Monitoring Office 365 health

Are you using Office 365 and want to know how it is functioning? There are now a variety of options available to provide this information, some of which use Operations Manager as the framework and others which do not. This blog post will review the following options which are available to keep up to date on what’s going on with your Office 365 environment:

  • Can your users access Office 365?
  • Using the Office 365 status web page
  • Using the RSS feed available from the Office 365 status page
  • Using the Office 365 management pack in Operations Manager
  • Integrating the Office 365 status web page into Operations Manager

We’ll start this post showing the non-Operations Manager based options and then move into using Operations Manager to monitor Office 365 health.

 

Can your users access Office 365?

At the most rudimentary level, one way to know if Office 365 is healthy is to use the services that you use within Office 365. When they aren’t working there is an issue. This isn’t exactly the most proactive approach to monitoring however but it’s valid in an old-school approach. How do I know if email is down? My users call me when email is down. As an Operations Manager administrator by nature this approach doesn’t really work well to provide confidence that Office 365 is healthy.

 

Using the Office 365 status web page:

Office 365 also provides a status web page which is available at https://portal.office.com/servicestatus/servicestatus.aspx or http://tinyurl.com/O365Stat.

To access this web site you need to authenticate with your Office 365 credentials and when you do so it provides the information shown below for a default of the last 7 days.


There is also an option to show history for the last 30 days as shown below.


Using the RSS feed available from the Office 365 status page:

When you are logged into the portal, don’t forget the RSS feed! This is a great way to quickly provide an email notification of all important Office 365 related incidents. The RSS feed links directly to a detailed report on the incident which is available after you authenticate to your Office 365 credentials.

 

Using the Office 365 management pack in Operations Manager:

Microsoft has released an Office 365 management pack which provides monitoring for Office 365 directly in Operations Manager. This management pack is available for download at: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43708. To better understand the Office 365 management pack we will focus on:

  • MP Version
  • Classes
  • Views
  • Rules & Monitors
  • Current MP Issues

 

What Management Pack version is this blog post about?

This is for the 7.0.5034.0 version of the management pack.

 

What classes does this Management Pack have?

This management pack includes three classes as shown below (Office 365 Feature Class, Office 365 Service Class, Office 365 Subscription class).

What views does this Management Pack include?

This management pack includes two views (Active Alerts, Office 365 Monitoring Dashboard) in the Office 365 folder in the monitoring pane.


The active alerts view is shown below show both incidents and informational alerts from the message center.

The Office 365 Monitoring Dashboard displays all available information from this management pack in a single dashboard view as shown below.

What rules and monitors does this management pack include?

Monitors:

This management pack includes a single monitor called the “Office 365 Connection State monitor” as shown below.

The configuration of this monitor is below:
<Configuration>

<APIEndPoint>https://office365servicehealthcommunications.cloudapp.net/shdtenantcommunications.svc</APIEndPoint>

<IntervalSeconds>900</IntervalSeconds>

<SyncTime />

</Configuration>

This monitor has two states – healthy and critical.

Rules:

There are three rules included in this management pack (Office 365 Incidents alerting rule, Office 365 Message Center alerting rule, Office 365 Alert Autoclose rule).

Details on the configuration for the Office 365 Incidents alerting rule is shown below:

This rule runs every 15 minutes and times out after 5 minutes.

Details on the configuration for the Office 365 Message Center alerting rule is shown below:

This rule runs every 15 minutes and times out after 5 minutes.

Details on the configuration for the Office 365 Alert Autoclose rule is shown below:

This rule runs once a day and times out after 5 minutes.

<Configuration>

<TimeOut>300</TimeOut>

<IntervalSeconds>86400</IntervalSeconds>

<SyncTime />

<SubscriptionId>$Target/Property[Type=”Microsoft.SystemCenter.O365.Subscription”]/SubscriptionId$</SubscriptionId>

</Configuration>

 

Current Management Pack issues:

There appears to be an issue with the current version of the management pack that alerts appear to be current and relevant but they are for issues which are no longer impacting Office 365. From our initial tests, it appears that manually closing the alerts appears to make them go away but that the automated alert closing is not functional.

To address open alerts we are using the following process:

  • If there is an open alert, open the Azure portal and look at the recent column in the azure portal – do they match incident numbers in Operations Manager? If they do, leave them alone in Operations Manager.
  • If they do not match we can close/resolve alerts shown in the bottom left corner of the Office 365 dashboard.

Microsoft is “Aware of the issue” so hopefully this will be resolved with the next release of the management pack.

 

Integrating the Office 365 status web page into Operations Manager:

Both the Operations Manager web page view and the Operations Manager web browser widget can be used to provide a view into the Office 365 status web page within the Operations Manager console.

(Please note that you do have to authenticate with your Office 365 credentials to see the information shown below).

The screenshot below is from the web page view:

Or the dashboard version below using the Web Browser Widget:

 

Summary: Using the Office 365 management pack in combination with the Office 365 status web page provides a pretty comprehensive status for Office 365 within Operations Manager. Hopefully this management pack will continue to evolve to provide a fully functional monitoring solution without the requirement to check the Office 365 status web page.

One thought on “Monitoring Office 365 health

  1. Profile photo of Andre du ToitAndre du Toit

    Hi Cameron,

    Nice Article, very usefull!

    just a Question, i currently need to implement a dashboard that shows the current state of the services.

    Currently i have added the newest version of the O365 Management Pack, and i authenticate using the Tenant ID, Client ID, and Client Secret method, not the normal authentication method of Username/Password.

    Do you know of a way that i can setup the above RSS feeds etc in SCOM and link it to Dashboards with the Above Authentication method? or does it only work with the conventional setup method?

    I anticipate your reply!

    Many Thanks, Andre

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