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BIG-IP Monitoring of Front-End Web Servers and Server Health

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TCP/IP PING was enabled on each front-end Web server in the loadbalancing pool. To make sure that each front-end Web serverresponds to TCP/IP PING and Windows SharePoint Services HTTPrequests properly, the Internet Platform and Operations groupdefined a test rule by using the Extended Content Verification(ECV) Monitor supplied by the BIG-IP controllers. Appropriatesettings for Send String, Receive Rule, Username, and Password wereentered to test the Windows SharePoint Services site response fromeach included front-end Web server. Send String was defined asaccessing the default.aspx page of a test SharePoint site in theserver farm. The response of the request should include thesubstring keyword "Home." Therefore, the Receive Ruleis defined as "Home."

For the test rule, the interval is defined as 15 and the timeoutis set as 46. The BIG-IP controllers will issue a request every 15seconds to each front-end Web server. If no appropriate response issent back in 46 seconds (three retrials), BIG-IP will interpretthat this front-end Web server has certain application issues andcan not appropriately render Windows SharePoint Services requests.It will automatically remove the front-end Web server from the loadbalancing pool in this situation. After the issue is resolved, theBIG-IP controllers receive appropriate Windows SharePoint Servicesresponses and add the front-end Web server back to the loadbalancing pool. The interval can be shorter or longer depending onthe observed traffic load and system behavior. The shorter intervalmay not allow the front-end Web servers to respond quickly enoughduring a heavy load situation.

The TCP/IP PING and test rule provide a monitoring solution tothe Windows SharePoint Services server farm. If a front-end Webserver encounters any critical application issues, the front-endWeb server will be automatically removed from the load balancingpool. MOM will automatically report the issue to administrators.End users would not experience rendering failures from front-endWeb servers with problems. This design and implementation helpensure that the Windows SharePoint Services server farm provideshigh availability and reliability.

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