Administering large corporate environments is an important and sometimes challenging job. With the release of Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer tools, network administrators now have new utilities to help them proactively maintain the health and optimal performance of Microsoft Technology within their organization. You can think of the best practices tools as a “Microsoft Engineer in a box”, each tool represents an encoding of Microsoft's Knowledge Base in an automated, continually-updated format that makes it easy for customers to monitor and optimize Microsoft Technology. I’ve put together a list of the current Best Practice Analyzers available below.
Microsoft Best Practices Analyzers
The ISA Server Best Practices Analyzer is a diagnostic tool that automatically performs specific tests on configuration data collected on the local ISA Server computer from the ISA Server hierarchy of administration COM objects, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, the system registry, files on disk, and the Domain Name System (DNS) settings. The resulting report details critical configuration issues, potential problems, and information about the local computer. By following the recommendations of the tool, administrators can achieve greater performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime.
The Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer programmatically collects settings and values from data repositories such as Active Directory, registry, metabase and performance monitor. Once collected, a set of comprehensive ‘best practice’ rules are applied to the topology.
Administrators running this tool will get a detailed report listing the recommendations that can be made to the environment to achieve greater performance, scalability and uptime.
See the Exchange Team blog for more info on the Exchange 2007 Readiness Check: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2006/07/28/428506.aspx. Additional Exchange Analyzer tools are available here.
The SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) gathers data from Microsoft Windows and SQL Server configuration settings. BPA uses a predefined list of SQL Server 2005 recommendations and best practices to determine if there are potential issues in the database environment.
The Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System Best Practices Analyzer programmatically collects settings and values from data repositories such as MS SQL, registry, metabase and performance monitor. Once collected, a set of comprehensive ‘best practice’ rules are applied to the topology. Administrators running this tool will get a detailed report listing the recommendations that can be made to the environment to achieve greater performance, scalability and uptime.
The FCS Best Practices Analyzer Tool is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall health of their Forefront computers and to diagnose current problems. The tool scans the configuration settings of the computer and reports issues that do not conform to the recommended best practices.
The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Best Practices Analyzer Tool is a diagnostic tool that gathers configuration information from a Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 environment and determines whether the configuration is set according to Microsoft best practices. You can install the tool on a client computer that runs Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, or on a server that runs Office Communications Server 2007.
This tool examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2003. The tool collects configuration information from many sources including the following sources:
- Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
Then, the tool analyzes the collected information, and the tool verifies this information for correctness. After the tool has collected and analyzed the information, the tool presents a list of issues that are sorted by severity. For each issue, the tool provides descriptions of what the problem is and of how you can fix this issue.
The Best Practice Analyzer ASP.NET (alpha release) is a tool that scans the configuration of an ASP.NET 2.0 application. The tool can scan against three mainline scenarios (hosted environment, production environment, or development environment) and identify problematic configuration settings in the machine config or web config files associated with your ASP.NET application. This is an alpha release intended to gain feedback on the tool and the configuration rules included with it.
The BizTalk Server 2006 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.
MDM Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) Tool helps you to analyze the prerequisites for MDM setup and deployment. Because each MDM server component has different prerequisites, the tool helps you to plan and build a successful deployment environment by assessing each server's readiness for MDM before you run MDM Setup.
In addition to analyzing each server's individual readiness, BPA Tool helps you to verify the firewall configuration that MDM requires between servers running MDM Device Management Server and servers running MDM Gateway Server.
Finally, after you deploy MDM, you can run a post-deployment scan to help make sure your installation works properly and follows MDM best practices.
The Microsoft Commerce Server Best Practices Analyzer performs configuration level verification, by reading and reporting only. For example, the Best Practices Analyzer gathers data from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, Microsoft SQL Server databases, registry entries, IIS Metabase Settings, and other parts of your deployment, and uses the gathered data to determine whether best practices are being followed. The Best Practices Analyzer does not modify any system settings, and is therefore not a self-tuning tool.
The Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools is a set of enhancements, tools and command line utilities that improve the Team Foundation Server user experience. This download includes Best practice analyzer for TFS along with other important tools
The Microsoft Group Policy Diagnostic Best Practice Analyzer (GPDBPA) for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 is designed to help you identify Group Policy configuration errors or other dependency failures that may prevent settings or features from functioning as expected.