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TechEd Africa 2011 - OFC307: Architecting a Disaster Tolerant and Highly Available SharePoint 2010 Farm
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TechEd Africa 2011 - OFC307: Architecting a Disaster Tolerant and Highly Available SharePoint 2010 Farm


Many organizations are finding that their SharePoint environments are becoming as or more mission-critical as email or phone currently are. They are subsequently expecting that SharePoint be both …

Many organizations are finding that their SharePoint environments are becoming as or more mission-critical as email or phone currently are. They are subsequently expecting that SharePoint be both highly available and disaster tolerant at all times. Because the Service Application architecture model in SharePoint 2010 is relatively complex, it’s not surprising that there is confusion about how to architect a SharePoint environment to be able to survive hardware, software, and site outages. This session focuses on a deep dive into the specifics of how to architect the web, data, and service application tiers of SharePoint 2010 to be both highly available and disaster tolerant. Topics such as SQL Database mirroring, clustering, Network Load Balancing, Virtualization HA and Service Application failover are discussed. In addition, real world models of various farm failover techniques for environments of all different sizes are presented and compared. • Learn how to build in high availability and disaster tolerance into the web, data, and service application tiers of SharePoint 2010 Architecture. • Examine real world designs for SharePoint 2010 that are built to allow for full functionality in the event of various failure scenarios. • Examine how to take advantage of several ‘out of the box’ technologies with SharePoint, SQL, and Windows to provide for HA, as well as understanding when a third-party option may be required.

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  • Export-SPWeb –Identity http://App01/Sites/ContosoPortal/ -Path \\\\App01\\SharePointBackups\\SharedDocuments.bak -Itemurl “Shared Documents” -ForceImport-SPWeb –Identity http://App01/Sites/ContosoPortal/ -Path \\\\App01\\SharePointBackups\\SharedDocuments.bak -Force -IncludeUserSecurity
  • We value your feedback – please submit your session evaluation to stand in line to win a Leatherman Kick Multi Tool sponsored by Microsoft Virtual Academy


  • 1. 17-20 OCTOBER 2011
  • 2. Architecting a Disaster Tolerant and Highly Available SharePoint 2010 Farm
    Michael Noel – Convergent Computing
  • 3. Michael Noel
    Author of SAMS Publishing titles “SharePoint 2010 Unleashed,” “SharePoint 2007 Unleashed,” “SharePoint 2003 Unleashed”, “Teach Yourself SharePoint 2003 in 10 Minutes,” “Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed,” “Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed”, “ISA Server 2006 Unleashed”, and many other titles .
    Partner at Convergent Computing ( / +1(510)444-5700) – San Francisco Bay Area based Infrastructure/Security specialists for SharePoint, AD, Exchange, Security
  • 4. What we will cover
    SharePoint 2010 Structure
    SharePoint Component Redundancy
    Sample Architecture of Redundant/Highly Available Deployments
    Smallest redundant/highly available farm
    Mid-sized farms
    Large farms
    Virtualization farm architecture
    SQL Mirroring of Content Databases
    Synchronous Mirroring in Single Site Model
    Synchronous Mirroring in Highly Connected DR Site Model
    Asynchronous Mirroring in DR Site Model
    Backup/Restore Tips, including info on DPM 2010 Snapshot-based backup for SharePoint
  • 5. SharePoint 2010 Component Redundancy
  • 6. SharePoint 2010 Component Redundancy
    Each SharePoint 2010 server type has different redundancy/availability concerns.
    Web Server
    Search Service Application Role
    Other Service Application Roles
    Database Server
  • 7. SharePoint 2010 Component RedundancyWeb Servers – Network Load Balancing
    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 (
  • 8. SharePoint 2010 Component RedundancyWeb Servers – Network Load Balancing
    Best Practice – Create Multiple Web Apps with Load-balanced VIPs (Sample below)
    Web Role Servers ( – Web Role Server #1 ( – Web Role Server #2
    Clustered VIPs shared between SP1 and SP2 (Create A records in DNS) ( - Cluster ( – SP Central Admin ( – Inbound Email VIP ( – Main SP Web App (can be multiple) ( – Main MySites Web App
  • 9. SharePoint 2010 Component RedundancyService Application Servers
    Redundancy for Service Applications can be added by simply adding S.A. roles to additional servers
    Redundancy and availability is automatically handled from within SharePoint
    Most Service Applications have an associated database that must also be made redundant / available
    Special considerations for Search
    Important to understand what the Service Application roles are
  • 10. Service Application Matrix
  • 11. Additional Service Applications
    Office Web Apps
    Excel Calculation Services
    Word Viewing Service
    PowerPoint Service
    Project Server 2010
    Third Party (Newsgator, etc.)
  • 12. SharePoint Component RedundancySearch Service Application Role
    Replaces both Index and Query Roles from 2007 into one Role
    Processes query results for Web servers
    Holds the index, either in entirety or a partial copy when using ‘index partitions’
    Runs the query processor, which merges search results from multiple index partitions, performs security trimming, and other search tasks.
    Adding multiple Query servers creates redundancy
    Each Query Server requires a large drive set for the Index partitions. Be sure to set aside enough space! The index size may be from 5% to 30% of the size of the content being indexed. Don’t forget external content sources!
  • 13. SharePoint Component RedundancyQuery Servers: Index Partitions
    Portion of the entire Index
    Can be spread across multiple query servers
    Multiple index partitions = faster search queries
    Query mirrors (second copy of an index partition) can be deployed across query servers for redundancy.
  • 14. SharePoint Component RedundancyCrawl Servers
    Runs the Crawl component, which creates index partitions and propagates them to query servers
    Typically used to house the Search Administration component
    Multiple crawl servers provide High Availability for the crawl architecture
    Crawl database(s) and Property Database(s) utilized for crawl information and history, and properties for crawled data
    Multiple crawlers can be associated with each crawl database
    Can be run on a server with Web role or Query role
  • 15. SharePoint Component RedundancyDatabase Role
    Shared Storage Clustering (MSCS) can be used for local server High Availability
    Mirroring of Content Databases to remote SQL instance is supported (and recommended) More on this…
    SQL Server 2005/2008/2008R2 Standard Edition supports two-node Cluster and synchronous mirroring.
    SQL Server 2005/2008/2008R2 Enterprise Edition supports more than two-nodes, asynchronous mirroring, and Transparent Data Encryption (SQL 2008 only)
    SQL Server 2012 (Denali) has potential…not yet released
  • 16. SharePoint Component RedundancyDatabase Role – Two Instance / Two Node Cluster Model
  • 17. SharePoint Component RedundancyRedundancy/HA of Database Server Instance
    Use SQL Client Aliases for Config DB Server (i.e.
    Use a second SQL Client Alias for Content DBs (i.e.
    Loss of SQL Server can be mitigated by simply pointing the alias to a new SQL instance.
    Be sure to add the Kerberos SPNs to the aliases
  • 18. Sample Highly Available Architecture for SP2010
  • 19. Farm ArchitectureAll-in-One Farm (No Redundancy)
    All SharePoint roles and SQL Server on the same box
    For very small environment without a lot of load
    SQL contention with SharePoint
    Easy to deploy, but highest potential for contention
  • 20. Farm ArchitectureDedicated SQL Database Server (Better Performance / No HA)
    Dedicated SQL Server
    All SharePoint roles on single box
    Disk IO contention lessened by moving SQL off SP Server
    Greater performance can be gained by breaking SharePoint roles onto separate servers
  • 21. Farm ArchitectureSmallest Highly-Available Farm
    2 Web/Query/Crawl Servers
    2 Database Servers (Clustered or Mirrored)
    2 Query components for each index partition
    2 Crawlers for the Crawl DB, one on each server
    Search Admin Service on one server
  • 22. Farm ArchitectureMedium Sized Farm
    2 Web/Query Servers
    2 Crawl Servers
    2 Database Servers (Clustered or Mirrored)
    2 Query components for each index partition
    2 Crawlers for the Crawl DB, one on each Crawl server
    Search Admin Service on one Crawl server
  • 23. Farm ArchitectureLarge Farm
    Multiple Dedicated Web 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
  • 24. SQL Database Mirroring for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • 25. Clustering is Shared Storage, can’t survive storage failure, makes Mirroring more attractive
    Clustering fails over more quickly
    Mirroring is not supported for all databases, but Clustering is
    Both Clustering and Mirroring can be used at the same time (Instance to Instance)
    SQL Database MirroringClustering vs. Mirroring
  • 26. SQL Database MirroringHistory of Mirroring
    Introduced in SQL 2005 SP1
    Greatly improved in SQL 2008 and now SQL 2008 R2
    Available in Enterprise and Standard (Synchronous only) editions
    Works by keeping a mirror copy of a database or databases on two servers
    Can be used locally, or the mirror can be remote
    Can be set to use a two-phase commit process to ensure integrity of data across both servers
    Can be combined with traditional shared storage clustering to further improve redundancy
    SharePoint 2010 is now Mirroring aware!
  • 27. SQL Database MirroringDatabase Mirroring Model #1 – Single Site
    Single Site
    Synchronous Replication
    Uses a SQL Witness Server to Failover Automatically
    Mirror all SharePoint DBs in the Farm
    Use a SQL Alias to switch to Mirror Instance
  • 28. SQL Database MirroringDatabase Mirroring Model #2: Cross-Site (Stretch) Farm
    Two Sites
    1-10 ms Latency max
    1Gb Bandwidth minimum
    Farm Servers in each location
    Auto Failover
  • 29. SQL Database MirroringDatabase Mirroring Model #3 – Failover Farm in Remote Site
    Two Sites
    Two Farms
    Mirror only Content DBs
    Failover is Manual
    Read-only Mode possible
    Must Re-Attach and Re-Index
  • 30. SQL Database MirroringDatabases Supported for Mirroring – Slide 1 of 2
  • 31. SQL Database MirroringDatabases Supported for Mirroring – Slide 2 of 2
  • 32. SharePoint Data Redundancy
  • 33. SharePoint Data RedundancyWhat are the Critical SharePoint Components to Backup?
    SharePoint Databases
    Config Database (typically excluded)
    Content Database(s)
    Services Databases
    IIS Configuration
    Web.config files in inetpub directory
    Web part assemblies in %systemroot%assembly
    Any custom templates
  • 34. Understanding the SP2010 DatabasesSharePoint 2010 Databases (Part I)
  • 35. Understanding the SP2010 DatabasesSharePoint 2010 Databases (Part II)
  • 36. SharePoint Data RedundancyTools available for Backup and Restore
    Two-stage Recycle Bin
    Site Recycle Bin (added in SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1)
    SharePoint Central Admin Tool
    IIS Metaverse Backup Script
    SQL 2005/2008 Tools (Maintenance Plan)
    Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2010
    Third-party (Quest, Metalogix, AvePoint, others)
  • 37. Backup with the SharePoint Central Admin Tool
  • 38. What does the Central Admin Backup Tool do?
    Full fidelity backups of all SharePoint content and indexes
    Backs up all SharePoint databases except Config DB, which is not needed.
    Similar to SQL level backup, except can be more granular at the Web Application level
    SP2010 now has status indicators
    SP2010 now allows for Site Collection Backup from Central Admin
  • 39. Disadvantages of Central Admin Backup Tool
    Not automated
    If XML catalog is damaged, entire backup can be at risk
    No item-level restore capabilities
    Not enterprise level
  • 40. PowerShell Backups
  • 41. PowerShell Backup in SP2010
    PowerShell can be used to automate Backups
    Equivalent to Central Admin or STSADM
    Can pipe out results and backup multiple site collections, etc.
  • 42. PowerShell BackUp & Restore CMDLETS
  • 43. PowerShell - Farm Configuration Backup
    Farm Configuration Only Backup
    backup-spfarm –backupMethodfull –directory servernameBackup -configurationonly
    Complete Farm Backup
    Backup-spfarm –backupmethod full – directory servernameBackup
    Backup-SPFarm specific parameters
  • 44. PowerShell - Configuration DB Backup
    Configuration Database Backup
    Backup-spconfigurationdatabase –directory servernamesp2010backup –databaseserver server –databasenamemss_configdb
    Backup Farm Configuration Information
    Information Rights Management
    Diagnostic logging
    Customizations [solutions deployed]
    Outbound e-mail configuration
    Antivirus settings
  • 45. PowerShell – Site Collection Backup
    Backup Site Collection
    Backup-SPSite –Identity -Path servernamesp2010backupdemosc.bak -Force
    Other Parameters –
    -NoSiteLock – use with caution, possible data corruption
    -UseSQLSnapshot – use content database snapshot when doing a backup
    Can be run multiple times and/or scripted to automate backups
    Extremely useful approach to backing up SPF Site collections and personal sites
  • 46. Granular Backup / Restore
    New in SharePoint 2010 -
    Granular Backup/Restore From Central Administration
    Site Collection Backup
    Export a site or list
    Recover data from an unattached content database
    Granular Backup Job Status indicators
    Granular restore operations only using PowerShell
    Workflows are not included when exporting a site or a list
  • 47. PowerShell – Export Site / List
    Export-SPWeb –Identity -path serverbackupbackup.bak -itemurl “features” –force
    Option to include user security and versions
  • 48. Unattached Content Databases
    New feature of SharePoint 2010
    Granular restores of SharePoint content
    Read-only content databases
    Restored SharePoint content databases
    Content database snapshots
    Restore Site Collections, Sites, Libraries and Lists
  • 49. How to backup the IISv7 Config
    Open a command prompt by using the Run as Administrator option and change directory to %windir%system32inetsrv.
    At the command prompt, type appcmd add backup <backupname>. If you do not include the name of the backup, the system will name it for you by using a date, time format.
  • 50. SQL Maintenance Plan Backups
  • 51. Backing up using SQL Tools
    SQL 2005/2008/2008 R2 Management Studio can be used to backup all Databases
    Same as Central Admin Backup, but only backs up SQL databases, not index
    Can be scheduled as part of a SQL Maintenance Plan
    Can backup as Full, Differential, or Incremental
    Can backup Config DB, but normally not needed (only supported scenario is during a SAN Snapshot)
  • 52. System Center Data Protection Manager 2010
  • 53. Features of DPM for SharePoint
    Item-level recovery of Documents and List Data
    VSS Snapshot Integration, can snapshot SQL Databases every 15 minutes
    Backup to Disk (near-term), Backup to Tape (long-term) – Direct integration
    Not only SharePoint, but File Data, Exchange, SQL, and Bare-metal recovery
  • 54. DPM Backing up a SharePoint Farm
    System State
    Internet InformationServices (IIS)“Front End”
    SharePoint VSS Writer
    “Farm” Config dB
    DPM 2010
    Enterprise Search (index)
    Content Servers (SQL)
  • 55. SharePoint Recovery
    The Entire Farm
    “Farm” Config dB
    Entire Farm
    DPM 2010
    Enterprise Search (index)
    Content Servers (SQL)
  • 56. SharePoint Recovery
    The Entire Farm
    A Content DB
    “Farm” Config dB
    Content DB information
    DPM 2010
    Content DB
    Enterprise Search (index)
    Content Servers (SQL)
  • 57. SharePoint Recovery
    The Entire Farm
    A Content DB
    Site Collection
    A Site
    Site Collection / Site / Individual Document
    “Farm” Config dB
    DPM 2010
    DPM handles restore thru Recovery Farm to production Farm
    Farm then redirects data to appropriate content database and site
    Enterprise Search (index)
    Content Servers (SQL)
  • 58. Third-party Backup Solutions
    Multiple tools available
    Provide for item-level recovery and complex DR scenarios
    Often integrates with the storage platform vendor
  • 59. For More Information
    SharePoint 2010 Unleashed and SharePoint 2007 Unleashed (SAMS Publishing) (
    Microsoft SQL Mirroring for SharePoint 2007 Whitepaper (
    Microsoft SQL Mirroring for SharePoint 2007 Case Study (
    Microsoft Virtualizing SharePoint 2007 Whitepaper (
    Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Search Architecture Diagrams (
  • 60.
    Submit your session evaluation for a chance to win!
    Sponsored by MVA
  • 61. Creating
    the future
  • 62. Thanks for attending!Questions?
    Michael Noel
    Twitter: @MichaelTNoel