Understanding Your Current Environment


Understanding your current environment is critical in the planning and implementation of any new system. When designing your SharePoint Server 2007 installation, plan on many documents being migrated while indexing the remainder. Try to get a comprehensive view by thoroughly documenting the location, type, and quantity of content in your enterprise.

Determining Staffing Needs

One commonly overlooked component of a successful implementation is staffing. Architects and administrators usually do a good job creating a bill of goods for hardware and software, but they often forget to secure funding for personnel to adequately develop and maintain a new system. SharePoint Server 2007 can consume a large amount of human resources if used to its full potential. Understand what types of dedicated personnel are required in the beginning, and start getting stakeholders' support immediately. Table 3-1 offers a suggested staffing schedule for you to consider. (Note: F = One full time person and P = One part time person.)

Table 3-1: Suggested Staffing Recommendations
Open table as spreadsheet

Staff position

Small farm

Medium farm

Large farm

Multiple farms

System administrator

F

F

F F

F F

Search administrator

P

F

F P

F F F

Site designer

P

F

F F

F F F

Software developer

N/A

P F

F F

F F F

Software tester

N/A

P

F

F F

SQL DBA

P

F

F

F F

Keep in mind these are minimum recommendations and will vary based on how deep and wide your SharePoint Server 2007 implementation will be. For example, if you connect to line-of-business systems or use multifarm content deployment, you will require a much larger IT staff. A common shortfall of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 implementations was the lack of dedicated personnel for search/indexing and SQL Server SharePoint database administration. Medium and large SharePoint Server 2007 implementations will require at least one full-time person for each of these tasks. Don't forget that software testers can easily pay for themselves with decreased Helpdesk and IT staff support calls, as well as increased user productivity.

Surveying Current Content

A common reason that a company implements SharePoint Server 2007 is because its information currently exists in disparate data islands that are disconnected and the company lacks any method of finding critical data across these islands. With new SharePoint Server 2007 features, organizations can host or index the majority of their information and connect content from these disparate data islands. Following is a list of common content locations and suggestions for how you can move or index that content using SharePoint Server 2007:

  • File cabinets Scan in and archive these documents using the Records Repository.

  • Web servers Migrate and upgrade from Content Management Server 2002.

  • File shares Migrate documents to Document Libraries, and index the remainder.

  • Personal computers Move data to SharePoint Server 2007 My Sites and Team Sites.

  • Exchange public folders Migrate data and use SharePoint Server 2007 Forms Server.

  • Outlook personal information stores and Exchange Server inboxes Use SharePoint Server 2007 discussion lists to store e-mail threads and capture tacit knowledge (know-how). Also, store content in Document Libraries and send hyperlinks instead of entire documents.

  • Line-of-business systems Index popular ERM systems.

  • Third-party document management and archival systems Move this content to SharePoint Server 2007, and use native Document and Records Management.

If you decide to move large sets of content, plan your migrations to reduce the impact on the end user. Attempting to move all data simultaneously can be an impossible challenge-take it one step at a time.

Documenting the Network Infrastructure

Gaining a detailed understanding of the network infrastructure and implementing thorough documentation are necessary components in a solid system design. It is important to know all connection points, traversal paths, and personnel responsible during your implementation. Several network infrastructure components are used in medium and enterprise-scale SharePoint Server 2007 implementations. Consult with the network administrators to understand any nuances, such as maintenance windows, that you need to be aware of. Here are some examples of network infrastructure components and considerations:

  • Switches Port speed, Duplex, virtual LANS, media type

  • Routers Restrictions, wide area network bandwidth and latency

  • Storage area networks Type, capacity, SAN HBA compatibility

  • Firewalls Restrictions, configuration control, screened subnets

Meticulous documentation of these components up front will save time and energy as you progress through your design.

Choosing Server Platforms

When deploying an SharePoint Server solution, you need to choose sufficient hardware to support your requirements. Hardware that is insufficient for your services will cause your solution to perform slowly, delaying access to content and thus increasing the total cost of ownership. With the recent popularity in virtual machine (VM) technology, many organizations are implementing VMs to reduce server sprawl and CPU waste. Experience has shown that medium and large implementations are not likely to run well on most VM implementations.

Whether you choose physical or virtual machines, be mindful that modern processor architectures favor CPU-intensive applications or high I/O throughput, but usually not both.

Physical Machines

Most servers running today are physical, single-solution machines. Many SharePoint Server 2007, SQL Server 2000, and SQL Server 2005 systems will be unaffected by the trend toward virtualization; these servers usually require all resources the hardware has available. A small SharePoint Server 2007 installation might be run on a single machine, but most SharePoint Server 2007 installations will require several machines.

Virtual Machines

Many organizations are moving commodity servers to virtualized platforms. In SharePoint Server 2007 implementations, virtual machines are beneficial in saving development resources along with easing the transition of content from development to test systems. Small organizations, or large organizations with unique legal or regulatory requirements, might find it useful to host some components of their SharePoint Server 2007 implementations on virtual machines. If you decide to use virtual machines, be sure to test your implementation before production deployment to ensure acceptable performance.




Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 Administrator's Companion
MicrosoftВ® Office SharePointВ® Server 2007 Administrators Companion
ISBN: 0735622825
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 299

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