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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Application Infrastructure: Cloud Benefits Delivered

Want to bring the benefits of the cloud to your current IT environment? Cloud computing offers a range of benefits, including elastic scale and never-before-seen applications. While you ponder your long-term investment in the cloud, you can harness a number of cloud benefits in your current IT environment now.

Join us on May 20 at 8:30 A.M. Pacific Time to learn how your current IT assets can harness some of the benefits of the cloud on-premises—and can readily connect to new applications and data running in the cloud. As part of the Virtual Launch Event, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Yefim Natis will discuss the latest trends and biggest questions facing the Application Infrastructure space. He will also speak about the role Application Infrastructure will play in helping businesses benefit from the cloud.

Plus, you’ll hear some exciting product announcements and a keynote from Abhay Parasnis, GM of Application Server Group at Microsoft. Parasnis will discuss the latest Microsoft investments in the Application Infrastructure space aimed at delivering on-demand scalability, highly available applications, a new level of connectivity, and more. Save the date!

add it to your calender


Ahmed Farrag

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Biztalk 2009 Benchmark and Assesment Questions

There have plenty of enhancements in the performance of Biztalk over the last versions, this has mainly been due to 1) the enhancements in the underlying platform, mainly the SQL Server, and 2) to the tuning of the Biztalk engine itself with the cumulative updates happening from one version to another..

Biztalk 2009 really sets a really impressive standard for performance with it's underlying SQL Sever 2008,, all details for the scenario used and the numbers that were achieved could be found in the below articles

" With these results, the Biztalk Server Product Team was able to demonstrate that a single Biztalk Server computer and a single SQL Server computer can support over 94 million messages in a messaging scenario and 37 million orchestrations during a 24-hour period. By scaling the Biztalk Server and SQL tiers to the optimal configuration available in our environment, we were able to process over 181 million messages per day and over 86 million orchestrations. The results were performed in a sand boxed environment by using the class of hardware deployed in many enterprises" ... quoted from the above results..

I would just like to highlight that the above results were done in a sand boxed environment with certain types of adapters and hardware ,, so please have a look above on the exact scenario used and how they achieved these results.

Also, performance could vary a lot depending on the type of adapters you are using, amount of tracking you are doing, complexity of the orchestrations, messages sizes , extra..

so generally when a customer asks me , "How many Biztalk server would I need ? " ,, my answer is always "it depends ! " .. to make life easier for my customers, i give them these simple questions to fill for each application that will be connected to Biztalk...
Application Name :

  1. Platform and Database
  2. Does it have APIs? , if yes, what is the protocol and format supported? (for example XML over HTTP, method calls over TCP/IP, flat files uploaded to FTP Folder)
  3. Average Number of Incoming Messages / second
  4. Average Number of Outgoing Messages/Sec
  5. Average Message Size in Kilobytes
  6. Messaging Pattern (Synchronous /Asynchronous)
  7. Required Latency in Millisecond (in case of synchronous messaging)
  8. Is there batch processing , if yes, what is the size of the batch in megabytes

By answering the above questions, we will be in a situation to know whether we are in Low Latency scenario type of integration or more on a high throughput asynchronous type, or maybe even something in between! ... also, we could identify if there is FTP, POP3 or MSMQ adapters being used, and hence the possible need to cluster the Biztalk instances carrying hosting these adapter..

Also, the batch sizes, will give us a guidance on whether to tailor for Higher RAM capacity in the Biztalk Boxes or not,, if we are looking at smaller messages, then the normal RAM recommendation is sufficient.

By combining the numbers of all the applications that will be connected to Biztalk, you will be able to have a rough idea on how many servers that you would need...

again, this is not an official way of sizing the capacity planning for your Biztalk environment, you should always refer to the published "Performance and Capacity Planning" available
, however, this is just my way to make my life easier when you are still at very early stages of assessment..


Ahmed Farrag

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moved to a New Blog

see you there :)

Ahmed Farrag

Friday, May 09, 2008

Best Practices Analyzer v1.1 Shipped

last month, we shipped the Best Practices Analysers ..

here are some more details about it if you didn't know it before !!

The BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer performs configuration-level verification by reading and reporting only. The Best Practices Analyzer gathers data from different information sources, such as Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, SQL Server databases, and registry entries. The Best Practices Analyzer uses the data to evaluate the deployment configuration. The Best Practices Analyzer does not modify any system settings, and is not a self-tuning tool.

What’s new:
V1.0 has 77 rules, v1.1 has 220 with 143 new rules added!

Here are some relevant rules
1. Added a warning rule for stopped orchestrations
2. a check on MaxLogSize MSDTC
3. Verify that TempDB and BizTalkMsgBoxDb data and log files are placed on separate drives
4. Check that the Max Degree of Parallelism setting is set to 0 in all other BizTalk databases
5. Verify that the MaxWorkerThreads in the SQL Server UMS configuration setting is set to XXX
6. Check that the Maximum Server Memory is set to XXX GB
7. System Time Diff between SQL and BizTalk Machines
8. Orphaned SPIDs
9. SQL Server Service Pack Installed for DB : xxxxxx
10. Ignore Duplicate Key check
11. Check Biztalk SQL Server JObs running or not

Where to Download:

- Ahmed Farrag

Monday, March 03, 2008

Biztalk Operational Guide Released !!

i'm very excited about this new operational guide that was released a couple of weeks ago, it's really a must read for any Biztalk developer/administrator, it covers all the topics related to deployment, management and monitoring aspects of any Biztalk implemenation.

i have seen many customers who have deployed Biztalk but for some reason has missed on having a concrete strategy for the versioning/management and monitoring parts of the solution. the operational guide sheds the light over a lot of these issues that need to be tackled on any production environment.

you can find it here .

The guide can be downloaded from here:


Monday, January 21, 2008

configuring MS DTC service on virtual images

i was trying to build a biztalk lab today and i was basically connecting a couple of virtual images on a virtual server and trying to assign a Biztalk Role for each image, i ran into the standard MSDTC settings that you have to manage with Biztalk, which entails a couple of standard steps,,, after doing everything , the MS DTC didn't work !!! .. it said that the machines have the same identifier and therefore the DTC won't work, it seems that both images were a clone from each other !!

i had to unistall and insall the MS DTC on the main server and it worked after that like a charm : )

P.S: you will have to reboot the machine after you uninstall the MSDTC service using the msdtc.exe -uninstall

Cheers :)