What Is the Microsoft Operations Framework?

Commerce Server 2007
For the latest version of Commerce Server 2007 Help, see the Microsoft Web site.

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) is a collection of best practices, principles, and models that provide comprehensive technical guidance for achieving mission critical production system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability for solutions and services built on Microsoft products and technologies.

MOF provides the fundamentals of operations methodology and a framework for IT operations. Product-specific operations guides, such as the "SQL Server Operations Guide", provide detailed operations information specific to the server products. This guide provides operations management guidance specific to Commerce Server 2007. You should then customize these three types of documents based on your specific deployment and operating environment to create an Operations Guide specific to the customer.

Organizations that deploy an e-commerce solution must keep the deployment functioning 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has become increasingly common for enterprise application integration to have a similar availability requirement. This topic outlines the administrative tasks a system administrator must perform to keep a Web site based on Commerce Server 2007 running on a continual basis. Also discussed in this topic are important concepts and common administrative issues that system administrators must know.

The major areas of administration and management related to Commerce Server and the tools that you use to administer those areas are as follows:

  • Commerce Server Administration. You can use Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins to manage Commerce Server and Web site resources, such as Web-based customer profiles, e-commerce catalogs, e-commerce data warehouses, and e-commerce order processing infrastructure.

  • Database Administration. You can use scripts and tools to maintain the various types of databases associated with a Commerce Server site.

  • Monitoring Servers. You can use the Performance Monitor in addition to the Microsoft Windows Server Event Viewer to monitor Commerce Server. Basic monitoring gives you valuable information about the health of your site. There are many other tools available to help you monitor your site, including Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005. MOM delivers enterprise-class event and performance management for Windows Server-based environments of all sizes.

  • Troubleshooting. You can use Event Monitor to troubleshoot server errors, Commerce Server application errors, and other application errors.

  • Security. You can use the security features that Commerce Server provides to make the configuration changes that might be required when you manage an installation. You can use the security procedures in Windows Authorization Manager to create groups and group permissions, and assign user roles and rights.

Change Management

You should do change management for this solution through a well-defined change management process such as the following:

  1. Develop new content and configuration changes within the confines of the corporate network by using tools such as Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008 and Commerce Server Manager.

  2. Unit-test changes in the development environment.

  3. Move content and configuration changes from the development environment to the test/staging environment when the content is ready for integration and regression testing. The test/staging environment should be architecturally the same as the production environment, at smaller scale (fewer processors or Web servers). This environment might be located in the corporate network if you develop and administer applications in-house; or the environment can be located offsite at the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Application Service Provider (ASP) if your site is administered externally.

  4. Move the content and configuration changes from the test/staging environment to the production environment when you have successfully completed regression testing.

The following table lists the activities typically performed in this process.

Activity

Description

Store

Put content in file systems, version-control systems, or other types of repositories. Integrated application development systems store varied Web content in the file system that replicates the hierarchical structure of the Web site.

Stage

Assemble all content, if you have a separate staging environment, after the content has been thoroughly tested and before you move the content to the production environment.

Test

Test the finished content. For example, testing should include identifying broken and missing links, identifying pages that load slowly, load testing, component testing, database access testing, script testing, and performance testing. You should perform comprehensive, final integration testing in a test/staging environment that is the same as the production environment. Developers must make sure that database connections are valid for the test/staging environment and the production environment.

Deploy and replicate content

Put new content into production. Make sure that you move all content, including middle-tier components and transactional packages, to the live system.

Monitor and update

Monitor your production site and update the content when it is required. The content management process does not end when you put content in the production environment. You must continuously monitor and update content to keep the site current and working correctly.

Remove and archive

Remove unwanted or out-of-date content from the production environment and archive it for a predetermined length of time.

Analyze

Analyze the site and user traffic continuously.

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