Plan SharePoint installations and upgrades

Exam: Microsoft 70-667 - TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is a platform that uses other Microsoft technologies. The server varies when it comes to complexity and size. The article presents an overview of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm deployment for careful planning and phased deployment can prevent unfavorable results.

A farm can be deployed in the steps outlined below:

  • Plan the deployment
  • Development
  • Proof of concept
  • Pilot
  • To test for user acceptance test or UAT
  • Production

Let us look at the phases individually.

Planning

As with most activities, it is necessary to plan for the solution which is to be deployed as the infrastructure also depends on the requirements. This phase will consist of the following stages -

  • An infrastructure plan that supports the required solution should be aimed for and needs to be implemented with instructions in detail
  • This will be followed by a detailed plan of validation and testing of the solutions and then site and solution architecture
  • The requirements are considered for successful deployment of the solution
  • Keeping record and details of the manner in which the solution would be deployed
  • A detailed plan explaining outlining the process of solution intimation to the user for adopting the same.

Development

This is the second phase of deployment. As a part of this stage, SharePoint Server 2010 is deployed on one or multiple servers. The objective of this stage is to develop a probable solution, test the same for its accuracy, evaluation of the solution and further refinement in case it is required. In this stage the environment can be scaled up or scaled down depending on the solution to be implemented and test results. This implies that till stage the environment is not stable and there cannot be any SLAs or service level agreements.

Proof of concept (POC)

The objectives of this stage are two, namely to apprehend SharePoint Server and its evaluation with reference to the business needs.

At the evaluation stage, the same can be done by installing the entire product components on one server. This facilitates a more detailed product evaluation. It adds the non-IT staff and as a result provides a better understanding of how SharePoint features will be actually brought into use in the organization from a broader perspective. This stage allows collection of data which is used for refining the original plan and sizing the farm.

This stage is also crucial for it helps determine the features that will be offered to the end user. Determining these features is crucial for it plays an important role in defining the overall topology.

Pilot

The next stage is the pilot stage where the solution is tested on a not so big scale. Once pilot deployment is done real data may be used for testing the production characteristics or hypothetical data may be used with the objective of functional testing. Testing with real data is preferred for it allows refining the solution as per your needs.

A pilot deployment allows collecting of data that can be used for validating the following:

  • Infrastructure design;
  • Assumptions related to capacity management;
  • Architecture of the site as well as the solution;
  • Assumptions related to the usage.

Another benefit that this stage offers is that it allows determination of additional data with regards to extra features/services that you might be interested in adding to the farm before the UAT phase.

User acceptance test (UAT)

Another nomenclature for this phase is pre-production phase. This serves as the transitional step between the pilot phase and the actual production phase. The duration of UAT is primarily controlled by the business processes. The schematic of this stage should as close as possible to the production topology that has been planned. During this stage, the SharePoint Server solution is tested with a entire set of data. UAT is the stage where final tuning of performance and procedures takes place.

Production

This is the last stage and it involves taking the farm into a production environment. With the solution incorporated, the infrastructure adjustments made this requires completion of the below mentioned tasks:

  • Farm deployment
  • Solution deployment
  • The operational plans are implemented.
  • Finally any additional environments are deployed.

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