SharePoint Conference Season

September 12, 2011

Hi all,

While May, June and August are the era for the big platform events such as EMC World, TechED, and VMWorld…
October is the season for my two major application events.

I am happy to announce that EMC are proud Gold Sponsors at:-

  • SharePoint Conference USA                    Anaheim, California – Oct 3-6
  • SQL PASS Summit                                    Seattle, WA – Oct 11-14

EMC @ the SharePoint Conference

  • Large booth where key experts from the EMC Business Units will be able to describe to you how to make your life easier with SharePoint
  • Demonstrations, mini-lectures, and Q&As
  • Free give-aways.  Yes, again, like TechEd, we will have free t-shirts and on the final day many, many cash spot-prizes for wearing your EMC T-shirt

      Two Sessions

Speaker(s):  James Baldwin, Eyal Sharon  (James & Eyal show)
Level: 200
Understand technical best practices to design and deploy a virtualized SharePoint that leverages FAST Search. Understand how design a flexible and robust architecture that supports your advanced collaboration requirements. Understand how to architect a solution that addresses IT challenges for data growth, application availability and simplified management that also enables your users to find and leverage the right business information to make better decisions.

Speakers:-  Matt Roberts, Nate Treloar
Level 300
Demonstrate how to integrate external video metadata generation services with native SharePoint Search capabilities

Dont forget Europe!

The European SharePoint Conference is taking place in Berlin, Germany   – October 17-20.

I will be there presenting the following session:-

Optimize, Store and Protect SharePoint 2010 Server…Best Practices     Wednesday 15:00 – Session W21

Learn about the critical best practices and considerations for optimizing and growing SharePoint farms, storing user data efficiently and securely, while backing up TB’s a data in minutes. RBS (Remote Blob Store) and Virtualization, are just two of the many techniques discussed in this session. Realize the considerations for providing fast, automated disaster recovery for the entire SharePoint environment through SAN-based technology.

EMC @ SQL PASS Summit

We will have something kinda special at the SQL PASS Summit.  Can’t say more.

But what I can say…

  • Large booth area in the Pavillion, with SQL Experts from EMC including two heros from our team, Tony Wu and Bruce Ye, travelling all the way from Shanghai.
  • Demos, booths, best practices and most importantly application-led conversations around;
  • SQL Server scalability – Infrastructure
  • Optimized Data Protection
  • High availability to where? Same SAN? Same site? next door? next state? next country?  – All of the above <—
  • Something Flashy
  • Proven Solutions around high-speed SQL deployments, one of which is in build right now with Michael and David in our Cork labs.

Hope to see you there.

James.

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Content Database Storage Provisioning for SharePoint – where’s my SQL DBA?!?!

May 4, 2011

So, you are a SharePoint Admin….

You want to create a new content Database …
It will be very large….you want it on seperate storage…

What do you need to do to achieve this?
Well, from Central Admin/Stsadm/PowerShell….

…you cannot specify which storage SQL will create the content database on (it will use the SQL instance defauts for Data and Log files)….
…you cannot specify the inital size of the content database…
…you need to find your SQL DBA….
…and your storage admin….who needs to arrange a time to create and unmask the storage….

…ever try building a house and installing a kitchen?  You need the kitchen guy, the plumber and electrician….

Well, not any more.    Our microsoft platform-focused development teams in EMC have listened and are working diligently on creating integrated, lightweight tools to help…

Announcing….. the EMC Storage Integrator Tool ….as part of a bigger Microsoft management release from EMC – life just got easier for us…

EMC Enhances Management of Virtualized Microsoft Applications

I cant say much more at this point, but I will have answers, details and demos hopefully next week….


Free webcast – SharePoint 2007 & 2010 Storage & Virtualization Best Practices

July 8, 2010

Hi all,

Eyal and I recently delivered a webcast in association with TechTarget.com, sponsored by EMC.

We talk about Microsoft SharePoint 2007 & 2010 storage and virtualization best practices.

SharePoint is tricky, with so many moving parts, volumes, and storage requirements.  We try to dispel the confusion and set out best practices based on testing in our Proven Solutions Labs in EMC.

This has been converted and is available on-demand and is available at:

http://www.bitpipe.com/detail/RES/1278422421_403.html

Feel free to take a look, hope it helps.

James.

P.S. If you are ever looking for some REALLY good deep-dive SQL Training…

Check out Paul Randal and Kimberely Tripp @ SQLskills.com – they’re brilliant. They are in Dublin this week in conjunction with Prodata


We’ll be at Microsoft Tech-Ed 2010

June 4, 2010

Hello all,

Just incase you find yourself at Microsoft Tech-Ed 2010 New Orleans next week….we’ll be there.

Eyal Sharon, Brian Henderson, and myself will be there amoungst other crack Microsoft folks, showcasing how EMC technology definately enhances the experience of a Microsoft solution.

* Hyper-V, small, medium, and seriously enterprise will be shown
* Automated Disaster recovery
* EMC integration and management
* Move your SQL database off 60 FC 15k Drives to just 5 EFD Flash drives and get better performance!….

…just tiny bits of whats on offer, so…

If yer at it…please call by the EMC booth. 

Thanks – James.


EMC World 2010 – Boston

May 10, 2010

Hi all,

If you find yourself at EMC World, why not drop into the Solutions Pavillon where we are showcases SharePoint and SQL solutions.

I’m also presenting the following sessions

Tuesday 08:00         SharePoint Storage Best Practices

Wednesday 08:00   Birds of a Feather – Expert Panel – SharePoint, SQL, Oracle and SAP

Thursday 13:00   SharePoint Storage Best Practices (repeat)

I’ll drop the slide here into here once we are done.

Cheers!

J


Poll: What SQL recovery model do YOU use for your SharePoint databases?

November 16, 2009

I’d be very interested to know what kind of SQL recovery model do YOU use with your SharePoint databases.

The poll is anonymous, so feel free to be honest!

If you use multiple recovery models, specific to the SharePoint database type, click both options.

Cheers!

James.


SharePoint and SQL Databases

November 15, 2009

Hey folks,

This week I am at presenting SharePoint and Hyper-V information to both EMC and Microsoft personnel @ the Microsoft campus, Building 33 in Redmond, WA.  Strangely, its not raining! 
I will be covering topics, such as best practices, Hyper-V virtualization, backup and recovery and DR.  I hope to share these presentations with you once the conference is over, so stay tuned.

On to the real topic…SharePoint & the proliferation of SQL databases.

SharePoint’s main stay of information is in the form of SQL databases. 

In a typical SharePoint SQL Server I would categorize these databases in the following four layers;

===SQL System Databases   (created when SQL is installed)
           -Master, Model, MSDB, TempDB

===SharePoint configuration Databases   (created when SharePoint is installed)
           -SP_Config, etc

===SharePoint content databases   (created at the end of SP install, portal & content creation)
           -WSS_Content_* (Portal), 
            SharePoint_AdminContent_* (Central Admin)
           User-defined content databases (eg ContentDB01, 02, 03)

===SharePoint Shared Services Provider databases   (created with SSP & application configuration)
           -SharedServices_DB  (SSP Configuration database)
           Shared Services applications 
                 -Search
                 -SharedServices_Search_DB   (actual Office Search “Osearch” database)
                 -WSS_Search_{hostname}       (WSS SPsearch DB – per host)

You need to follow standard SQL best practices, including storage BPs to ensure good SharePoint performance, granular backup and recovery and efficient disaster recovery.  Agreed.
(I will go into more best practices for SharePoint SQL storage in a seperate post, let’s stay with this for now)

 

SharePoint does not allow the user to specify where the SQL database data and logs files should reside, and so the default database locations will be used.  The default databases data and log files locations are a part of the SQL instance configuration.

These are recorded in the registry, specific to the SQL instant, e.g.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.$$INSTANCE$$\MSSQLServer\
             \DefaultData               (Default database data file location)
             \DefaultLog                (Default database log file location)

Easier is to use SQL Management Studio
   –  Right click the SQL instance, Properties, Database Settings -> Database default Locations.

Today, we have two choices in ensuring that SharePoint SQL databases are in the right locations…

1) Change the default SQL data file location prior to the SharePoint configuration task (e.g. create a SSP)
      or
2) After the SharePoint configuration task, bring down SharePoint hosts, detach, relocate and re-attach the SQL databases.

I perfer #1 myself 🙂

So, here are the recommended sequence of steps to take

Recommended sequence

1) Install SQL with advanced options
  -ensure that master, model, msdb locations are correctly set.  
  -ensure that tempdb is on different LUNs, ideally filegroup the datafiles

2) Change the default database file locations to your SP Configurations volume
          -then install SharePoint.

3) Change the default database file locations to your “basic content” (or SP Configurations) volume
         -then create your SharePoint portal(s).

4) Change the default database file locations to your SSP & Search Configurations volume
         -then create your SharePoint SSP and add SPsearch roles to hosts

5) Change the default database file locations to your SSP Search Database volumes
         -then create your SharePoint SSP Search application and associate a content source

 

Now, user-level content databases is trickier…
You dont want to have to follow this procedure every time as many content databases will be created in time. 

My recommendation would be;

1) logged in as the SharePoint system account in SQL, manually create content databases in the right storage locations
2) then use either Central Admin or STSADM to attach an existing SQL Content Database

  a) Central Admin way 
    – Central Administration > Application Management > Content Databases
       – specify the name of the existing SQL content database

     or

     b) Stsadm way – stsadm -o addcontentdb -url (URL) -databasename (ContentDB name) -databaseserver (SQL name)

     Example
  stsadm -o addcontentdb -url http://portal.sps.com/site01 -databasename ContentDB01 -databaseserver SQL1

You should not need to specify the username/password as you will use a trusted connection within your domain.

I am putting in an enhancement request to Microsoft to allow SharePoint admins to specific the directory locations from Central Admin/STSADM/Powershell in future.

Every so often, especially with dispersed power users (capable of creating content databases), full audits of SharePoint database files should be carried out.  It is vital to ensure that all databases are protected.

Hope this helps people
James.