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Monitoring Server Health

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Web sites, especially Microsoft's SharePoint team Web sites, undergo many changes each day. This high level of change creates potential server problems. SharePoint Team Services and Microsoft FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions include functionality that helps you detect and repair common server problems when they arise.

When you check your server's health, you can perform several functions either individually or all at once. You can also choose whether to be notified of problems, or to have the problems automatically corrected. Server health checks are performed for an entire virtual server at one time. You must be an administrator of the virtual server, or have the Manage Server Health right to run a server health check.

During a server health check, you can choose to:

  • Synchronize the database (SharePoint Team Services only).

    This check ensures that database information matches that of the SharePoint team Web site file system. If content is added to a Web site when the database is offline, the metadata for the content may not be added to the database. As a result, the database becomes unsynchronized with your Web site's content — a problem that can occur in other ways, as well. Because many SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions operations rely on data in the database, you want the database to accurately reflect your Web site content. You can synchronize the database with the metadata during a server health check.

  • Verify existence of Web sites.

    This check verifies whether the subwebs on a root web exist in the file structure. It looks through the services.cnf file in the root web to find which subwebs should exist, and then checks the file system to see if they do. If a directory or subweb does not exist, and you specify that you want to fix this problem, the services.cnf file is updated to reflect the fact that the subweb does not exist or that the folder is not a subweb. This process is repeated for each subweb of the root web.

    Note that this is not always a safe operation to repair. For example, if you have a subweb that is stored on a network file share, rather than locally, and the network is temporarily unavailable, this check will report that the subweb does not exist. If you then repair the problem, the subweb will be deleted from the root web's list.

  • Check roles configuration.

    Ensures that user role settings can be enforced. This check detects and repairs possible problems with roles, including the following: a user record has an invalid format, the user has a record in the list of users, but no matching user account, the user record refers to a non-existent role, there is no role for the anonymous user, and so on.

  • Reapply file system security.

    This option looks at the user and roles permissions you have created for your Web site, and then applies those settings to the file system. There is no detect portion to this server health check, only the repair process.

  • Tighten security.

    This check ensures that all the necessary Web site files and directories are present, and that only users with the proper permissions have access to them.

  • Check anonymous access.

    FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions did not support anonymous authoring of a Web site. With SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions, you can use anonymous authoring of your site if you want. This option checks the anonymous user access rights for your Web sites and all subwebs to ensure that anonymous users have not been accidentally given more rights than are allowed by the role assigned to anonymous users.

Server health checks can be performed from either HTML Administration pages or the command line.

Using the Command Line to Check Server Health

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To perform a basic server health check from the command line, you use the check operation. This operation runs the server health check, and then displays a list of problems found and notes about which problems were fixed, if any.

The following example shows the syntax to use for running a server health check:

owsadm.exe –o check

You can also set the server health check to be performed at regular intervals by using the schedule parameter (on the Microsoft Windows platform, or by using the cron facility on the UNIX platform). For more information about scheduling server health checks, see Scheduling Timed Jobs.

Note   The SharePoint Timer Service is not available for FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions on the Windows Server 2003 family platform. For that environment, you must run the server health check manually, rather than scheduling automatic checks.

The check operation runs the server health check; it does not allow you to determine which actions are performed during the check. To control the actions performed during the check, you use the setproperty operation and specify the following properties:

  • RepairDB (SharePoint Team Services only — corresponds to Synchronize the database option in HTML Administration pages)

  • ValidateServicesCnf (corresponds to Verify existence of webs option in HTML Administration pages)

  • CheckRolesConfig (corresponds to Check roles configuration option in HTML Administration pages)

  • CheckUserAccess (corresponds to Reapply file system security option in HTML Administration pages)

  • TightenSecurity (corresponds to Tighten security option in HTML Administration pages)

  • RemoveAnonymousAuthoring (corresponds to the Check anonymous access option in HTML Administration pages)

All of these properties accept the following values: check and fix. For example, if you want to include the Repair Database action in your server health check, and want to have the database checked and any problems repaired, you would set the RepairDB property to fix, as in the following example syntax:

owsadm.exe –o setproperty –pn RepairDB –pv fix -p 80

After you set this property, whenever you run the server health check by using the check operation, the database is checked and repaired. The default setting for all of these properties is null, which means that these properties are ignored by the check operation until you specify either check or fix.

Using HTML Administration Pages to Check Server Health

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You can use HTML Administration pages to specify which actions to perform during a server health check and to run the check itself. You use the Check Server Health page (in the Site Administration pages) to specify settings and to run the server health check.

To view the Site Administration page 

  • If you are a server administrator, on the server computer click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, click Microsoft SharePoint Administrator, and then on the Server Administration page, click the name of the site you want to manage.

  • If you are a site administrator, on your Web site click Site Settings, and then under Web Administration, click Go to Site Administration.

To run a server health check 

  1. Open the Site Administration page for the virtual server you want to check.

  2. In the Server Health area, click Check server health.

  3. In the Detect and Repair area, select the Detect and Repair check boxes for any server health actions you want to perform.

    If you only want to check for problems, but not fix them, do not select the Repair check box for that action.

  4. Click OK.

Clicking OK accepts your settings and performs the server health check. After the server health check runs, you can view the results from the Server Health Report page. If you want to run additional health checks, you can do so from the Server Health Report page. Just select the Fix this problem check box for any actions you want to perform, and then click Submit.

On the Windows platform, you can enable or disable server health checks for your site, and schedule server health checks to be performed automatically. To do so, you use the Change Server Health Settings page.

Note   The SharePoint Timer Service is not available for FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions on the Windows Server 2003 family platform. For that environment, you must run the server health check manually, rather than scheduling automatic checks.

To specify server health settings on the Windows platform 

  1. Open the Site Administration page for the virtual server you want to check.

  2. In the Server Health area, click Change server health settings.

  3. To enable or disable server health, next to Server health is, select On or Off.

  4. To schedule automatic server health checks, in the Recurrence Settings area, select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

    If you selected Daily, select the time of day to perform the check. If you selected Weekly, select the time of day and the day of the week to perform the check. If you selected Monthly, select the day of the month and time of day to perform the check.

  5. Click Submit.

If you want to use the default server health settings, rather than the settings currently used for your virtual server, you can revert to the default settings by clicking Restore Defaults on the Change Server Health Settings page.

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