BizTalk built-in monitoring tool – BizTalk Health Monitor (BHM)

Microsoft has finally provided a BizTalk built-in monitoring tool called BizTalk Health Monitor(BHM) with the release of BizTalk Server 2013 R2 in June 2014.

BizTalk Server 2013 R2 release was a basically a platform update along with the support for JSON on the WCF-WebHttp adapter. An overview can be found here on MSDN: What’s New in BizTalk Server 2013 and 2013 R2

You can view Guru Venkataraman speak in the screencast below on these new features of BizTalk 2013 R2 at TechEd North America 2014. To view the part about BizTalk Health Monitor skip to about 34 minutes.

TechEd.jpg

 

BizTalk Health Monitor is a new BizTalk snap-in that helps monitor the health of your BizTalk Server environment. This snap-in can be added to the existing BizTalk Administration Console or can be run individually.

This is a new free tool from the support team.  The idea for the tool was envisioned by the Support engineers based on their years of experience.

While this built-in option won’t replace things like the BizTalk Server 2013 Monitoring Management Pack for System Centre Operations Manager, or come close to the feature set of third party options like BizTalk360 or AIMS for BizTalk, but it does provide an out-of-the-box solution for performance monitoring, environment validation and notifications.

BHMOverview.jpg

If you are working on BizTalk for a while then you probably already about MBV – MsgBoxViewer. It’s a windows based application gathering all information of a BizTalk group and detecting any issues, non-critical or critical warnings. It is vital for a BizTalk administrator to have complete and detailed knowledge of a BizTalk group at any time, and detect any potential problems in advance.

This new BizTalk snap-in BHM is based on the same engine as MBV and was built by the same project team that created the MsgBoxViewer tool (MBV). Though BHM was introduced with BizTalk Server 2013 R2 and it would also be helpful to existing customers (still using 2010 and 2013) with monitoring their server deployments.

How to install BizTalk Health Monitor snap-in

You can refer this MSDN post to learn more about how to register the BHM MMC with BizTalk MMC. I would also recommend the post by Sandro Pereira where has very well explained Installing the new BizTalk Health Monitor snap-in on Biztalk Server 2010 or BizTalk Server 2013

Features

Following are the major features of BHM :

  • Monitor Multiple BizTalk Environments
  • Generate and View MBV reports
  • Dashboard view for overall health of BizTalk Environments
  • Schedule Report Collection
  • Send Email Notifications
  • Performance Monitor integration with pre-loaded scenario-based Performance counters
  • Report Management
BizTalk Health Monitor v2

Based on the feedbacks of the BHM user the team has come up with the new version of BHM with new features, at the same time made it more reliable to provide a better experience.

  • Customised Dashboard – Now you can customize your dashboard by adding\removing\resizing custom tiles.

CustomizedDashboard.png

  • Custom Queries – You can add your own queries to the BHM to make it more personalize and enrich the out of the box BHM query repository.

CustomQueries.jpg

  • Custom Rules –  BHM v2 will also allow you to add custom rules on your custom queries or existing BHM queries so you can easily monitor your environment specific information.

CustomRules.jpg

CustomRules1.jpg

  • Profiles enhancements – You can create mu
  • ltiple profiles to monitor a single or multiple BizTalk groups. Based on customers feedback we have made some enhancements in the profile management:
      1. Now you can add the option to specify a different user under which BHM should collect the report.
      2. We also moved the report management from BHM to per profile level so that you can manage the BHM reports for each profile separately.
      3. You can easily create a copy of a profile and reuse it for other group or some other modifications.
      4. You now have an option to select if you want to create the HTML page. You can uncheck this option to preserve disk space.
      5. Renamed it from “Group” to “Profile”
Known issues with BHM v2

Here are the list of known issues reported in the last version of BizTalk Health Monitor

    1. When a user account is specified to schedule a BHM collect, the creation of the task returns the following error: “A specified logon session does not  exist. It may already have been terminated”.
    2. BHM on a localized OS is displaying an error message when creating the collect scheduled task even if the task is well created.
    3. BHM on a localized OS is displaying an error message when creating the collect scheduled task even if the task is well created.
    4. BHM on a localized OS is not displaying the performance counters in the interactive performance view.
    5. When we create a monitoring profile targeting a BizTalk group not accessible by the logged-on user, the  console is crashing.
    6. There is no SSL usage option in the mail notifications settings.
    7. Error when creating a scheduled analyze task if the username or password contains some special chars like ‘&’
Summary

BHM would be a good option for customer who are not using SCOM or any third party tool for BizTalk monitoring. BHM can be used to schedule to generate the MBV report and receive the email notification. You can also integrate Perfmon with pre-loaded scenario based Performance counters. It also provides Dashboard view for overall health of BizTalk Environment and Schedule Report collection.

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