Sunday, February 17, 2008
If you make your living installing, deploying, managing and operating Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006. I guarantee that you will be excited and be thankful for the availability of the BizTalk Server Operations Guide. So, what's in it ?
Guidance based on real-world experience. The idea for the guide originated with Microsoft field representatives, partner organizations, and customers who plan, deploy, and maintain BizTalk Server installations. This group of IT professionals has accumulated extensive hands-on experience with a diverse range of BizTalk solutions. As they gained experience they created checklists, best practices, and presentations to guide future BizTalk Server operations. We collected and organized this information to create the guide.
Key portions of this guide are new; however, a considerable portion consists of documentation taken from BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Help, white papers, Knowledge Base articles, and other sources. It has been carefully reviewed and vetted by experts from the community of BizTalk Server IT professionals and members of the product development team, whom we gratefully acknowledge at the end of this topic. We believe that the information presented here will help BizTalk Server users solve, and above all, avoid many of the common problems that can occur while deploying and maintaining a BizTalk Server installation.
The BizTalk Server Operations guide is now available for download in DOCX, CHM, and PDF file formats.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Problem: If you are in the configuration screen of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 and you are configuring Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) Portal, you checked 'Enable BAM Portal" and you noticed that the Account and Windows Group options are still grayed out.
Cause: I suspect that if you have configured BAM Portal once from any server in the BizTalk Server group, the user account fields are disabled on the rest of the servers even though Enable BAM Portal option is still available.
Resolution: Reset BAMVRoot in the BAM config file: BAMConfig.xml and then run BM update-config
Used bm.exe to get the BAM configuration XML:
- Open a command window
- Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006\Tracking
- Type: bm.exe get-config -FileName:BAMConfig.xml
It specifies BAMVRoot so it appears someone configured BAMPortal before. Deleted this line:
- <GlobalProperty Name="BAMVRoot">http://FOOBAR:80/BAM</GlobalProperty>
Saved the file and updated the BAM configuration:
- Open a command window
- Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006\Tracking
- Type: bm.exe update-config -FileName:NewBAMConfig.xml
The options will no longer grayed out. You will probably get an error that the "BAMAppPool already exists". That is fine. Delete it, restarted IIS and it will be configured successfully.
As far as I can tell - this is not documentated very widely and this has helped me so I hope it helps someone out there as well.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) has seen tremendous take-up rates, not just here in Singapore, but all over the world. I came across many kinds of architectural topology designs during field work with my customers.
One of the most common confusions I have come across arises from the topology design when it comes to the deployment of the MOSS Farms. Some people advocate that the Index server be placed in the same box as the Web-Front-End (WFE) servers with the view that idle power is wasted resources.
There is logic behind this:- Indexing/Crawling not just takes up processing power, it places a certain load on bandwidth as well. The typical organization will set it to crawl at night when online transactions are fairly low. Of course, this is very subjective and differs from environments to environments. A huge load doesnt mean just crawling thousands of websites and fileshares but sets it at a very frequent and short period for incremental crawling. Most of my customers set it to crawl 2-3 times a day (morning, lunch-time, wee-hours at night). That is really not a huge load.
If those are your requirements, you may think having a dediated Indexing Server may be an overkill. If you can bulk-up one of the WFE servers on roids (using a combination of RAM and CPUs), that particular WFE may be able to double-up as a Index server. This will save some costs as well as processing power on that one machine that is just expected to work 3 times a day. Mind you, that machine is expected to be of some decent build as well.
An indexing server can neither be load-balanced nor clustered. What most people want is availabilty at the Query servers, not the Index servers. The built indices are propagated to the Query/Search servers.
There are certain things you need to be aware of, especially when it comes to high-availability in your environment. As said in the referenced link, if an Index server doubles up as a Query service as well, it will not propogate its indices to the other Query servers - that is the gotcha. So, if you have already scoped out 2 WFEs (with the Query service ON) and 1 Index server together with a pair of clustered SQL boxes (one of the most common 5-server MOSS setups), you should try to see if you can run WFE on that Index server and turn the Query service of that particular server OFF. If you can successfully do that, you would have a 3 WFE, 2 Query and 1 Index logical server deployment. You should have the best of both worlds this time around. Hardware resources on that Index server will be more efficiently utilized and you can take one of the WFE servers offline and still enjoy redundancy.
Do take note that this is my own personal advice only. No two customers have exactly the same functional and non-functional requirements and a few of the cases I have seen actually run the crawlers on hundreds of sites, thousands of documents and fileshares and build up the indices up to 10 times a day. In those cases, you should have a dedicated Index server and not have any resource processing contention issues with it. Follow the principles to make sure you max out the hardware resources and costs.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Lumbar Spine Report (13 February 2008):
- The lumbar spine has a mild lateral curve convex to the right.
- There is minimal slipping forwards of L5 on S1 which is lumbarised on the left side.
- Moderate osteoarthritis is seen in the apophyseal joints beween L5 and S1 segments.
- The bodies of L1, L2 and L4 are slightly wedged anteriorly. These changes may be secondary to the previous trauma.
- The lumbar discs spaces have average heights.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Great Poster for reference. Courtesy of wikipedia
Sunday, January 20, 2008
There are not too many movies that will get me rushing onto the web once I get home to find our more about it and the various viral marketing and spins behind it. Blair Witch project was one. This one, which I just caught, is another. Spoilers here.
I am not worthy, JJ Abrams
The movie's creepy monster louse is especially my favourite.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
So...Let me start off this New Year 2008 with a rant post.
I am constantly amazed at the technical knowledge of some of the folks manning the shops selling computer peripherals. I was in the market shopping for an external casing for my SATAII HDD and someone recommended for me to use an USB2.0 external interface because, as he simply puts it confidently and points to the marketing material on the box, "it is faster"
I have to correct him that the theoretical speed of USB of 480Mb/s is not faster than the theoretical speed of SATAII, which is pegged at 300MB/s. The astute reader will notice the difference in casings.
A quick glance at this article will show the usual naming and differering configurations and the huge difference between a Byte and a bit.
To do some simple calculations - The max burst transfer rate of SATAII is 3 billion bits per second, which is equivalent 3 Gb/s, via normal conventions not definitions. This is equivalent to 300 million Bytes per second, or 300 MB/s. Some sites like this states 300Mb/s, which actually means we are moving backwards in technology. Worst, some people state it as 300 GB/s, which means I can transfer the equivalent data of 31 DVDs in 1 single second and overstating it by about 1000 times faster than it really is.
The same applies for USB2.0. Many technical sales people I talked to told me its 480MB/s and I have seen the same marketing collateral on the packaged boxes it comes in. In actual fact, it is 60MB/s.
Now, if you compare apples to apples - it is a no-brainer to compare 300MB/s against 60MB/s, isnt it ? Of course, the arguments will always begin when people start arguing whether is it really a 5 time performance difference, taking into account the costs of USB's overheads and the cache memory that some of the higher-end SATAII HDD offers.
Well, lets just leave those arguments in those other blogs and forum posts for now.
Monday, December 03, 2007
It has been a long time since I spoke in a usergroup meeting. This time, I will replicate what I did in Microsoft TechED Asia 2007 in KL in the Dec 2007 SgDotNet Usergroup meeting.
Languages, Frameworks and Architectures
New language solution frameworks are emerging to make solution development less cumbersome. For example, AJAX for building rich, interactive, internet applications, SCA for composing components into services, Ruby-on-Rails for building web applications, and Blinq for generating ASP.NET websites based on a database schema. This session will look at how these languages are evolving to include architectural constructs and where that evolution will go.
If you are free, do come drop by with an open mind, dont take any notes and get ready to interact.