While cleaning up my inbox I came a cross an email about the recent Microsoft IT Showcase additions to the website. In there a good whitepaper how Microsoft internally manages the Exchange environment …
E-mail and related messaging services are essential applications used at Microsoft. Employees rely on Microsoft Exchange messaging services in their offices, in meetings, at home, and while traveling.
Any outages or delays in messaging services directly affect the ability of employees to perform their day-to-day business functions. Significant outages can cause employees to fall behind and miss critical information, which in turn impairs their ability to be productive and affects business success overall.
In addition to providing excellent service to employees, the Microsoft Information Technology (Microsoft IT) group is responsible for being the first customer to deploy prerelease versions of Exchange in a production environment. Microsoft IT therefore serves as an example for Exchange customers on how to operate and manage a world-class Exchange environment.
In the past, Microsoft IT monitored and managed the Exchange messaging infrastructure at Microsoft as a stand-alone technology, rather than as a service that relies on many other technologies and operational groups. In other words, Microsoft IT monitored and managed individual servers or services running on servers. For example, Microsoft IT measured Exchange availability from solely an operating system basis of how long the Exchange back-end servers were running. This practice provided an incomplete view of actual service availability because users may not be able to access the Exchange servers because of other infrastructure outages or performance-related problems.
Today, Microsoft IT monitors and manages the Exchange messaging infrastructure as an end-to-end business service, based on actual measurements from client computers, a more comprehensive server application availability, message latency measurements, and customer satisfaction surveys. In addition to providing accurate information about performance, this factual, realistic perspective on Exchange messaging services provides IT managers and decision makers with the necessary information to manage the Exchange messaging infrastructure. The shift in management methodologies also enabled Microsoft IT to improve user satisfaction and increase employee productivity.
The solution presented in this white paper uses Microsoft Windows Server–based products with the required customization. The level of customization depends on the degree of monitoring and reporting implemented. For example, the Microsoft IT solution is a highly complex, customized data warehouse and reporting solution. However, products and technologies (such as the Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 SLA Scorecard for Exchange) require minimal customization. The MOM 2005 SLA Scorecard for Exchange is built based on Microsoft IT’s metrics and provides several of the important metrics used by Microsoft IT.