The Server-Side Synchronization Performance dashboard

Introduction

I recently discovered the “Server-Side Synchronization Performance dashboard” which gives a plethora of useful information. Lets take a closer look at this dashboard, its graphs and the data on which these are built. Finally, some things about the dashboard are still unclear to me and I hope somebody can help me with them.

Troubleshooting and monitoring server-side synchronization

For one of my clients I was looking into some issues with the server-side synchronization in a Dynamics CRM 2015 (Update 1) Online organization. Emails were syncing well, but appointments failed to sync without giving any notification. During my investigation I stumbled upon the dashboard while browsing TechNet for information on problems with server-side synchronization issues. The Dynamics CRM 2015 version of the article still needs some work, but the Dynamics CRM 2016 version of “Troubleshooting and monitoring server-side synchronization” contains some interesting charts.

TechNet describes it like this:

You can use the Server-Side Synchronization Performance dashboard to get a quick look at the health of mailboxes using server-side sync.

Go to any dashboard, click Select Drop-down button next to the dashboard title, and then click Server-Side Synchronization Performance.

Server-side Synchronization Performance Dashboard

This dashboard is made up of multiple charts, each providing insights into your organization’s server-side sync performance.

Click on a number in the list of mailboxes configured for server-side sync to get a specific mailbox status.

Click on the maiboxes listed for more info.

Click on the grid icon in each chart to view the records that are used to generate the chart.

Click to view records used to create chart

Lets take a closer look at the dashboard

The dashboard itself consists out of 6 pieces (2 x 3) from which 5 are graphs and 1 is quite special as you cannot access its properties trough the standard way (“customize the system”). Furthermore the dashboard has 1 default section, called “SSS Health”, probably referring to “Server-Side Synchronization”.

Dashboards_ Server-Side Synchronization Performance - Microsoft Dynamics CRM - I.png

The special part of the dashboard acts as an overview of the mailboxes in the organization. It gives short information whether or not the mailboxes are configured well. Moreover it allows you to dig deeper in those which have problems. Clicking on it will open up a new dialog window with the mailbox’s status. And that’s about it. You cannot dig any deeper into this data as you’ll always end up on the record of the mailbox.

SSS Mailbox Health Grid.png

The other graphs on the dashboard allow you to view the records which are used to build the graph. Let’s take the Mailbox Process History graphs as an example.

Sync Cycle Processing

Upon viewing the related records, you’ll see following columns:

Mailbox Process History.png

  • The scheduled time for processing: when is the item scheduled to be processed?
  • Start time for processing: when did the server actually start processing it?
  • End time for processing: when did the server actually end processing it?
  • Items processed: how many items did the server process during its synchronization?
  • Items failed: how many items failed to synchronize during the process?
  • Items in CRM left to process: how many items are still being processed? This is not the same as “Items failed” as these still need to be processed.
  • Name (regarding mailbox): For which mailbox has the server been syncing?
  • Queue duration: How long have the items been waiting before being processed?
  • Process duration: How long did it take the server to process these items?
  • Mailbox operation: What has been done during the synchronization? Possible operations:
    • incoming email
    • outgoing email
    • ACT: which stands for Appointments, Contacts, Tasks
  • Process Result: Did the sync process fail or succeed?

Unclear things surrounding the Server-Synchronization

A few things during my research grabbed my attention and I hope Microsoft or a reader can clarify them for me:

  • When I was searching the graphs in the default mailbox entity, I did not find them. Nor anywhere else, making them virtually non-customizable?
  • In which time measurement are the durations expressed? Seconds or minutes? I sincerely hope in seconds as some queue duration mount to numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Biggest duration I have seen is 144.527 for an ACT operation. If these are seconds, this equals to 2409 minutes or 40 hours. Which is in my opinion way to long for server-synchronization.
    Mailbox Statistics Sync Cycle Processing
  • Will it be possible to dig deeper into the data and actually see which items could or could not be processed? As to be able to modify them if necessary or to be able to locate an item with troubles.

Source: TechNet – Troubleshooting and monitoring server-side synchronization

2 Comments

  1. The data used for this dashboard is actually stored in a new internal entity “Mailbox Statistics”. Internal means its not available for customization like adding new views or charts, which unfortunately makes the otherwise great looking charts a little less usable for deeper analysis of the data for server-side sync health.

  2. IanCRM

    Interesting article and really helped analyse an on-premise CRM 2016. Note to others that these Dashboard Charts are against ‘Mailbox Statistics’ and may need to be added to a Dashboard.

    I suspect that the duration units are milliseconds :-).

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