what you are interested in having valuable informations on how your environment is used and how does it delivered the expected service.

For Exchange:

  • Mail Routing performance across the infrastructure and to the Internet
  • Mobile performance synchronization
  • Connection to Mailboxes through any protocol
  • Exchange auto-discovery service performance
  • MAPI connectivity performance
  • Exchange server access performance

For SharePoint:

  • Meeting creation performance
  • Downloads and uploads of documents
  • Blog posts and new listed items performance
  • Webparts, Form, versioning, etc. access performance
  • SharePoint site and SQL connection

Graphs will be produced automatically and statistics will be available right away in the reporting tool.

Automatic Assessment of System Performance

Offering more than just performing scenarios on the Messaging and Collaboration environments, GSX retrieves system information through WMI counters like:

  • Version
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Disk space
  • Number of users / connections

You will be able to cross information on specific applications, key performance indicators and system indicators to fully understand the global architecture.

Automatic Assessment of Usage in the Environment

The last point of my assessment is about collecting statistics on how the system and applications are used.

Collecting WMI and SQL via PowerShell is information to understand how the environment is used, what is used the most, which server of the CAS Array supports the most loads, which Database is larger than others, which disk is always pretty full, which Web Front-end is used the most, etc.

Knowing more about your messaging infrastructure will allow you to have useful performance and usage statistics. With this information, you can see historical trends, perform better forecasting and identify bottlenecks.

For more information on Infrastructure Assessments, please click here.



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