Building the perfect share point farm


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My presentation at SharePoint Saturday The Conference in Washington, DC on August 13th, 2011.

A review of how to make the decisions on how to design a SharePoint farm to meet your business needs.

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Building the perfect share point farm

  1. 1. Building the Perfect SharePoint Farm<br />2011<br />
  2. 2. Attach the ISO<br />Run the installer<br />Let’s Get Started<br />
  3. 3. Web Front End<br />Service Application Server<br />SQL Server<br />External Services<br />SharePoint Server Roles<br />
  4. 4. <ul><li>Simplest SharePoint Farm
  5. 5. Everything on one server
  6. 6. Only for Development or similar use
  7. 7. Can run on Windows 7</li></ul>Single Server Farm<br />
  8. 8. <ul><li>Break out the SQL Server
  9. 9. WFE and Service App layer running on the same box
  10. 10. Recommended for small workgroups</li></ul>Small Farm<br />
  11. 11. <ul><li>Break out the SQL Server
  12. 12. WFE and Service App layer running on individual servers
  13. 13. Can handle large amounts of users and content
  14. 14. No Redundancy</li></ul>Medium Farm<br />
  15. 15. <ul><li>Break out the SQL Server
  16. 16. WFE and Service App layer running on same servers (but two of them)
  17. 17. Can handle larger amounts of users, but App Layer impacts performance
  18. 18. Some Redundancy</li></ul>Medium Farm – Option 2<br />
  19. 19. <ul><li>Multiple WFEs
  20. 20. Multiple Service App Layers
  21. 21. Clustered SQL Server
  22. 22. No Single Point of Failure</li></ul>Large Redundant Farm<br />
  23. 23. How can one, or even four, farm architectures satisfy every need?<br />The “Perfect” SharePoint Farm?<br />
  24. 24. We need to define perfection<br />Capability<br />Performance<br />Reliability<br />Scalability<br />User Experience<br />Security<br />Cost<br />
  25. 25. Document Management<br />Records Management<br />Web Content Management<br />Social Collaboration<br />BI Platform<br />Enterprise Messaging<br />Capability – What are we trying to accomplish?<br />
  26. 26. Performance – How fast does it need to be?<br />Is there an established SLA, and should there be?<br />Page Load vs Transaction time (what can we directly control)<br />Average User Load <br />Total users * % Concurrent Users / Time Per request<br />
  27. 27. Reliability is expensive<br />No really…its expensive<br />Hardware (more than doubled<br />Support staff increase<br />Higher level of competency of staff<br />Challenge it early and often<br />Reliability – Are you sure you can afford it?<br />
  28. 28. Scalability – What is my growth curve?<br />Establish metrics on your farm and stay on top of them<br />Know scaling options<br />Server size<br />Server numbers<br />Server Role<br />WFE – users<br />Service App – usage<br />SQL – Size and use of content<br />
  29. 29. Needs and Wants<br />Goals, Motivations & Triggers<br />Obstacles & Limitations<br />Tasks, Activities & Behaviors<br />Geography & Language<br />Environment & Gear<br />Work Life and Experience<br />User Experience – The mythical user<br />
  30. 30. Security – Information wants to be free!<br />Encrypt your data – yes, even internal communication<br />Segment SharePoint on a dedicated VLAN<br />Use reverse proxy servers (TMG)<br />Use SSL (but off-load it)<br />Use dedicated Admin accounts<br />
  31. 31. Know your licensing options<br />Foundation (free)<br />Standard v Enterprise<br />Internet Sites<br />Don’t forget to include all other server costs<br />Windows/SQL/TMG/etc<br />Hardware costs<br />Servers<br />Routers<br />Cost – Plan for now and the future<br />
  32. 32. The secret sauce is planning<br />What roles do I need in my farm?<br />How “big” do those roles need to be?<br />How do we put it all together<br />
  33. 33. SharePoint Roles Revisited<br />Web Front End Server<br />Very similar to MOSS 2007<br />Primary scale component is number of users connecting<br />8GB RAM, 4 “cores”, 80GB HD<br />SQL Server<br />Clustered or other HA technology<br />Can have multiple instances to share load<br />Performance is critical to Farm<br />16-64GB of RAM/8+ “cores”, 80GB HD + Data<br />
  34. 34. SQL Considerations<br />Alias your server (SQL Alias or DNS)<br />Size of content DB determines minimum RAM<br />Medium (< 4TB of Content) -> 32GB RAM<br />Large (>4TB of Content) => 64GB RAM<br />Disk Performance is critical<br />Tune the SAN for optimal performance by use<br />RAID 10 is best, RAID 5 is OK<br />Data, Log, and Temp DB all on separate LUNS and Logical Disks<br />Ensure that SAN NIC isn’t saturated<br />
  35. 35. Service Application Servers<br />Automatically scale and load balance<br />Can partition services to specific servers<br />Search is very scalable, but very complex<br />Crawl Servers<br />Can have multiple servers crawling your data<br />Query data sent directly to the Query servers (not on crawl)<br />Query Servers<br />Can create multiple partitions<br />10 Million items is upper limit for a partition<br />Can have active and passive fail-over partitions<br />Query size is estimated at 10% of crawled content (usual smaller)<br />
  36. 36. Simple (Yeah Right) Search Topology<br />
  37. 37. What can we virtualize?<br />WFE<br />Service App<br />SQL<br />What should we virtualize?<br />WFE<br />Service App<br />SQL?<br />Allows us to dynamically manage Farm as needed by requirements<br />Snapshots are your friend<br />Virtualization – Problem or Solution?<br />
  38. 38. High Availability, DR and Virtualization<br />Plan for emergencies<br />Recovery Time Objective<br />Recovery Point Objective<br />Prevent single point of failure<br />Consider Virtual DR<br />Also plan for effort to recover from fail-over<br />
  39. 39. Can the Cloud Save Us?<br />Transfers Risk to Cloud Provider<br />Servers<br />Network<br />Patches<br />Backups<br />Reduces “dark” hardware costs<br />Can be cheaper, or more expensive (shared vs private cloud)<br />
  40. 40. Its all so complex<br />
  41. 41. Define our “Perfect” Farm<br />Capability<br />Performance<br />Reliability<br />Scalability<br />User Experience<br />Security<br />Cost<br />
  42. 42. Design our “Perfect” Farm<br />Server Roles<br />Server Size & Number<br />Virtualized Components<br />Availability<br />Disaster Recovery<br />Don’t forget Test Farm, and Development Farm<br />
  43. 43. Build the “Perfect” Farm<br />Stick to the plan<br />Ensure all the pre-reqs and patches are installed<br />Script the install<br /> (other exist as well)<br />Snapshot everything before you start<br />Snapshot after install<br />Take lots of screen shots for documentation<br />