Configuration, General, Maintenance, Monitoring

Event log service is unavailable issue

I thought I’d blog about this issue I had, since it was in the end so easy to solve, but I had a hard time finding a good description of both my specific problem and any resolution. I am a bit ashamed to say that I got quite creative before trying this.

The problem I was having was that when opening the Event Viewer on my Windows Server 2008 I’d got a message saying that “The Event Log service is unavailable. Verify the service is running.“. And if I went to look it was in fact not running. The thing is though that I could easily start it, and it would keep running, until I went to the Event Viewer to look at the logs, which would then bring it down.

I solved this by simply deleting all the files in the C:WindowsSystem32winevtLogs folder.

Update 2010-02-22: Feedback in comments suggest that you might need to restart after performing this step.  

I’m not going to patent the solution, or make the claim that it will work in every case, but it did for me, and if you are experiencing this problem it’s easy enough to try.

BAM, BizTalk, Monitoring, Performance, Readings

BAM Tracking and Failed Messages, and a new issue of BizTalk HotRod

Mikael HÃ¥kansson has a post called How to Replace Tracking with BAM in BizTalk that features a performance comparison he made for disabling global tracking in BizTalk Server 2006 and how that would look if you replaced that with BAM – in hard figures. He also posts a sample solution and talks about concepts such as activities and tracking profiles. The post mentions that the approach is meant for tracking successful messages and he suggests (as an example) the use of a WMI service to catch suspended messages. A concept that he leaves out is the tracking of failed messages using BAM and failed message routing. As a fluke, at roughly the same time his post was published there was a white paper released at MSDN that describes the process of creating an activity, tying that to a tracking profile by connecting it to relevant context properties and deploying it for a failed message routing scenario, see How to Track Failed Messages in BAM. It’s a very basic step-by-step article. Now…I am not taking a stance to say that failed message routing is the way to go. There are many considerations to take into account before determining to opt for that or for allowing messages to get suspended. I just wanted to post this to tie these two articles together since I think they are both good reads and gives you a view of what is required to replace tracking in BizTalk with BAM, for both successful and failed messages. And what the performance benefits might be for your solution.

Also check out the new issue of BizTalk HotRod that (among other things) also discusses Failed Message Routing and how to log these message, but does so in the context of the ESB Guidance.

Administration, BizTalk, Configuration, Learning, Maintenance, Monitoring, Readings

BizTalk Administration Tutorials

This post is for those of you who are administrators rather then developers, and don’t keep track of the latest downloads around BizTalk. Microsoft has, at the same time that they released a revised version of the developer centric tutorials, released BizTalk Server 2006 Adminstration Tutorials. The administration tutorials are planned to become two, although at the moment only one is available. The first part is setting up the environment, in this case a slightly altered version of what is available in the multi-server scenario of the installation guides adding on an ISA Server to be able to create the environment separate from your corporate network. The tutorials also describes how to setup this environment using Virtual Server 2005 R2 (although physical hardware is also mentioned) and goes much more in depth to make it a compelling learning experience, as opposed to the install guide that can sometimes be hard to follow for a first timer. The first tutorial weighs in at 138 pages (double the size of the install guide), not counting the supporting documents. The second part is supposed to feature common administrative exercises based on the environment setup in part 1. If your are to familiarize youself with BizTalk Server 2006 as an administrator, from what I’ve seen, I’d recommend these tutorials.

BizTalk, Links, Maintenance, Monitoring

Linklist: Installing Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 for BizTalk

The aim of this linklist is to keep track of the links and locations I used to download and install Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 and Management Packs for BizTalk, and thus can be used by others for the same purpose.

  • System Center Operations Manager 2007 – Main site at Microsoft.

  • Review Licensing and for more information about licensing read the informational brief. Operations Manager is not an expensive product. It even comes packaged together with SQL for a reasonable cost. Check the link for the latest updated information, on purpose I wont use precise amounts, but roughly it’s $500 for the server install (or $1300 with SQL) and another $30 – $400 for each machine to monitor, depending on the demands of that machine. If it’s a BizTalk machine it’s $400. Compared to the Enterprise License for BizTalk which is $35,000 – it’s hardly worth mentioning.

  • Get the Eval version – Go here to start the process of downloading the evaluation copy of Microsoft Operations Manager 2007. If you are a TechNet Plus or MSDN subscriber, perhaps you’d rather download the full, non-evaluation, copy from there.

  • Get OpsMgr 2007 MOM 2005 Backward Compatibility Management Pack Update – you need it for the management packs we’ll install later.

  • Management Packs – Get your management packs of choice from here. There are quite a few to choose from and I’ve selected only the few I considered important in my case. Those are…

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2000/2003 Operating System Management Pack – for monitoring the operating system.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000/2005 Management Pack – for monitoring the database.

  • Microsoft Biztalk Server 2006 Management Pack for SC Operations Manager 2007 – for monitoring BizTalk Server.

  • You cannot install Operations Manager on your XP or Vista development machine, it must be installed on a machine (or VPC) with Windows Server 2003 and SP1. Consider downloading a Virtual Hard Drive as a starting point, for example one with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2.

  • SQL Server 2005 is required, SQL Server 2000 is not enough. Get a trial of SQL Server 2005 here or make sure the vhd you get comes with 2005, which as far as I know (at this point in time) all except the ones featuring 2008 CTPs do.

  • Some key points about the server environment you are installing to. It should not have Windows Sharepoint (if you have it uninstall it using Add/Remove Windows Components), but it should have Powershell. It should also have IIS (install using Add/Remove Windows Components), .Net 2.0, .Net 3.0  and a sufficient version of MDAC, equal to or later then 2.80.1022.0. As opposed to some other installs I’ve seen, MOM actually has a very good pre-requisites check complete with links to the installs your specific environment is missing. Above I just mention what I consider are the main ones.