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Exchange SLA scorecard

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Microsoft is developing an Exchange SLA scorecard. The userguide introduction explains: 

"As we move into more complex and interdependent applications, it becomes increasingly difficult to track the capabilities of various IT services. Furthermore, it seems that there is no single formula or presentation mechanism to easily roll up the data and demonstrate that IT is in fact meeting the needs of the business and achieving its service level agreement (SLA) targets.

Microsoft IT has become a world-class IT organization, possessing much experience in managing a large enterprise and achieving great success in messaging service delivery. Microsoft IT is diligent in its operations management processes and metrics management. They track key components and derive measurements that truly show how IT services are performing against business needs. They measure service delivery based on IT scorecards and SLAs. These metrics and measures allow them to fine tune services and achieve high availability with the Microsoft® Exchange Server messaging platform. However, since there is no industry standard for measuring services, customers frequently ask, “How does Microsoft do it?” The SLA Scorecard Solution Accelerator for Exchange provides customers with best practices for measuring the service delivery of Exchange."

The official name of the Beta is Microsoft Solutions for Infrastructure and Management Exchange SLA Scorecard.

Beta 2 of the scorecard is in use by a small group for customers in the Technology Adoption Program under NDA and other formal agreements. The TAP program is closed to new customers for getting official support from Microsoft. However, anyone can download the SLA materials, with BetaPlace registration, which includes signing a EULA. These "open beta" customers only get limited best-effort email support from the product team as time allows, but can still enter bugs and suggestions.

You can download the SLA Scorecard Beta 2 at http://www.beta.microsoft.com with the user name MSIMExchangeSLA (Case sensitive).

The beta includes the following components and features that are compatible with Exchange 2000/2003:

  • SLA Reporting Engine – Creates the reports using SQL Reporting Services and renders the reports to the SLA Reporting UI
    • SLA Business Logic –
    • Exchange 2000/2003 availability metrics  for :
    • FrontEnd  Server Role
    • Mailbox Server Role
    • Public Folder Server Role
    • Gateway and Bridgehead server roles.
    • Client Availability (Outlook 2003)
  • For Exchange 2000/2003 measures for:
    • # of internet messages received
    • # of messages filtered by IMF
    • # of connections blocked
    • # of recipients blocked
    • # of senders blocked
    • # of Exchange messages delivered
    • # of anti-virus attachments removed
    • # of anti-virus attachments purged
    • % messages filtered by IMF
    • Client Performance
  • SLA DTS – The DTS package automatically extracts only the information from the MOM DW that is required by the Scorecard which reduces the footprint of the SLA DB thus reducing the time required to calculate and display the reports. 

Why?

The scorecard shows more than just service uptime.  It roles up availability by Exchange server role for all Exchange servers in the enterprise.  It allows you to configure your SLA target metrics and aggregates MOM event and performance data, displaying actual availability vs. SLA target.  

In addition, there are about 11 measures that give you a picture of the "workload" the infrastructure is doing.  You can use this to help tune performance to more effectively achieve the SLA target.  For example, using a version of the scorecard accelerator to monitor outage maintenance, Microsoft IT is able to categorize each particular outage and export the entire outage table to Excel.  This helps Service Managers and IT Managers demonstrate that from an end to end perspective an email outage is more than an application outage.  By slicing and dicing the outage data in prep for Service Review Meetings they can present where the majority of outages are occurring and focus efforts in those areas as appropriate. This makes a nice tie-in to change/problem management.

UPDATE: If you are interested in the SLA scorecard, you will definately be interested in this webcast.

TechNet Webcast: Defining and Monitoring Desired Configuration Across a Messaging Service (Level 300)
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Pacific Time
Edhi Sarwono, SYSTEMS DESIGN ENGINEER, Microsoft Corporation
Robbie McAlpine, SR PROGRAM MANAGER, Microsoft Corporation
Do you consider it a challenge to monitor a configuration across a messaging service? This webcast presents a new solution: the Desired Configuration Monitoring (DCM) Solution Accelerator, which will be released in September. Learn about the DCM Solution Accelerator, how configuration manifests are generated, how the configuration check is processed and about the resulting reports of non-compliant services. The Solution Accelerator provides tools to alert users of differences or non-compliance between their present configuration and baseline or desired configuration. It also provides environmental configuration data to aid configuration management.
Register for this webcast

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