Be in the know. Be in control.
We know how tough it can be at times when you are starting out brand new with a software service. There's a ton of features, how do you find out about all of them, what do they do, and how can you configure them? This is a quick Getting Started overview of all of the major features and configuration options at Office365Mon. Use this page as a jumping off point to find the details on all of the big pieces of your subscription. Don't forget - you get access to all of these for free for the first 90 days after you create your subscription.
Have questions about the right strategy for using all of these features to monitor Office 365? See our FAQ below.
If you just want to jump right in and see what the major features are about and how to configure them, as well as the reports that come with them, then check out our series of How To videos for the major features in Office365Mon.
Monitoring your cloud-based services is likely quite different from how you've monitored your on premises SharePoint and Exchange applications. We've listed some of the most common questions we get about these differences below so you can plan your Office 365 monitoring strategy.
Absolutely NOT! We fully leverage Azure Active Directory to securely limit our access to your sites and mailboxes. When you create your Office 365 tenant, and Azure Active Directory tenant is also automatically created too so you already have this. When you turn log into our site and ask us to monitor sites and mailboxes, you are redirected to Azure Active Directory. You login on the Azure site, and are asked if you will consent to allow us access to monitor your resources. Only if you say yes, you are redirected back to our site, and Azure gives us an access token - NOT your username and password. The access token can never be exchanged for your password.
For most of the monitoring features, you do NOT need to be a Global Administrator of your Office 365 tenant. There are a couple of exceptions to this: if you want to enable the Office 365 Service Info (which is also needed for Threat Intelligence Monitoring), Microsoft requires that you be a Global Admin in order to grant access to their API. Also, if you want to enable monitoring on Skype for Business then you need to be either a Global Admin or a Skype for Business Administrator to initially grant access. After you've done that then you can log back into the site as a regular user and click the Update button for Skype monitoring to just use a normal user account again.
No, we absolutely do not do that, and there are several reasons why. First, you will not be using the least privileged access to monitor these resources; if you want to read more about what we suggest in that respect you can read our blog post here: https://samlman.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/how-do-we-monitor-office-365-and-exchange-online-for-you/ .
Second, if you do this, you are granting access to every single email and every single document and list item in your Office 365 tenant. That is security approach that we consider to be absurdly risky to do in a shared enviroment, especially when you and you alone are not the only one that has keys to access that data. As such, we would never consider implementing such a poor security design in a shared service offering.
Third, it's incredibly rare that one site or mailbox is down and all the others are up, or vice versa. This is based on our technical architect having worked at Microsoft 18+ years, with the last dozen plus with the SharePoint and Office 365 teams. The stats we have seen at Office365Mon have continued to validate this.
As described above in the answer about monitoring every site and mailbox, it's extremely unlikely that you will have random sites and/or mailboxes "here and there" that are down. So based on that, a good monitoring strategy is to pick one or a handful of sites to monitor. For Exchange, you may want to monitor a mailbox in each data center where you have mailboxes hosted; you can see an example PowerShell script that lists that information here. That should give you a perfectly good view of the status of your tenant.
We recommend coupling that with our Distributed Probes and Diagnostics agent, which you can find here: https://www.office365mon.com/Configure/OnPremProbes and here: https://www.office365mon.com/Office365MonOffice365Diagnostics.zip (this link includes a zip with the agent and full documentation). Since all of our health probes monitor Office 365 from the cloud, there can be circumstances where it is working fine from there, but you may have local issues that are blocking users from connecting to Office 365. In addition, it also lets you monitor the performance from each location where you install the agent – you can even have it send you alerts if performance doesn't meet a specific threshold you define. As part of that, it also then gives you "view at a glance" geo heat maps that let you see what your performance and outages are like across the different locations where you've installed the agent – also very useful.
Yes, we've taken some of the nuggets from some of these items in the FAQ and wrote a longer blog article that talks in more detail about some of these issues and how we recommend you think about planning your monitoring strategy. For more details see Monitoring Geographically Distributed Office 365 Tenants at Office365Mon.Com.