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Health Analyzer in SharePoint 2010


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Problem

As a SharePoint Administrator you always wanted to have something in place which alerts you about the running issues or potential problems in your farm. SharePoint 2010 has come up with an 'out of the box' Health Analyzer feature which alerts you about the potential problems, and the locations where they occurred, the cause and how to resolve these issues. Let's explore it more.

Solution

SharePoint 2010 has a new feature called the Health Analyzer which regularly checks (on a defined schedule) for potential security, performance, configuration and usage related problems. The Health Analyzer reports the issue with a detailed explanation, where it exists and what can be done to get rid of that issue, etc. In some cases the Health Analyzer itself can repair the issue and inform the SharePoint administrator about it.

For example there might be a case when database indices are highly fragmented or statistics are outdated or a database has large amounts of unused space. In those cases, you can set Health Analyzer to automatically repair those issues when it finds them.

Out of the box, SharePoint 2010 has 60+ health rule definitions (categorized under four different categories: Security, Performance, Configuration and Availability) which dictate what to monitor, where to monitor, severity of the issue, etc.

The Health Analyzer runs these rules on their defined schedules (using timer jobs) and reports the problems if there are any (and also stores the data to the logging folder and to the logging database as well for future reference).

You can view these built-in health rule definitions by going to the Monitoring link on the left side of Central Administration and clicking on the "Review rule definitions" link under the Health Analyzer which will bring open a screen like this:

list tools

By default all the health rule definitions are enabled and the schedule has been defined, though you can change these default settings as you can see below.

You can change:

  • The scope which tells where the rule will run.
  • The schedule to run it hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or on demand.
  • The setting for enabling/disabling it.
  • Repair the problem automatically.
  • The version number of health rule change (rule definitions are stored as SharePoint list).
definitions

Please note, the SharePoint Health Analyzer health rule definitions are farm wide settings which work on a predefined schedule set by Administrators. A number of health rules are shipped with SharePoint, though you can create and deploy your own developed/customized health rules to SharePoint, for more information click here.

Getting started with Health Analyzer

When you launch SharePoint 2010 Central Administration, a bar appears just below the ribbon space indicating the Health Analyzer has found some issues, if there are any. You can click on the "View these issues" link to get the details of those reported issues.

central administration

Not only that, you can even view the Health Analyzer report (and its archive) on demand by going to the Monitoring link on the left side of Central Administration and clicking on the "Review problems and solutions" link under Health Analyzer as shown below:

browse

Clicking on the above links brings the report as shown below. It shows all the problems reported/detected so far categorized under Security, Performance, Configuration and Availability. It also shows the name of the server where it exists, failing services and when it was last modified.

list tools

Clicking on any of these above links brings the details about the problem (as shown below). As you can see, it gives you the severity of the problem, a detail explanation of what this problem is about, and how it can be resolved. You can also re-analyze the problem instantly from this screen (after fixing it) to see if it still exists and you can also set the alert (email or SMS) to be sent immediately or on defined schedule to SharePoint administrators. At the end of this screen you will notice the name of the server and service where this problem was reported.

review problems
Next Steps


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About the author
MSSQLTips author Arshad Ali Arshad Ali is a SQL and BI Developer focusing on Data Warehousing projects for Microsoft.

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