Before we begin, I’d like to take a moment to talk about how Quest can help you take control of your SharePoint chaos and then we’ll dig into our demonstration today and see Quest’s <insert name of weekly demo products> can help.We know that it takes a team of people to keep SharePoint up to date and running smoothly, so you need simple, effective tools to work together no matter what the organization demands. Quest has just what you need no matter what your role is in the SharePoint universe.We help IT Managers cut through the SharePoint chaos and control costs with our extensive management solutions. You’ll have the power to implement a true governance plan for permissions management, usage auditing, data protection, custom development, future migrations and growth.We enable SharePoint Administrators to reclaim their workday with targeted, simple and fast SharePoint administration solutions. Take advantage of a common management console, “ZeroIMPACT” migrations, centralized backup and recovery, and simplified storage growth management.And with SharePoint Developers, we are there to help them avoid tedious manual coding and easily deploy custom applications across their unique environment. Our solutions give coders and non-coders alike simple, focused, and fast customization tools to speed both development and deployment – ensuring best practices and delivering on the promise of SharePoint.You can learn more about how we help each member of your SharePoint team as well as sign up for more weekly demos by visiting www.Quest.com/ControltheChaos
First I want to give a brief overview of each of the five pillars.Security – Protect your business critical information and your investment in SharePoint by pro-actively managing the security of your users, content and infrastructure. With Quest Solutions, you can automate the policies and procedures you need to protect your SharePoint. Auditing – Track the who, what, when, where and why of SharePoint actions to maintain user, content and configuration compliance. Quest Solutions simplify your auditing tasks and minimize the risks to your business critical information.Reliability – Prevent end user productivity interruptions by ensuring your infrastructure is configured correctly, your data is protected and your SharePoint is up-to-date. Quest Solutions for SharePoint automate the safeguards and processes you need for a stable environment.Usability – Ensure SharePoint adoption and maintain business productivity by giving users an environment that is easy-to-use, performing at its best, and able to meet their demands. Quest Solutions for SharePoint enable consistent content management, migration and customization to keep your users productive.Supportability – Fix support issues quickly and protect your SharePoint investment from data loss, unsupportable code, and inconsistent migrations and deployments across your environment. Quest Solutions for SharePoint make it easy for you to keep your environment up and running – and your users happy.
Jason Himmelstein, MCTS, MCITP, is the SharePoint Practice Director for Sentri, Inc. and has been working with Microsoft Server technologies since 1998 when he was supporting Motorola in Austin, TX. He went to work for the University of Texas for 5 years where he developed expertise in Active Directory ADD JASON Exchange. He left UT to go HERE the road doing work for Dell in a partnership with Microsoft doing architecture, design and implementation of Active Directory and Exchange. He started working with SharePoint in 2007 as an Enterprise Architect for Raytheon Company. Outside of this crazy working world he is a happily married father of 2 boys and a die-hard Texas Longhorns and San Antonio Spurs fan
Chris McNulty works in the SharePoint team at Quest Software, where his responsibilities include the strategic product direction for Quest’s SharePoint solutions. Chris is a MCTS/MCSE, and a member of the Microsoft Solutions Advocate and MVTSP programs. A frequent speaker at events around the U.S., Chris is the author of the “SharePoint 2010 Consultant’s Handbook” and blogs at http://www.chrismcnulty.net/blog and http://www.sharepointforall.com. Prior to Quest, Chris led the SharePoint consulting practice at KMA, a New England-based Microsoft Gold Partner. He holds an MBA in investment management from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, and has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services technology with John Hancock, State Street, GMO, and Santander.
SharePoint is an excellent collaboration platform that promises the ability to build compelling applications on its foundation. But using SharePoint out-of-the-box to develop a moderately simple application can be expensive, tedious, time consuming and, for some, insurmountable.Many of the most powerful functions, such as the Forms Server, require Enterprise licensing – more expensive than the SharePoint Standard license. In addition, Microsoft’s Business Intelligence toolset is powerful, but requires advanced skills in SQL, Analysis Services, Visual Studio, and/or Reporting Services to be effective.With Quest Web Parts for SharePoint, you can unleash the full power of SharePoint 2007/2010 by quickly becoming a SharePoint application designer. Quest Web Parts enables you to customize SharePoint and easily create applications by simply dragging and dropping components. Because Quest Web Parts removes the need for custom coding and complex data integration, even non-programmers can build SharePoint sites quickly and easily. For this reason, after a migration, it now makes sense to recompose applications in SharePoint, rather than maintain those from legacy platforms.Quest Web Parts allows you to build better SharePoint sites quickly and easily. This site was built exclusively with Quest Web Parts; no coding required.Controllable, security-aware cascading and panel menus. You can show different navigation to different security groups, to applications outside of SharePoint and customize the look and feel.Configure collapsible and hierarchical cascading and panel menus that occupy minimum screen real estate, providing more intuitive application navigation for end users. All menus are security-trimmed, presenting different navigation to different security groups.ezEdit, Quest Web Parts’ embedded configuration tool, reduces the time required to build applications by up to 80 percent and makes it simple for coders and non-coders alike to build applications. ezLearn, our eLearning module, provides in context guidance and links to videos and training about best practices, techniques, and tips for using Web Parts.
While most of the Site Administrator for SharePoint functionality deals with a higher level than Server Administrator for SharePoint, focusing on sites, content and users, some of these reports can give valuable insights that let you increase your SharePoint reliability. Specifically, the Enterprise Overview report is a great starting point to assess SharePoint capacity needs and the efficiency of the current storage use. Drill down reports enable you to further explore the details and get to the root of an issue where needed.Review the distribution of load in terms of size and number of sites between Content Databases and Web Applications. The report same report shows both size of the SharePoint content in a database, as well as SQL database files size, including whitespace and logs. This helps you better understand the current capacity and plan for more storage as needed.Quickly see how the occupied storage space is distributed among current content, earlier versions and recycle bins. As discussed earlier in this tech brief, even a smaller content database may require lots of storage for the logs and backups, so this might require raising a question with the business stakeholders: how much it is worth spending on storing the versions, and what would be the impact of limiting the number of versions to keep.Site collections and sites reports are also available on the enterprise level, and let you quickly identify large but unused sites. You can use this to review and take action, considering potential business impact on one hand and the costs of storage and operations on the other.Site Administrator’s web-based Information Portal provides an enterprise level dashboard that aggregates data across all SharePoint farms, allowing you to drill down to specific sites and sub sites.
Effective Backup and Recovery TechniquesAs shown earlier in this brief, backups can add considerable storage requirements. But even understanding this is not enough to properly manage the backup files and transaction logs. You first task when planning for backup and recovery of the SharePoint environment is to understand the business requirements for recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) for various content loss and disaster recovery scenarios. How much impact can business tolerate in case of a file loss? A site? A server? Entire farm?Another important consideration is understanding the tools and processes might already be in place for SQL backup. Will your SharePoint require additional backups on top of that? How much and in which scenarios you can leverage existing backups, and when do you have to create additional backups of the data? Is there any duplication of data in backups, and if yes – can you justify the associated costs with the business requirements.Recovery Manager for SharePoint is designed to help address some of these questions. Specifically, consider that Recovery Manager can help you:Reduce the RTO for farm restore if you choose to rely on SharePoint farm backup. Recovery Manager simplifies scheduling of the native backups and reduces the risk of farm restore failures by guidance, built-in prerequisite and dependencies checks and automation of recovery steps across multiple servers in the farm.Significantly improve RTO for granular content restore without creating duplicate backups. Recovery Manager’s ability to fit in an existing backup landscape allows you to leverage your current SQL backups for site or document restores. Recovery Manager can automatically recognize and work with native SQL and SharePoint backups, as well as leading 3rd party backup solutions such as Symantec Backup Exec, NetBackup, IBM Tivoli and others. And of course Recovery Manager fully integrates with Quest data protection products such as LiteSpeed for SQL, vRanger Pro and NetVault product line.Maintain role separation for efficient operations, if such separation exists in your organization. Many IT departments have specialized SQL DBA or backup operator role to take care of the SQL backups. Sometimes SharePoint admins prefer to produce extra backups (whether farm or granular site collection backups) to avoid dependencies on other team members in case it comes to a restore. This can have negative impact on the storage and as such on the overall operations costs and reliability. Recovery Manager fully supports such delineation of duties and can help avoiding duplicating the backups and operational effort. Recovery Manager gives SharePoint admins a secure way to restore SharePoint contents without having direct access permissions to the backup files or the backup system.