Automatically Validate Configuration onMicrosoft Windows Environment

Although you are a Microsoft Windows expert, maintaining your growing Windows environment and keeping track of the system configuration can become a challenge. Even for the most experienced Windows professionals, it’s impossible to validate the correctness of each and every configuration change. And as you know, it’s the details that matter. Especially when even a small misconfiguration can put the availability of your systems at risk and lead to service outages.

Naturally your environment is not comprised only of Windows servers. With many different teams, such as the storage, virtualization or database teams, involved in configuring and maintaining these systems, collaboration challenges arise on a regular basis. This can eventually lead to misconfigurations and inconsistencies that impact the availability of your Windows systems. That’s why you need an automated solution that proactively preempts any possible issues before outages or data loss incidents occur.

Windows Storage and Replication

Running routine checks of your underlying storage device configuration with AvailabilityGuard ensures that storage access does not suffer from a single-point-of-failure at any level (HBA, SAN switch, Array ports and volumes). AvailabilityGuard verifies that your I/O multipath (MPIO) and disk configuration at the Windows system level matches the target storage volumes and complies with vendor best practices. It also verifies the replication of all your production storage volumes as well as successful access by DR systems if needed.

Sample issues:

  • LUN access by external unauthorized host.
  • Inconsistent disk vendor, type, group, RAID level, scsi3 settings and more.
  • Windows with multiple HBAs depends on a single SAN switch.
  • Partial disk group, disk drive or dynamic volume replication.
  • And more.

Windows Virtualization

AvailabilityGuard analyzes the configuration of the hosts running your Windows systems, including Microsoft Hyper-V (*beta), VMware and even internal switching devices and the Blade enclosures themselves. AvailabilityGuard goes deep into the different components of these virtualization technologies and verifies that no hidden data loss or downtime risks exist.

Sample issues:

  • Identify single-point-of-failures for your Windows Server across the different physical layers – Virtual SCSI devices, Multipath config, Virtual I/O devices (VIO), FC Adapter, Blade Chassis, SAN Switch and disk arrays.
  • Incorrect Virtual Networking configuration that will lead to unsuccessful VM restart on another node.
  • Suboptimal vSphere HA, DRS, Dynamic Optimization, Guest OS fail-over clustering, VM Integration Services / VMware Tools and other settings at the Hyper-visor level that directly influence the protection, availability and recoverability of hosted Windows VMs.
  • Data protection and availability best practices for virtual domain controllers and other key organizational services.
  • Issues affecting ability to relocate a Windows VM through Live Migration or vMotion.
  • And more.

Databases and Application Servers

AvailabilityGuard makes sure Microsoft SQL databases or Application servers such as WebLogic and Tomcat are deployed correctly and in accordance with underling Windows and storage resources – to ensure High Availability. The system automatically sends alerts to the relevant business owners in cases such as when the layout of database files is not optimal and creates single-points-of-failure, or when mismatches between database config and the clustering, Windows or storage setup are detected – which can result in an unsuccessful fail-over. In addition, AvailabilityGuard ensures consistent App Server deployment setup across Windows servers including the binaries and app server config (JDBC, JMS, Java, Agents, Scripts and more).

Sample issues:

  • Incorrect database file placement (multiplexing over the same filesystem, storing data on volumes inaccessible to the cluster nodes or on un-replicated volumes, etc.)
  • Microsoft SQL data safety and up-time best practice violation
  • Inconsistent WebSphere/WebLogic Deployment configuration and binaries
  • MS-SQL and clustering alignment
  • Tomcat session stickiness guideline violations
  • And more.
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