On-Demand Support Services and Troubleshooting

On-Demand services give IT companies the ability to constantly be in contact with their end-customers and assist them when necessary, all at a very low cost. By doing this, they can become the main person dealing with their customer's messaging and collaboration projects.

These services can be done remotely or directly on site, depending on the customer's requirements.

GSX's Specific Approach

GSX Monitor & Analyzer is an agentless solution that never impacts the messaging servers more than a single user would.

In 15 minutes, you can have GSX Monitor & Analyzer automatically discover an Exchange Organization or SharePoint Farm, tell you how it is organized, explain how the high availability is working and begin collecting performance indicators on every critical part of the environment.

Exchange Organization

SharePoint Farm

You will have a precise view on what is not working well, underperforming or creating a poor user experience. This will make it easier to decide what actions need to be taken to enhance the platform.

The design of our product makes collecting performance, availability and usage statistics simple within the first few minutes of deploying the tool. You don’t need to run any scripts to discover the problem, the tool does everything for you. It lets you point out any necessary changes that need to be done to help your customers.

The customer can let the program run for a few days to validate that the problem has been fixed. This will provide them with valuable reports on the new availability and performance within their environment.

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GSX makes the service faster and more reliable by providing evidence on why your services were the best possible solution to solve the problem.

A Solution designed to provide Support on Multiple Environments

GSX has been specifically designed for two purposes:

  • Remote deployment on any environment: it's agentless and simple to install
  • The tool acts as user on each environment by testing the specific services that the applications should deliver. This provides the client with  availability, performance and usage statistics.

A Solution designed to conduct Test Cases

Test Case for Exchange

You customer calls you because they cannot access their Mailboxes through a mobile device. This problem happens from time to time, and it is a huge issue for a company’s sales.

You must take control of one of their VM’s, install GSX in 15 minutes and make an auto-discovery of the architecture. You will then have a complete overview of the Exchange organization.

Let’s discuss problems with Mailbox access that may come from the Client Access Servers (CAS), and specifically, Active Sync. You discover a NLB that seems to be working correctly and launch the CAS connectivity test while GSX is monitoring the whole CAS Array.

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You will want to check the mailbox quota and see if some users might be listed in the “prohibit send/receive” quota. You never know if other problems are linked to this one unless you take this step.

Just 5 minutes after GSX is running, you will have performance statistics on all protocols, the mailbox quota for all users, the status of each role and the system statistics that matter (disk space, CPU, RAM, mail flows, etc.).

At this point, you can see that the CAS is supposed to deliver the Active Sync protocol, but the latency time is very high. The number of connections exceed what the CAS can support. In the end, the CPU / RAM is really high on this CAS because the Active Sync protocol is not spread onto the other CAS.

This means that the CAS is down frequently, thus their protocol is not available anymore and the user cannot access their mailbox.

You have solved the problem. But now, since you launched a Spot Check Report on the Mailboxes, you can see that one third of the users are going out of the quota and will have a problem. This means that the disks are poorly managed.

Spot Check Reports

Test Case for SharePoint

The same customer, happy with the service you provided on Exchange, calls you back because their users are complaining about SharePoint access issues. “SharePoint doesn’t work”!

As you are the help resource for the customer, it’s important to first understand the target user. Learn how their Farm is set up, see where the servers are, find where the data is and know how everything is organized on their site.

It’s now time to find the root cause of the issue:

  • First, you detect that some critical sites are very slow in analyzing the environment from a user’s perspective.
  • Then, you check the size and number of site collections and GSX will alert you on the sizes. It will assess which ones are too high for a normal SharePoint Farm. In the graph view, you will see that some site collections keep growing for an unknown reason.
  • By checking the SharePoint logs with appropriate keywords, you can see the abnormal activity on these sites.

You decide to check with the business and the Administrator to find out why these site collections are used so often. Soon after, you will see that they are used in the company as a drop box for many employees who upload, for example, all of their holiday pictures on the platform…

The problem was that this type of abnormal activity quickly fills the SQL disks that were not designed for that use. Therefore, it slows down the entire SharePoint environment for all users.

When you check the latency of the scenario across the farm, you see that it took more than 3 minutes to upload a document, site creations lasted more than 5 minutes, etc.

The point is that SharePoint was available, but not within the accepted latency for most of your users.

After one hour of research you have identified the problem, created statistics and graphed how the management team can solve the problem.

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Enhance the Environment and Be Proactive

You present the results of your investigation to your customers. You'll also be able to mention the other potential issues that GSX has found and present this with all the facts and figures.

Then, you recommend that they consider adopting remote maintenance monitoring for at least one month. They will benefit from this because it takes even better care of their environment by solving quota problems and adjusting their disk space. With that useful insight, they will be able to make well-informed decisions on budget planning and optimizing their environment.

Remote support or on-site troubleshooting services are the easiest ways to help your customers by providing them with facts and figures on the root cause of the problem.

This is an entry point to sell a remote monitoring or maintenance contract with GSX. With this solution in place, the customer can let it run on their site and be alerted on performance issues before they really impact the users.

Check out GSX's Partner Program to see how GSX Solutions helps you define and provide this range of services with our tools.