Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Running Windows Server 2008 R2 on Windows 7 with Boot to VHD

With the MSDN release of SharePoint 2010 RTM, I am very excited to start installing it on my notebook,  running on Windows 7 64 bit with 4GB RAM.  Then there were two options that I considered.  First option was to install SharePoint 2010 directly on my Windows 7 64 bit notebook and the second option was to install it on my Windows Server 2008 R2 VHD, and then use the boot to VHD feature of Windows 7.  Both options seems good.  However for portability reason I chose the second option.  With the second option it would be very easy and quick if I need to change my notebook and it has minimal performance impact.  Microsoft estimates that Windows Server 2008 bR2 take a performance hit of only about 2% when running from a VHD.  Furthermore I can also play around with all of the Windows Server 2008 features, such Active Directory.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Deploying Data Protection Manager 2007 (DPM) for SharePoint 2007 Protection and Recovery

In order to meet our Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) goals, we have decided to deploy and use Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (DPM) for our SharePoint farm, rather than using third party tools or manual content database restore approach which needs a longer restore time.  From that experiences, below is the summary of steps that we have performed in order to set it up for protecting our farm, which consists of web front-end, index, and database servers.

1. Service account preparation
- DPM administrator service account, which has local administrator privilege on the DPM Server
- DPM agent service account, which has local administrator privilege on the machines to be protected, which are the web front-end, index, and database servers
- SQL server service account

Friday, April 23, 2010

SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 are available as public download

SharePoint Foundation 2010 download
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7 Enterprise; Windows 7 Professional; Windows 7 Ultimate; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2; Windows Vista Service Pack 2

SharePoint Designer 2010 64 bit download
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 editions; Windows Server 2008; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Vista Service Pack 1

SharePoint Designer 2010 32 bit download
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-Bit x86); Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 editions; Windows Server 2008; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Vista Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 3

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Enabling Information Rights Management in SharePoint 2007 by Integrating with AD RMS

Recently we have been asked to enable Information Rights Management (IRM) capability in our SharePoint infrastructure, which consists of three web front-end servers, one excel calculation server, one index server, and two clustered database servers.  All servers are running on Windows Server 2008 64 bit environment.
The original plan is to prepare our SharePoint infrastructure to store IRM-protected documents, where the protection capabilities are embedded in the document.  However, it will make these protected documents unsearchable since they cannot be tagged or indexed while the document contents are encrypted.  This is no longer the case with AD RMS and SharePoint 2007 since the IRM policies are only applied when the documents are downloaded and they are stored unencrypted in the libraries, hence making them indexable and later searchable.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Configuring SQL Server 2005 Log Shipping for SharePoint 2007 Disaster Recovery Farm

As part of the architecture design to provide 99.5% availability for our SharePoint infrastructure, which is equivalent to 3.5 hours downtime per month, we plan for the redundancy and failover between two server farms.  The primary farm is located in a main data centre and the secondary farm is located in a Disaster Recovery centre in the same city.  Both farms have been setup separately with their own configuration database and Central Administration content database.  All customizations and patches have been deployed on both farms as well.  

To support the disaster recovery scenario, the primary farm's content databases are configured with log shipping to the failover farm in the disaster recovery centre.  Log shipping essentially involves copying the content database backup and subsequent transaction log backups from the primary farm's database server and restoring the content database and transaction log backups on the secondary farm's database server. The content database and transaction logs are restored on the secondary farm in standby or no-recovery mode, which allows subsequent transaction logs to be backed up on the primary and shipped or copied to the secondary server and applied there.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SharePoint 2007 Farm Migration

As part of the company acquisition and platform enhancement, recently we have been tasked to perform a migration from an old SharePoint 2007 farm (running on old company domain) to a new SharePoint 2007 farm (running on new company domain).  The old SharePoint farm has one root site collection with fourteen sites, stored in one big content database.  On the new SharePoint farm, these fourteen sites will be created as site collections with their own content databases in order to ensure enhanced operation procedures.  The new farm topology consists of one web front-end server, one index server and one database server.  There is also a recovery farm in a standalone server and a DPM 2007 server for backup and restore purpose.  The migration was performed by using the stsadm command line tool.

The steps taken during the preparation of the migration process are below:
1. Setup and configure the new SharePoint farm
2. Deploy non out of the box site templates if any (e.g. F40 application templates) in the new farm
3. Create staging web application in the new farm
4. Create destination web application in the new farm