GSX Blog

Product Tips: Skype for Business DB Offline

Posted by cyril leroy on Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Skype for Business has quickly risen to become a leading enterprise communication tool. With its seamless integration of messaging, live presence, and Office 365 apps, it’s far more than just a redesigned version of the free Skype-for-consumer edition. In fact, it’s a completely reenvisioned platform with extensive capabilities to take your organization from simply “communicating” to collaborating full-force on business-critical matters.

If your organization uses Skype for Business, then you’re already well-aware of its advantages and how it directly impacts key, day-to-day operations that keep your business running smoothly. However, you may not be fully aware of certain IT pitfalls that can critically affect your ability to maintain an excellent quality of service.

Some issues, such as SQL database maintenance, not only disrupt Skype for Business but can be difficult to pinpoint. The source of the problem won’t be readily apparent, and it will take your IT team a lot of time and resources to troubleshoot the issue and then resolve it.

Usually, the SQL server is managed by a dedicated database team, and hosts a wide variety of databases for an organization. If maintenance is performed on the SQL server, Skype for Business Administrator has less control over it. There is the underlying Lync xds database (which is utilized by Skype for Business) which is an important point of information for Central Management Store information. Because this database hosts the central management store there can be consequences, this means that users will not be able to login to Skype for Business, and users who are already logged in will have limited functionality.

When this happens, the problem with trying to troubleshoot is that all SQL services will be up and running satisfactorily, and nothing abnormal will be detected until your users begin to complain. It will take time to relay the issue to your IT team, including the database team, and even longer for everyone to pinpoint the issue.

GSX Monitor & Analyzer for Skype for Business solves this problem by regularly checking database connections with synthetic testing. As soon as a test fails upon reaching the central management store, GSX sends an alert to the Skype for Business administrator with the exact error — e.g., that the xds database is unavailable and the user cannot authenticate against it as GSX as a user connects to the Database. The administrator can then quickly relay this information to the database team, who can verify the access rights for the database, or check to see if the database was taken offline during maintenance and has not yet been brought back online.

The monitoring and insight from GSX Monitor empowers IT administrators to act as proactively as possible, and pinpoint issues so that they can communicate with their database team directly instead of having them spend hours figure out the issue. In this scenario specifically, since SQL services are not directly affected, it can take longer to get down to the issue without a smart monitoring tool.

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Tags: Office365, sql, Office 365, Product tips, DB Offline, Skype for Business