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AS ORGANIZATIONS continue to investigate the potential business value of SharePoint 2010 and deploy the updated collaboration software platform, will offer an ongoing look at SharePoint strategy, implementation and management issues. In this edition of our
quarterly SharePoint e-zine, you’ll find analysis and expert advice on combining SharePoint with business intelligence (BI) systems, designing SharePoint 2010
end-user training programs and virtualizing SharePoint systems.

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  1. 1. SHAREPOINT P R A C T I C A L I T S T R AT E G I E S F O R E N T E R P R I S E C O L L A B O R AT I O N / / / J U N E 2 0 1 1S STRATEGY SharePoint-BI Integration: BI Data for Everyone Combining SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server technologies can open up business intelligence data to more users—and integrating them has gotten a lot easier. BY DON JONESI IMPLEMENTATION Best Practices for Effective SharePoint 2010 User Training Get expert advice on what to do, and what not to do, in training end users on how to get the most out of SharePoint 2010. BY JONATHAN GOURLAYM M ANAGEMENT The Benefits and Challenges of SharePoint Virtualization SharePoint environments are ripe for server virtualization, but support and configuration issues can trip up the unwary. BY BRIEN M. POSEY
  2. 2. » EDITOR’S NOTE ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Expanding the Effectiveness of SharePoint 2010 Editor’s Note BY JONATHAN GOURLAY ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ S SharePoint-BI Integration: BI Data for Everyone AS ORGANIZATIONS continue to investigate the potential business value of SharePoint 2010 and deploy the updated collaboration software platform, I will offer an ongoing look at SharePoint Best Practices strategy, implementation and management issues. In this edition of our for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 quarterly SharePoint e-zine, you’ll find analysis and expert advice on combining User Training SharePoint with business intelligence (BI) systems, designing SharePoint 2010 end-user training programs and virtualizing SharePoint systems. In the first article, Don Jones writes about integrating SharePoint 2010 and M SQL Server technologies to support BI activities. That puts BI data front and The Benefits and Challenges center in an organization, Jones says—and he adds that the integration process of SharePoint is becoming easier thanks to new features in SharePoint and SQL Server plus Virtualization the addition of the PowerPivot add-in for Excel. As part of research I’m doing on making effective use of SharePoint 2010, I asked three consultants about the best ways to train users on the now-year-old platform; the second article here catalogs their best-practices advice. And in our third and final article, Brien M. Posey details why SharePoint server farms are prime candidates for server virtualization and discusses what organizations should consider before virtualizing their SharePoint installations. If there’s a specific SharePoint topic you’d like to learn about, let us know—send me an email. I JONATHAN GOURLAY Site and News Editor, 2 SharePoint June 2011
  3. 3. » STRATEGY ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ SharePoint-BI Integration: BI Data for Everyone Editor’s Note Combining SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server technologies can open up business intelligence data to more users—and S integrating them has gotten a lot easier. BY DON JONES SharePoint-BI Integration: BI Data for ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Everyone I Best Practices ONE OF THE big selling points of today’s SQL Server, you can integrate a great for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 business intelligence (BI) tools is that deal of information right into Share- User Training they enable mere end users—as Point 2010, putting BI data front and opposed to super-smart IT analysts— center in your organization. to access reams of business data and SharePoint, in fact, has been a M make more informed decisions. Put- potential target for BI for a long time. The Benefits ting the right information into the After all, as more organizations put and Challenges hands of business decision makers more and more data into SharePoint, of SharePoint Virtualization can influence, and improve, every- more business users are spending thing from purchasing decisions more time working in the collabora- (“Should we be stocking more black tion software. So why not put BI data backpacks or blue ones?”) to corpo- where users’ eyes are already point- rate strategizing (“Should we open ed? In the past, SharePoint-BI integra- a new chain of stores in China?”). tion required third-party tools and, in Typically, information is delivered many cases, custom development. to those decision makers via cus- That still might be necessary depend- tomized BI dashboards, scorecards ing on the circumstances, but the and reports, most often presented integration process has become easi- through a dedicated BI application or er thanks to new BI-focused features Web portal. That likely will continue released by Microsoft in the latest to be the case for some time to come, versions of several products. but we’re starting to get other options. For example, SQL Server Report- Specifically, for a BI system based on ing Services can now deliver reports 4 SharePoint June 2011
  4. 4. » STRATEGY ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ directly to SharePoint 2010. Better can assemble reports simply by spec- yet, report definitions can be stored ifying some columns and plugging in in SharePoint, along with report parts. a few pre-designed parts. Meanwhile, The definitions, which detail different users who are more technically skilled report designs, can then be shared with can design and share their own report Editor’s Note other people in an organization, en- parts, helping the entire organiza- abling them to use existing reports as tion to collaborate more effectively. a starting point in creating new ones. Report designs can also be version- S Report parts are components— controlled in SharePoint, providing a SharePoint-BI charts, graphs, tables and so on—that history of previous versions for track- Integration: BI Data for are meant to be used in reports; with- ing purposes and for use in restoring Everyone in SharePoint, less-technical users a particular design if someone makes I Best Practices for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 Out With the Old, in With the New User Training BUSINESS INTELLIGENCEis one of the software industry’s fastest-growing and more dynamic product categories. BI vendors are continuously introducing significant new features and capabilities—and that means you might have to M adopt a somewhat more-aggressive-than-usual approach to software The Benefits upgrades in order to take full advantage of your BI tools. and Challenges of SharePoint For example, while SQL Server 2008 and SharePoint 2007 support some Virtualization useful BI features, accessing the best and broadest functionality requires the latest that Microsoft has to offer: SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, Excel 2010 and the PowerPivot for SharePoint add-in. The Excel piece of that is often the most politically difficult in organiza- tions, because deploying a new version of Office can be a big undertaking. Keep in mind that Office 2010 is file-compatible with older versions such as Office 2003 and 2007, so it’s feasible to simply upgrade the users who will make the most use of BI tools like PowerPivot. It’s also not uncommon to dedicate one or more SQL Server systems to BI uses, and it’s possible to set up a standalone SharePoint farm to integrate with those SQL Server machines. You don’t have to upgrade every SQL Server or SharePoint server to the latest software releases, but running the latest ver- sions on key systems will help maximize your organization’s BI capabilities. I 5 SharePoint June 2011
  5. 5. » STRATEGY ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ unwanted modifications to it. With processing to perform in-memory the right architecture in place, reports analytics on complex data sets. Those can even be distributed to business data sets can contain tens of thou- partners and other external users via sands, or even millions, of rows, extranets or the Internet. enabling your organization’s Excel Editor’s Note SQL Server 2008 R2’s Master Data jockeys to create complex data analy- Services (MDS) tool also integrates ses without having to wait for IT to with SharePoint. MDS is master data load information into a data ware- S management software designed to house or spin up a new data mart. SharePoint-BI create a “single version of the truth” Best of all, completed PowerPivot Integration: BI Data for for an organization’s most important tables—along with graphs and other Everyone data, helping to ensure that all busi- data visualizations—can be exported ness users are looking at consistent to SharePoint 2010 and shared with information, including within BI sys- other users (see Figure 1, page 7). I tems. Changes to MDS-controlled PowerPivot for SharePoint isn’t for Best Practices master data are handled via a work- faint-hearted organizations: It works for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 flow process, and SQL Server sup- best in conjunction with SQL Server User Training ports sending data to SharePoint systems sporting multiple proces- 2010 and using a SharePoint work- sor cores and gigabytes of memory, flow to manage approvals and data key prerequisites for the kind of M validation. MDS data can also be pub- in-memory analytics enabled by the The Benefits lished to SharePoint, usually in read- software. and Challenges only mode—making it accessible But with the right hardware, com- of SharePoint Virtualization through a unified console to every- bining SharePoint and PowerPivot one who can benefit from it, without truly democratizes BI. Business ana- allowing everyone to change the data. lysts and decision makers with strong Excel skills can simply draw data from Excel and other data sources, crunch POWERPIVOT PUTS the numbers in real time and make EXCLAMATION POINT ON the resulting PowerPivot workbook SHAREPOINT, BI COMBINATION files available in SharePoint for collab- Probably the most exciting BI-related oration purposes. The IT department feature new to SharePoint is Micro- doesn’t completely step out of the soft’s PowerPivot extension for Excel picture, though: IT staffers can use 2010. Building on the PivotTable tech- the software’s management dash- nology included with the last several board to track user-created analytical versions of Excel, PowerPivot uses a spreadsheets, apply version controls combination of server- and client-side through SharePoint and monitor 6 SharePoint June 2011
  6. 6. » STRATEGY ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ resource utilization on the servers. Pivot—you can more easily surface BI The whole point of BI has always capabilities to more users while still been to pull multiple data sources keeping the underlying data safe and together into a single view, helping secure. Putting BI data in more hands business executives and other users ideally means even better business Editor’s Note make better decisions by giving them decisions, and that’s something worth clear, concise data. With the combi- working toward. I nation of SharePoint 2010 and SQL Don Jones is a senior partner and principal technol- S Server 2008 R2—not to mention a ogist at strategic IT consulting firm Concentrated SharePoint-BI healthy dose of Excel via Power- Technology LLC. Integration: BI Data for Everyone Figure 1 I Tables, charts and other analytical elements created in PowerPivot Best Practices can be sent to SharePoint for collaboration purposes. for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 User Training M The Benefits and Challenges of SharePoint Virtualization 7 SharePoint June 2011
  7. 7. Continuous Availability for SharePoint 2010 Protect individual SharePoint▶ installations or complete SharePoint farms against unplanned outages and planned downtime Provide a consistent approach that goes▶ across SQL databases, file system content and Exchange Provide one SLA to protect the entire▶ collaboration, workflow and content management platform W W W. N E V E R F A I LG R O U P.CO M PREDICT · PROTECT · PERFORM 512-327-5777
  8. 8. » IMPLEMENTATION ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Best Practices for Effective SharePoint 2010 User Training Editor’s Note Get expert advice on what to do, and what not to do, in training end users on how to get the most out of SharePoint 2010. BY JONATHAN GOURLAY S SharePoint-BI ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Integration: BI Data for Everyone I IN MANY COMPANIES, employees are can backfire, especially when it’s Best Practices often left to their own devices to learn done in a traditional classroom set- for Effective a new software platform when its ting, he warned.SharePoint 2010 User Training first implemented. If there’s any train- Instead, Harbridge said, you’ll get ing at all, it’s usually hurried and much better buy-in by demonstrating incomplete. M And when it comes to steadily The Benefits evolving platforms with lots of collab- “If the goal is to get and Challenges orative functionality and multiple me to use SharePoint, of SharePoint ways of managing information and Virtualization projects, like SharePoint 2010, that’s then we need to focus exactly the wrong way to go about on educating, giving educating users and getting them to examples.” make the best use of the platform, —RICHARD HARBRIDGE according to consultants. Senior SharePoint evangelist, Allin Corp. It’s also a mistake to be heavy handed in training, said Richard Har- bridge, senior SharePoint evangelist how the software will make users at Allin Corp., a Pittsburgh-based lives easier and their business consulting and IT services firm. Sim- processes more efficient. He added ply imposing a new tool or a new set that the key in passing on an under- of rules and expectations when rolling standing of SharePoint’s capabilities out an enterprise-wide collaboration is relating real stories about how the and content management strategy collaboration platform solves pain 9 SharePoint June 2011
  9. 9. » IMPLEMENTATION ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ points and adds value to everyday ant who specializes in records and business processes. information management and elec- Harbridge likes to introduce Share- tronic discovery. Point by explaining its collaboration Focus on departments ripe for and data management capabilities. making the best use of SharePoint Editor’s Note Its also a good idea, he said, to demonstrate the transaction-based scenarios of project management and “Provide some guidance S portfolio management and how the SharePoint-BI deliverables from those activities and when SharePoint Integration: BI Data for would be organized, governed and becomes valuable Everyone improved through the use of Share- [to business users], Point. This type of training can be highly structured and tightly tied to that will drive adoption.” I new or existing policies or procedures. —ROB KOPLOWITZ Best Practices He did note, though, that when Principal analyst, Forrester Research Inc. for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 venturing into the social side of User Training SharePoint 2010 (wikis, discussion boards, blogging, etc.), enterprises right away, said Baker, who works should not dictate policies or proce- with Chicago-based Cohasset Asso- M dures but offer guidelines. In his opin- ciates Inc. The best way to achieve The Benefits ion, it’s important to approach both buy-in is to begin with “the workforce and Challenges training and the management of that that will be involved in the rollout to of SharePoint Virtualization kind of unstructured information in a help you train and help you deploy,” different way than you would with its she said. While it might seem obvious transactional counterpart. All of this, to pick the IT department, IT has said Harbridge, helps create empow- often been one of the last depart- erment for users. ments to deploy anything for itself. “So this is a twist on that,” she said, explaining that instead of asking IT to A SHAREPOINT INITIATIVE immediately train other groups on the WITH AN IT TWIST platform, the department should be Empowering employees is easier encouraged to fully deploy SharePoint with SharePoint 2010, in one respect, for its own employees first. Then, once because “SharePoint is more user IT realizes the value of full-on Share- friendly than many of the more Point adoption, it will be better able to heavy-duty and sophisticated pro- communicate that value to others. grams,” said Jennifer Baker, a consult- “If you train [pilot users] … and they 10 SharePoint June 2011
  10. 10. » IMPLEMENTATION ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ are able to basically set up sites that ing other cross-enterprise depart- are retention-enabled,” said Baker, ments, she said, indicating that the “that will trickle down to the entire legal and human resources depart- organization. That’s number one.” ments might be good options as Next, it becomes a matter of pick- early adopters “for a cascading kind Editor’s Note S SharePoint-BI Getting Buy-in for SharePoint 2010: Integration: BI Data for Everyone The Deployment Effect “DEPLOYMENT IS KEY” when it comes to training employees on the use of Share- Point 2010, according to Jennifer Baker, a consultant with Chicago-based I Cohasset Associates. Baker said SharePoint training best practices are close- ly tied to the way the collaboration software is rolled out to the enterprise. Best Practices for Effective How that’s done, she noted, will play a big role in determining whetherSharePoint 2010 there’s the across-the-board buy-in from business users that companies User Training shoot for. Baker listed a handful of key points to consider when approaching SharePoint deployment: M I Keep in mind that SharePoint is an evolving software platform and that The Benefits potential users need to understand its potential benefits. Users should be and Challenges of SharePoint asked what their pain points are and then shown how SharePoint 2010 can Virtualization help solve them to improve productivity. I Review task and information ownership within departments with an eye toward management of the company’s information assets. “It’s their infor- mation,” said Baker, “and employees need to understand their roles in bet- ter managing company information.” I Review compliance with the company’s retention schedules. I Review compliance enforcement of the company’s policies and processes for putting a so-called legal hold on information that could be needed for litigation purposes. I Finally, aim for consistency in managing information in all departments and “get that consistency to go across the company.” I 11 SharePoint June 2011
  11. 11. » IMPLEMENTATION ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ of rollout.” also work with larger groups if the “Then you have to layer on to that group has common interests or com- the rollout to the records manage- mon pain points, he said. ment staff,” she suggested. After that, Rather than simply telling employ- training might be extended to other ees it’s a collaboration program, ask Editor’s Note appropriate departments where them to begin doing proposals in records management, retention and SharePoint, said Rob Koplowitz, a vice information governance issues are president and principal analyst at For- S key before designating experts to rester Research Inc. in Cambridge, SharePoint-BI then train other employees in more Mass. “Provide some guidance and Integration: BI Data for vertical departments. when SharePoint becomes valuable, Everyone that will drive adoption,” he said. But there’s more to successful NOT JUST TRAINING— SharePoint training than that, Koplo- I EDUCATION, TOO witz added. “Now that I know how to Best Practices “If the goal is to get me to use Share- use the system, it doesn’t necessarily for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 Point, then we need to focus on edu- mean I know when to use the system, User Training cating, giving examples,” said Har- or what the value proposition is,” he bridge, adding that its important for said. “There’s some really strong busi- SharePoint educators to be able to ness value in identifying known sce- M demonstrate how the platform im- narios that are better served by using The Benefits proves the business functions that something like SharePoint.” and Challenges individuals concentrate on. A good approach, said Koplowitz, is of SharePoint Virtualization “There’s a difference between edu- asking users to change the way they cating someone and training some- work on projects. By guiding them one,” he said. “Educating is helping away from the typical process they’re someone understand something. comfortable with to a new one, the Then there’s training, and training is SharePoint platform’s business value an optimization tool. It’s meant to can be established quickly. “You lay optimize a person’s ability so that out the high level of functionality it they can accomplish things more has,” he said—and then the challenge quickly and efficiently.” becomes working interactively among A combination approach is most departments to establish adoption effective, especially on a one-on-one across the enterprise. I basis. “But that, of course, has the highest cost,” Harbridge said. So Jonathan Gourlay is site and news editor for Search- He manages editorial while educating people in SharePoint content production for the site, working with expert works better in small groups, it can contributors as well as writing news and features. 12 SharePoint June 2011
  12. 12. » MANAGEMENT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Benefits and Challenges of SharePoint Virtualization Editor’s Note SharePoint environments are ripe for server virtualization, but support and configuration issues can trip up the unwary. BY BRIEN M. POSEY S SharePoint-BI ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Integration: BI Data for Everyone SHAREPOINT 2010 farms usually consist unless they are “explicitly referenced” I of multiple SharePoint and SQL Server as part of its server virtualization vali- Best Practices systems all working together to pro- dation program. for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 vide the necessary processing capa- That means you can run SharePoint User Training bilities. Because so many different 2010 on Hyper-V without any support servers can be involved in a Share- Point farm, the collaboration platform M is a prime candidate for server virtu- The first thing that you alization. SharePoint virtualization The Benefits and Challenges can dramatically cut hardware and need to do is determine of SharePoint Virtualization data center costs, but there are some whether Microsoft will considerations that should be taken support your intended into account prior to virtualizing a virtualization software SharePoint installation. The first thing that you need to do on the guest server is determine whether Microsoft will configuration you have support your intended virtualization in mind. software on the guest server configu- ration you have in mind. Microsoft’s official support policy for SharePoint problems—but if you’re thinking Server 2010 embraces the company’s about using another virtualization own Hyper-V virtualization technolo- platform, you have to check to see gy, as you’d expect, and then states if it’s officially supported. Thankfully, that the collaboration software isn’t Microsoft offers an online support- supported in other environments policy wizard that you can use to do so. 13 SharePoint June 2011
  13. 13. » MANAGEMENT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Once you’ve accessed the wizard, architecture, as shown in Figure 1. choose your SharePoint version from Click NEXT to find out whether your the PRODUCT drop-down list on the specified configuration is supported. first screen. The following screen asks You’ll notice in Figure 2 (page 15) that you to specify the server virtualiza- the one I entered isn’t supported; Editor’s Note tion technology that you plan to use, that’s because I selected the 32-bit along with your proposed choice of x86 architecture and SharePoint 2010 guest operating system and system requires a 64-bit operating system. S SharePoint-BI Integration: BI Data for Figure 1 Everyone Enter information about your planned virtualization platform I on this screen. on this screen in Microsofts support-policy wizard. Best Practices for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 User Training M The Benefits and Challenges of SharePoint Virtualization 14 SharePoint June 2011
  14. 14. » MANAGEMENT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DON’T PUT YOUR remember that SharePoint is often SHAREPOINT VIRTUALIZATION considered to be a mission-critical EGGS IN ONE BASKET application. Therefore, it’s critical that Once the support issue is settled, it’s you avoid configurations that poten- time to move on to the meat of the tially could result in a single point of Editor’s Note SharePoint virtualization process. failure. The following sections discuss Regardless of whether your virtual- how to steer clear of such problems ized SharePoint deployment will be in both large and small organizations. S large or small, it’s important to For smaller companies, hardware SharePoint-BI Integration: BI Data for Everyone Figure 2 The wizard tells you whether your intended configuration is supported. I Best Practices for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 User Training M The Benefits and Challenges of SharePoint Virtualization 15 SharePoint June 2011
  15. 15. » MANAGEMENT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ and software licensing costs may put standalone SharePoint server to fault-tolerant SharePoint configura- failover to a different cluster node in tions based entirely on physical the event of a hardware failure. servers out of reach. Such organiza- Incidentally, Microsoft recom- tions can benefit greatly from virtual- mends that organizations needing Editor’s Note izing SharePoint systems: Virtualiza- a single SharePoint server create a tion platforms enable you to build fault-tolerant clusters at the hypervi- S sor level. You can’t skimp on the SharePoint-BI While there are financial costs in- system resources you Integration: curred in the creation of such clusters, BI Data for Everyone there are a couple of important bene- assign to virtual servers. fits, especially for organizations with That’s especially true of limited budgets. First, creating a memory: SharePoint I hypervisor-level cluster means that Best Practices you don’t have to build a separate 2010 is a very memory- for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 cluster for each individual SharePoint intensive application, User Training application. In addition, hypervisor- and if you fail to allocate level clusters can provide fault- tolerance to applications that normally enough to your virtual- M don’t support true failover clustering, ized SharePoint servers, The Benefits such as Domain Name System (DNS) memory contents that and Challenges services. of SharePoint That second benefit is particularly aren’t being used will Virtualization important for organizations that are be written to disk to running SharePoint 2010 in the free up RAM. “standalone” deployment mode. Standalone deployments aren’t true SharePoint farms, so you can’t add single server farm instead of using additional SharePoint servers to the standalone deployment option them. Likewise, the fact that stand- because of the issues discussed alone deployments use an integrated above. Standalone deployments usu- SQL Server Express database ally should be reserved for laboratory installed directly on the SharePoint and testing environments. server means that it’s impossible to Most large organizations with virtu- take advantage of failover clustering alized data centers already have at the SQL Server level. However a hypervisor-level clusters in place. hypervisor-level cluster will allow a Even so, it’s still important to take 16 SharePoint June 2011
  16. 16. » MANAGEMENT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ architecture into account when plan- is that you can’t skimp on the system ning a virtualized SharePoint farm to resources you assign to virtual avoid potential issues with perform- servers. That’s especially true of ance and fault tolerance. memory: SharePoint 2010 is a very memory-intensive application, and if Editor’s Note you fail to allocate enough to your vir- AVOIDING PERFORMANCE tualized SharePoint servers, memory BREAKDOWNS ON SHARE- contents that aren’t being used will S POINT VIRTUALIZATION SharePoint-BI From a performance perspective, Integration: BI Data for there are two main guidelines you You should spread Everyone need to follow. First, you must make your VMs around in sure to either balance a host server’s workloads or allocate resources in a a way that will ensure I way that will prevent one virtual that a virtualized Share- Best Practices machine from affecting other VMs Point farm will continue for Effective that are running on the same server.SharePoint 2010 User Training Workload balancing means pairing to function even in the high-demand VMs together with event that an entire lower-demand ones on a host server. hypervisor-level M For example, if your SQL Server sys- tem consumes a lot of CPU time and server cluster fails. The Benefits and Challenges disk I/O bandwidth, you might put it of SharePoint Virtualization on a host that runs low-demand serv- be written to disk to free up RAM. ices such as DNS or Dynamic Host The process of moving data back Configuration Protocol services. Of and forth between memory and disk, course, it’s generally better to allocate known as paging, will negatively resources specifically to a virtual affect VM performance. machine so that it won’t deprive other When it comes to fault tolerance, VMs of the resources they need. Nor- the most important thing to remem- mally, that means avoiding the use of ber is that you should spread your dynamic memory and not overcom- VMs around in a way that will ensure mitting the host server’s CPU cores. It that a virtualized SharePoint farm will also means using dedicated storage continue to function even in the event (and possibly even dedicated network that an entire hypervisor-level server adapters) for high-demand VMs. cluster fails. The other thing to keep in mind on For example, even if all of your vir- SharePoint virtualization performance tual machines are running on top of 17 SharePoint June 2011
  17. 17. » MANAGEMENT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ clustered host servers, you can still create virtualized cluster nodes for your applications. Microsoft’s recom- mendation for providing fault toler- ance to SharePoint application Editor’s Note servers is to build a farm with multi- ple servers, which could be scattered across VMs running within different S hypervisor-level clusters. Hannah Smalltree SharePoint-BI Editorial Director Integration: BI Data for Everyone You must configure your virtual machines Craig Stedman Executive Editor in a way that ensures I Best Practices adequate performance Jonathan Gourlay for EffectiveSharePoint 2010 for each server. Site and News Editor User Training Jason Sparapani Generally speaking, creating a vir- Copy Editor M tualized SharePoint environment isn’t The Benefits really all that different from setting and Challenges up one based entirely on physical Linda Koury of SharePoint Director of Online Design Virtualization servers. However, you must configure your virtual machines in a way that ensures adequate performance for Michael Bolduc each server while also providing fault Publisher tolerance to protect against system failures. And, of course, don’t forget to make sure that the technology Michael Nadeau Director of Sales you’re looking to deploy won’t break your SharePoint support contract. I TechTarget 275 Grove Street Brien M. Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP Newton, MA 02466 with two decades of IT experience. Before becoming a freelance technical writer, Posey worked as CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care ©2011 TECHTARGET. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. facilities and as a network administrator for insur- ance companies and for the Department of Defense. 18 SharePoint June 2011
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