Sharepoint | Strategy Driven Architecture

April 30, 2009

If you want to maintain a healthy sharepoint environment, it takes requirements determined by the business and the system administrators. If you haven’t taken time to evaluate your user’s environment, start asking questions. Sharepoint will take planning.

Evaluate the business. Understand the users actions; how the environment works.  Physical and logical contraints need to be known. When you think about configuring the network, hardware, application, database, and disk storage layers of the environment. Define your sharepoint deployment strategy at the physical, process, logical, and site-level perspectives.

On a spectrum of Isolation to Scalability, consider the following:

  1. Physical Isolation : separation of networks for each site collection — not practical for most environments
  2. Physical Isolation : seperation of servers for each site collection — not practical for most environments
  3. Process Isolation : seperation of application pools for each site collection — Internet/Extranet, or Sensitive Data
  4. Logical Isolation : seperation of web applications for each site collection — Internet/Extranet, or Sensitive Data
  5. Logical Isolation : seperate host names for each site collection — Internet/Extranet, or Sensitive Data OR Internet (non-interactive/readonly) or Intranet
  6. Logical Isolation : seperate site collections for each site — Internet (non-interactive/readonly) or Intranet
  7. Sharepoint Site Isolation : multiple subsites, and workspaces in a site collection — Intranet Only
  8. Sharepoint Site Isolation : specific security for a list or library within a site collection or subsite — Intranet Only

Though measuring the isolation and scalability variables, think about how they determines your ability to administer this.

  • Will it be easy for you to limit the exposure of failures?
  • Will security be easy to manage?
  • If you’re introducing a highly-scalable environment you’re also inviting complexity — increasing risks to break.
  • If a user’s team loses their site, what will your degree of restoration be? Item level? Site Collection Level? Database Level?
  • If the architecture approach is #7 the site collections can grow (if you place no quota contraints) with many groups using sub-sites within a single site collection (a top-level site / logical partition within a contentdb). To restore a previous version of a particular sub-site may impact the all teams within this site collection, creating noise, possible data loss, etc. This is assuming you’re not using a technology like Microsoft DRM that will manage all this for you — however this solution requires large amounts of storage equating to more costs.
  • What about security management? Do you want to commit to managing item-level security? Do you want to manage multiple subsite permissions that are unique within a parent site collection? Wouldn’t it be easier to set the permissions at the site collection level and then require all subsite’s to inherit the parent-level perms?

So isolate the architecture as best you can, but keep it flexible to scale it to the degree your company intends to take the technology. Every business will have a different.

Easy. Right?

Tune in next for information on factors to consider when you’re putting data in Sharepoint.

  • How storage quotas will help. . .
  • Versioning is a convenience to user’s, right? What about additional storage factors?
  • What about disk inflation? Why is 1GB of RAW Fileshare Storage inflate to 1.2 GB of storage in Sharepoint?

I’ll have more on this topic, and it will certainly help plan for the needs of your business.

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