Wednesday, 30 April 2014

OWA intermittently not returning office documents in Office Web Apps 2013

Problem: Intermittent requests are not returning the pdf/word documents. Most requests are working and occasionally 1 request doesn't work. Every 4th request tries to get the pdf to display on Office Web Apps for a few minutes without any error message and then stops trying and displays the message "Sorry, Word Web App can't open this ... document because the service is busy."

I have 4 OWA/WCA servers on a stretched farm being used by SP2013 etc.

Initial Hypothesis: Originally I thought it was only happening to pdfs but it is happening to word and pdf documents (I don't have excel docs in my system). My monitoring software SolarWinds is badly configured on my OWA servers as the monitor is showing green, drilling down into the servers monitoring; the 2 application monitors are both failing. The server should go amber if either of the 2 applications monitoring fails and in turn red after 5 minutes. At this point I notice that I can't log onto my 4 OWA/WCA server. Web request are not being returned. I look at my KEMP load balancer and it says all 4 WCA servers are working, I notice the configuration is not on web requests but on ping (not right) and the NLB/KEMP is merely redirecting every 4th request to the broken server.

  1. Reboot the broken server, once it comes up I can make http requests directly to url on the rebooted server.
  2. SolarWinds monitoring is lousy - need to fixed the monitoring.
  3. Kemp hardware load balancing needs to be changed from checking the machine is "ON" to rather checking each machine using a web request.
SolarWinds Monitoring is not configured correctly



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