SharePoint Infrastructure Tips and Tricks for On-Premises and Hybrid Cloud Environments - East Bay SPUG


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There are a myriad number of approaches to design and architecture of SharePoint servers, not all of which are ideal, however. Since the design of a SharePoint environment is subsequently critical to its performance and functionality, it is critical to understand what the best practices around SharePoint infrastructure design are. SharePoint architects need to be aware of the various installation options, the differences between SharePoint search architecture models, how and when to virtualize SharePoint, and ways to optimize the SQL Database tier of SharePoint. In addition, integrating SharePoint On-Premises with cloud models such as SharePoint Online and Enterprise Social environments such as Yammer has its own set of infrastructure challenges.

This session goes right to the heart of the matter, providing for physical and virtual architecture guidelines and specific configuration settings that can immediately be used to construct best practice SharePoint On-Premises and/or hybrid cloud environments. In addition, a close look at new models at the data tier such as highly available farms that use SQL 2014/2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups are outlined. Real world advice obtained from the presenter’s experience designing hundreds of production SharePoint farms is provided, and the installation options are discussed frankly.

• Understand how cloud and hybrid models affect SharePoint On-Premises Infrastructure and how to integrate them easily
• Examine new High Availability strategies with SharePoint that take advantage of the aggressive SLAs provided with SQL 2014/2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups
• Learn simple ways to get better performance out of an existing SharePoint environment, with tips and tricks for the SharePoint data, web, and service application tiers

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  • SharePoint Infrastructure Tips and Tricks for On-Premises and Hybrid Cloud Environments - East Bay SPUG

    1. 1. SharePoint Infrastructure Tips and Tricks for On-Premises and Hybrid Cloud Environments Michael Noel Convergent Computing (CCO) 925-933-4800
    2. 2. Michael Noel • Author of SAMS Publishing titles “SharePoint 2013 Unleashed,” “SharePoint 2010 Unleashed”, “Windows Server 2012 Unleashed,” “Exchange Server 2013 Unleashed”, “ISA Server 2006 Unleashed”, and a total of 19 titles that have sold over 300,000 copies. • Partner at Convergent Computing ( – San Francisco, U.S.A. based Infrastructure/Security specialists for SharePoint, AD, Exchange, System Center, Security, etc.
    3. 3. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview
    4. 4. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Software/Hardware Requirements • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2 (With SP 2013 SP1) • SQL Server 2008 R2 w/SP1, SQL Server 2012, or SQL Server 2014 Type Memory Processor Dev/Stage/Test server 8GB RAM 4 CPU ‘All-in-one’ DB/Web/SA 24GB RAM 4 CPU Web/SA Server 12GB RAM 4 CPU DB Server (medium environments) 16GB RAM 8 CPU DB Server (small environments) 8GB RAM 4 CPU
    5. 5. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Changes in Service Applications and New Service Applications • Office Web Apps is no longer a service application • Web Analytics is no longer service application, it’s part of search • New service applications available and improvements on existing ones • App Management Service – Used to manage the new SharePoint app store from the Office Marketplace or the Application Catalog • SharePoint Translation Services – provides for language translation of Word, XLIFF, and PPT files to HTML • Work Management Service – manages tasks across SharePoint, MS Exchange and Project. • Access Services App (2013) – Replaces 2010 version of Access Services
    6. 6. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Distributed Cache Service • A new Windows service – the Distributed Cache Service – is installed on each server in the farm when SharePoint is installed • It is managed via the Services on Server page in central admin as the Distributed Cache service • The config DB keeps track of which machines in the farm are running the cache service
    7. 7. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Request Management (RM) • The purpose of the Request Management feature is to give SharePoint knowledge of and more control over incoming requests • Having knowledge over the nature of incoming requests – for example, the user agent, requested URL, or source IP – allows SharePoint to customize the response to each request • RM is applied per web app, just like throttling is done in SharePoint 2010
    8. 8. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview User Profile Sync – Three Options for Deployment • Option 1 (AD Import): Simple one-way Sync (a la SharePoint 2007) • Option 2: Two-way, possible write-back to AD options using small FIM service on UPA server (a la 2010) • Option 3: Full Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) Synchronization, allows for complex scenarios – Larger clients will appreciate this
    9. 9. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Claims-based Authentication - Default • SharePoint 2013 continues to offer support for both claims and classic authentication modes • However claims authentication is THE default authentication option now • Classic authentication mode is still there, but can only be managed in PowerShell – it’s gone from the UI • Support for classic mode is deprecated and will go away in a future release • There also a new process to migrate accounts from Windows classic to Windows claims – the Convert-SPWebApplication cmdlet
    10. 10. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Shredded Storage • Stores new versions of documents as ‘shredded BLOBs that are deltas of the changes • Promises to reduce storage size significantly
    11. 11. SharePoint 2013 Infrastructure Overview Search – FAST Search now included • New Search architecture (FAST based) with one unified search • Personalized search results based on search history • Rich contextual previews
    12. 12. Architecting the Farm
    13. 13. Web Service Apps Data Architecting the Farm Three Layers of SharePoint Infrastructure
    14. 14. • ‘All-in-One’ (Avoid)  DB and SP Roles Separate Architecting the Farm Small Farm Models
    15. 15. Architecting the Farm • 2 SharePoint Servers running Web and Service Apps • 2 Database Servers (AlwaysOn FCI or AlwaysOn Availability Groups) • 1 or 2 Index Partitions with equivalent query components • Smallest farm size that is fully highly available Smallest Highly Available Farm
    16. 16. Architecting the Farm Best Practice ‘Six Server Farm’ • 2 Dedicated Web Servers (NLB) • 2 Service Application Servers • 2 Database Servers (Clustered or Mirrored) • 1 or 2 Index Partitions with equivalent query components
    17. 17. Architecting the Farm Ideal – Separate Service App Farm + Content Farm(s) • Separate farm for Service Applications • One or more farms dedicated to content • Service Apps are consumed cross-farm • Isolates ‘cranky’ service apps like User Profile Sync and allows for patching in isolation
    18. 18. Architecting the Farm • Multiple Dedicated Web Servers • Multiple Dedicated Service App Servers • Multiple Dedicated Query Servers • Multiple Dedicated Crawl Servers, with multiple Crawl DBs to increase parallelization of the crawl process • Multiple distributed Index partitions (max of 10 million items per index partition) • Two query components for each Index partition, spread among servers Large SharePoint Farms
    19. 19. Cloud and Hybrid Scenarios
    20. 20. Cloud and Hybrid Scenarios One-way Outbound Topology
    21. 21. Cloud and Hybrid Scenarios One-way Inbound Topology
    22. 22. Cloud and Hybrid Scenarios Two-way Inbound/Outbound Topology
    23. 23. Identity Management in Hybrid Mode • Single Sign On possible between environments using Azure Active Directory Synchronization Tool • Azure Active Directory Connection Required, regardless of SSO or non SSO (non-SSO just synchs passwords) • Consider the use of the OnRamp for Office 365 toolkit ( • Server to Server Authentication also required (Certs)
    24. 24. SharePoint Virtualization
    25. 25. SP Server Virtualization Sample 1: Single Server Environment  Allows organizations that wouldn’t normally be able to have a test environment to run one  Allows for separation of the database role onto a dedicated server  Can be more easily scaled out in the future
    26. 26. SP Server Virtualization  High-Availability across Hosts  All components Virtualized Sample 2: Two Server Highly Available Farm
    27. 27. SP Server Virtualization  Highest transaction servers are physical  Multiple farm support, with DBs for all farms on the SQL AOAG Sample 3: Mix of Physical and Virtual Servers
    28. 28. SP Server Virtualization Scaling to Large Virtual Environments
    29. 29. Virtualization of SharePoint Servers Virtualization Performance Monitoring • Processor (Host Only) • <60% Utilization = Good • 60%-90% = Caution • >90% = Trouble • Available Memory • 50% and above = Good • 10%-50% = OK • <10% = Trouble • Disk – Avg. Disk sec/Read or Avg. Disk sec/Write • Up to 15ms = fine • 15ms-25ms = Caution • >25ms = Trouble • Network Bandwidth – Bytes Total/sec – <40% Utilization = Good – 41%-64% = Caution – >65% = Trouble • Network Latency - Output Queue Length – 0 = Good – 1-2= OK – >2 = Trouble
    30. 30. Data Management
    31. 31. Data Management Sample Distributed Content Database Design
    32. 32. Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) Data Management • Can reduce the size of Content DBs, as upwards of 98% of space in content DBs is composed of BLOBs • Can move BLOB storage to more efficient/cheaper storage • Improve performance and scalability of your SharePoint deployment – But highly recommended to use third party as it increases scalability
    33. 33. SQL Database Optimization
    34. 34. SQL Server Optimization DB-A File 1 DB-B File 1 Volume #1 Multiple Files for SharePoint Databases DB-A File 2 DB-B File 2 Volume #2 DB-A File 3 DB-B File 3 Volume #3 DB-A File 4 DB-B File 4 Volume #4 Tempdb File 1 Tempdb File 2 Tempdb File 3 Tempdb File 4
    35. 35. SQL Server Optimization Multiple Files for SharePoint Databases • Break Content Databases and TempDB into multiple files (MDF, NDF), total should equal number of physical processors (not cores) on SQL server. • Pre-size Content DBs and TempDB to avoid fragmentation • Separate files onto different drive spindles for best IO perf. • Example: 50GB total Content DB on Two-way SQL Server would have two database files distributed across two sets of drive spindles = 25GB pre-sized for each file.
    36. 36. SQL Database Optimization SQL Maintenance Plans • Implement SQL Maintenance Plans! • Include DBCC (Check Consistency) and either Reorganize Indexes or Rebuild Indexes, but not both! • Add backups into the maintenance plan if they don’t exist already • Be sure to truncate transaction logs with a T-SQL Script (after full backups have run…)
    37. 37. High Availability and Disaster Recovery
    38. 38. High Availability and Disaster Recovery SQL Server Solution Potential Data Loss (RPO) Potential Recovery Time (RTO) Automatic Failover Additional Readable Copies AlwaysOn Availability Groups – Synchronous (Dual-phase commit, no data loss, can’t operate across WAN) None 5-7 Seconds Yes 0 - 2 AlwaysOn Availability Groups – Asynchronous (Latency tolerant, cross WAN option, potential for data loss) Seconds Minutes No 0 - 4 AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instance (FCI) – Traditional shared storage clustering NA 30 Seconds to several minutes (depending on disk failover) Yes N/A Database Mirroring - High-safety (Synchronous) Zero 5-10 seconds Yes N/A Database Mirroring - High-performance (Asynchronous) Seconds Manually initiated, can be a few minutes if automated No N/A SQL Log Shipping Minutes Manually initated, can be a few minutes if automated, by typically hours No Not during a restore Traditional Backup and Restore Hours to Days Typically multiple hours, days, or weeks No Not during a restore Comparison of High Availability and Disaster Recovery Options HA and DR
    39. 39. AlwaysOn Availability Groups in SQL 2012/2014 HA and DR
    40. 40. Creating SQL 2014 AOAGs Demo
    41. 41. Network Load Balancing HA and DR • Hardware Based Load Balancing (F5, Cisco, Citrix NetScaler – Best performance and scalability • Software Windows Network Load Balancing fully supported by MS, but requires Layer 2 VLAN (all packets must reach all hosts.) Layer 3 Switches must be configured to allow Layer 2 to the specific VLAN. • If using Unicast, use two NICs on the server, one for communications between nodes. • If using Multicast, be sure to configure routers appropriately • Set Affinity to Single (Sticky Sessions) • If using VMware, note fix to NLB RARP issue (
    42. 42. Security and Documentation
    43. 43. • Infrastructure Security and Best practices • Physical Security • Best Practice Service Account Setup • Kerberos Authentication • Data Security • Role Based Access Control (RBAC) • Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) of SQL Databases • Transport Security • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) from Server to Client • IPSec from Server to Server • Edge Security • Inbound Internet Security • Rights Management Five Layers of SharePoint Security Security
    44. 44. • Document all key settings in IIS, SharePoint, after installation • Consider monitoring for changes after installation for Config Mgmt. • Fantastic tool for this is the SPDocKit - can be found at SPDocKit Document SharePoint
    45. 45. Michael Noel Twitter: @MichaelTNoel Slides: Travel blog: SharePoint 2013 Unleashed: