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Michael Stephenson keeping your feet on premise while your heads in the cloud

Thought I would add a quick post about some strange behaviour we have been monitoring recently with service windows.  Our situation was as follows:

We have 4 ports which monitor FTP locations, 2 of them have service windows and 2 dont.  The service windows are specifically for a 1/2 period and have a 5 minute polling period in them.  Our servers are not configured for high availability because there are issues with being able to cluster the servers so we monitor the hosts using HP Openview and if they go down a manual intervention is used to initiate a host on the other server.  We receive 4 files per day one for each location.

The symptoms we experience are as follows:

  • The ports which do not have a service window always seem to work fine
  • The ports with a service window were working fine for a couple of months and then seemed to stop working
  • If we remove the service window the ports work fine
  • We can not see any record in the external FTP servers logs that the port has polled for the file on the ports with a service window
  • We have enabled the logging/diagnostics file for the FTP adapter but nothing is recorded for the service window ports
  • If you restart the host it will pick up the file if it is within the service window, but the next day the port does not pick the next file up
  • We have been able to validate from the FTP logs the file was there at the expected time
  • We have been unable to simulate this on another environment, it only happens on our production environment

Based on the above its a bit strange, we have been able to get it working by swapping the server the host instance runs on, but being our production environment I dont really want to be doing anymore analysis here.  It will be interesting to see if this comes up again, and also if we moved the host instance back to the first server if it still breaks

In the analysis I came across Saravana's post about some stuff he had with service windows and I am fully supportive of his suggestion.  I think that in addition to that it would be very useful if there was an option where you could enable logging to the event log the start and finish of a service window for a given port.  This would be very useful from a monitoring perspective and allow you to configure your monitoring tool to look for these events and work out if a service window had been missed


I think we might have found a possible explination for this.  I came across a blog post which suggested that renaming the BizTalk group could stop it picking settings up from the registry which are used to implement the service window functionality.  I cant remember the link for the article but it is correct that our group had been renamed not long before we started noticing this behaviour so it sounds a possible cause.$


Posted on Friday, September 5, 2008 10:03 PM BizTalk | Back to top

Comments on this post: Strange Service Window Behaviour

# re: Strange Service Window Behaviour
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We have exactly this situation. There is a multi-step process, each step of which must complete before the next starts, so we are controlling it with service windows. Every day, the first step (which is not scheduled) runs find. On some days everything is right in the world and works perfectly. On most days, the subsequent steps either do not execute at all or start and then hang, requiring a service restart.
Have you heard anything else about this issue? Thanks
Left by Glenn Janes on Sep 28, 2010 8:13 AM

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