Groups Activity Test

An Office 365 Group is a way to centralize membership for multiple Microsoft products in one place, and apply policies at the project or team level instead of each product. Using Office 365 groups, you can create a shared space to communicate, collaborate, and schedule events with colleagues on a shared task, project, or resource.

Typically, members of a group communicate with each other over emails and using social networking platforms such as yammer. To disseminate information and collaborate on a project, they use SharePoint files. More often than not, administrators may want to track the level of communication / collaboration activity across groups, so they can determine whether/not adequate shared resources (eg., mailbox storage, site storage etc.) are available to the groups to handle the load. This is where the Groups Activity test helps!

This test monitors the yammer, email, and file activity across groups, and reports how much load these activities impose on mailbox storage and SharePoint site storage. This way, administrators can rapidly figure out if groups require additional storage space to handle the load. If the groups are utilizing mailbox and/or site storage abnormally, you can use the detailed diagnosis reported by the test to identify the top storage consumers - i.e., the groups that are using up a lot of storage space owing to high level of email/file activity.

Note:

This test uses the Microsoft Graph API. Tests that use Microsoft Graph API may not start reporting metrics right away. Sometimes, they may go without reporting metrics for over 48 hours. This is normal behavior, and it occurs because, Microsoft does not collect/refresh the metrics as frequently as the test executes.

Target of the test : Office 365

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the Office 365 tenant being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured. By default, this is portal.office.com

O365 User Name, O365 Password, and Confirm Password

For execution, this test requires the privileges of an O365 user who is vested with the View-Only Audit Logs permission. Configure the credentials of such a user against O365 User Name and O365 Password text boxes. Confirm the password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

While you can use the credentials of any existing O365 user with the afore-said privileges, it is recommended that you create a special user for monitoring purposes using the Office 365 portal and use the credentials of that user here. To know how to create a new user using the Office 365 portal and assign the required privileges to that user, refer to Creating a New User in the Office 365 Portal.

O365 Domain

To have a personalized business email address, team site address, or even an account name, you set up a domain name with Office 365. A domain is a unique name that appears after the @ sign in email addresses, and after www. in web addresses. It typically takes the form of your organization's name and a standard Internet suffix, such as yourbusiness.com or stateuniversity.edu. Office 365 gives you an initial domain name to use. By default, this will be of the format: *.onmicrosoft.com - eg., abc.onmicrosoft.com. To enable this test to pull metrics, you need to configure the test with the name of this initial domain. Therefore, configure the O365 Domain parameter with the name of the initial domain. To know what is your Office 365 initial domain name, do the following:

  1. Log on to the Microsoft Office 365 Online Portal using an administrative account.
  2. Under Management, click on Domains.
  3. The initial domain should be listed with a name ending with .onmicrosoft.com.

Domain, Domain User Name, Domain Password, and Confirm Password

These parameters are applicable only if the eG agent needs to communicate with the Office 365 portal via a Proxy server.

In this case, in the Domain text box, specify the name of the Windows domain to which the eG agent host belongs. In the Domain User Name text box, mention the name of a valid domain user with login rights to the eG agent host. Provide the password of that user in the Domain Password text box and confirm that password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

On the other hand, if the eG agent is not behind a Proxy server, then you need not disturb the default setting of these parameters. By default, these parameters are set to none.

Proxy Host, Proxy Port, Proxy User Name, and Proxy Password

These parameters are applicable only if the eG agent needs to communicate with the Office 365 portal via a Proxy server.

In this case, provide the IP/host name and port number of the Proxy server that the eG agent should use in the Proxy Host and Proxy Port parameters, respectively.

If the Proxy server requires authentication, then specify the credentials of a valid Proxy user against the Proxy User Name and Proxy Password text boxes. Confirm that password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box. If the Proxy server does not require authentication, then specify none against the Proxy User Name, Proxy Password, and Confirm Password text boxes.

On the other hand, if the eG agent is not behind a Proxy server, then you need not disturb the default setting of any of the Proxy-related parameters. By default, these parameters are set to none.

DD Frequency

Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time the test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against DD Frequency.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option. The option to selectively enabled/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Yammer liked messages

Indicates the number of messages on yammer that were liked by group members.

Number

 

Yammer posted messages

Indicates the number of messages posted to yammer by group members.

Number

 

Yammer read messages

Indicates the number of messages posted to yammer that were read by group members.

Number

 

Mailbox storage used by groups

Indicates the amount of mailbox storage space used by groups.

GB

A consistent increase in the value of this measure is indicative of a steady increase in mailbox storage usage, probably caused by excessive mail activity across groups.

In the event that the value of this measure is abnormally high, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to identify which groups are draining mailbox storage.

Mailbox items in group

Indicates the total number of items in the mailboxes of group members.

Number

A consistent increase in the value of this measure is indicative of a steady increase in email activity in the groups.

If the value of this measure is abnormally high, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to identify which groups with many items in their mailbox, and who owns these groups.

Mails received

Indicates the number of emails received across groups.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to identify which groups received the maximum number of mails.

SharePoint files

Indicates the number of SharePoint files used by group members.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to identify which groups use the maximum number of SharePoint files.

SharePoint site storage usedU

Indicates the total amount of site storage space used by groups.

GB

A consistent increase in the value of this measure is indicative of a steady increase in site storage usage, probably caused by by the creation of many SharePoint files or a few/more large-sized SharePoint files by group members.

In the event that the value of this measure is abnormally high, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to identify which groups are hogging site storage.

SharePoint active files

Indicates the total number of SharePoint files actively used by group members.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to know which groups are actively using the maximum number of SharePoint files.

The detailed diagnosis of the Mailbox storage used by groups measure reveals the top-10 groups consuming the maximum mailbox storage space. This will point administrators to those groups that are contributing to the excessive usage of mailbox storage.

Figure 3 : The detailed diagnosis of the Mailbox storage used by groups measure

The detailed diagnosis of the Mailbox items in groups measure reveals the top-10 groups, in terms of the count of items in their mailbox. With the help of these detailed metrics, administrators can quickly identify which groups are draining mailbox storage by adding many items to it.

Figure 4 : The detailed diagnosis of the Mailbox items in groups measure

The detailed diagnosis of the Mails received measure reveals the top-10 groups, in terms of mails received. If mailbox storage usage is unusually high across groups, then you can use these detailed metrics to identify which group received and stored the maximum number of mails in the mailbox storage, thereby causing excessive consumption of storage space.

Figure 5 : The detailed diagnosis of the Mails received measure

The detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint files measure lists the top-10 groups, with the maximum number of SharePoint files. If there is abnormal usage of site storage, then you can use these detailed metrics to identify the group that could be contributing to this by storing many SharePoint files.

Figure 6 : The detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint files measure

The detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint site storage used measure lists the top-10 groups consuming the maximum space in site storage. If groups appear to be using site storage excessively, then these detailed statistics will point you to the precise group that is responsible for the anomaly.

Figure 7 : The detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint site storage used

The detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint active files measure lists the top-10 groups, in terms of the number of active SharePoint files. With the help of these detailed metrics, you can identify which group is responsible for abnormal storage usage.

Figure 8 : The detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint active files measure