Maybe just a little more rosemary or thyme


Have you ever had this great recipe that you loved cooking over and over again? You got very comfortable with how to prepare the recipe and get it right every time. With time, something happens with that comfortable recipe and you decide it just is not  as good as it use to be or just does not fulfill your hunger anymore. When this happens, you usually have a couple of options to choose from. Either you can completely skip using the recipe for some time or you start to experiment with the recipe to try to make it better again. So what on earth does cooking and recipes have to do with SharePoint? I am so glad you asked.

So for almost fourteen years, I have been primarily an IT Pro working on infrastructure. Over these years, I spiced up my own personal recipe by moving from being a MS Windows server generalist to specializing in MS Exchange. From there, I have moved into the SharePoint realm which has so many great aspects to keep me busy. Well, I have been working for a while to add a twist to my SharePoint work which is to equip myself to do more on the development side. I believe to be a great SharePoint architect, you need a foot solidly in each camp (Dev and IT Pro).

So why am I telling you this? Over the next months, you will start to see the “recipe” for my blog change just a bit. I have no desire to completely swap out recipes. But I will be trying to mix in more aspects of development while I keep talking about infrastructure. In addition, I continue to work on posting more frequently. I have come to realize it is easier to post more if I practice it regularly. This means regularly making myself sit down to write.

I will be experimenting. I may get it wrong sometimes but my goal is to learn and make it better the next time. So feel free to let me know what you think and how it is going.

Posted in Personal Thoughts, Technology and Software | Tagged | 1 Comment

SharePoint Saturday Ozarks Recap


On Saturday, June 12, I got the pleasure for a second year to present at SharePoint Saturday Ozarks. I sincerely enjoyed my time there again.

Mark Rackley outdid himself again and put the event together beautifully. He is truly committed to making this event successful and he definitely did that. I am always impressed by the number of folks he can get from all over to attend an event in the Ozarks in Harrison, AR.

For my presentation, I did the Kerberos Survival Guide (link to presentation) . My belief is that Kerberos is not as bad to setup as people make it out to be. However, it is difficult to setup if you don’t understand why you are doing the steps. So understanding is the first step. I want to continue to give this presentation to ground people in the basics so they can understand what they need to successfully implement and support Kerberos.

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Ozarks, Presentations, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), SharePoint Saturday, SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Back in the Saddle Again


It has been quite awhile since I have posted and I needed to get myself back into gear again. I have had a lot going on but I wanted to make blogging a priority this year and haven’t done well up to this point. I have several posts lined up that I want to write and I know as I get to start helping clients deploying SharePoint 2010, I am going to have some great things to share.

To get my rusty blogging skills going again, I wanted to catch up on posting links to presentation I have done over the last several months.

On December 8, I was in Kansas City, MO working at a client and had the opportunity to present at the Heartland SharePoint Users Group. As you can see by the number of times of presented on this subjects, I am excited about the business intelligence features and integration that is coming with SharePoint 2010. This was my first time doing the presentation SharePoint 2010: Insights into BI.

On December 12, I got to attend the SharePoint Saturday Kansas City. The turnout was fantastic and I enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new ones. SharePoint Saturdays always astound me in the fantastic power of the SharePoint community to put on the events and the wonderful talent of speakers that spend their time putting together their presentations. I gave my SharePoint 2010: Insights into BI presentation.

On December 16, I traveled to Springfield, IL to participate in the SharePoint Roadshow. Darrin Bishop put together a great event, it was great to see large turnout and it was great to see Becky Bertram and Matt Bremer. The presentations I gave were SharePoint 2010 IT Pro Overview and SharePoint 2010: Insights into BI.

On January 7, I presented for clients of my consulting firm about the new business intelligence features that will be available in SharePoint 2010. I have posted the slides for SharePoint 2010: Insights into BI.

Finally, on March 9, I presented to the St. Louis SQL Users Group. I put together a new presentation that I hope to give more in the future about SQL and SharePoint. The presentation I gave was titled What SQL DBAs need to know about SharePoint.

I know…I know…this is May…I told you I need to get caught up and blog more.

Posted in Kansas City (KC), Kansas City (KC) User Group, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Personal Thoughts, Presentations, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), SharePoint Saturday, SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), SharePoint User Group (SPUG), SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

SharePoint Road Show: Springfield, IL


I will be part of the panel for the SharePoint Road Show in Springfield, IL on Wednesday, December 16th. Hope to see you there!

The SharePoint 2010 Road Show is an all-day event sponsored by Microsoft, International SharePoint Professionals Association (ISPA) and other local companies. The SharePoint Road Show has one goal in mind: SharePoint 2010 Education! You’ll see SharePoint 2010 in action, and have a chance to ask questions of professionals whom have been involved in testing in the months prior to the recent Beta release. Speakers include SharePoint MVP’s, SharePoint evangelists and other SharePoint experts from around the country.

Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, Presentations, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010) | Tagged | 1 Comment

Upcoming Presentations


I am looking forward to present next week in Kansas City, MO. I will be presenting on SharePoint 2010: Insights and BI. Here is where you can find me:

Heartland Users Group: SharePoint
Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m.

SharePoint Saturday Kansas City
Saturday, December 12

Presentation Synopsis: In this 200 level session, we will explore the Insights portion of the SharePoint 2010 arsenal. You will see a quick overview to answer the questions “What is business intelligence?” and “Why use BI?” for those new to this technology. You will explore each aspect of the Microsoft Business Intelligence strategy providing a definition of the components, what’s new for SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010, and see demos of the components. You will understand how all the components fit together in the architecture and understand the use cases for the technology. We will be reviewing the following components: Excel, PowerPivot (Gemini), Excel Services, Visio Services, PerformancePoint Services, Reporting Services, Report Builder, Integration Services, and Analysis Services.

Posted in Kansas City (KC) User Group, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Presentations, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), SharePoint User Group (SPUG), SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is Your SQL Server Ready for SharePoint 2010?


Alright, if you have been tracking the posts on the upcoming SharePoint release, you may very well say, “Yes, I know…I know. SQL Server needs to be 64-bit.” But I ask you to keep reading because I think there is more to the story.

The Basics

Let me very quickly review the 64-bit story for those who may not seen the posts. In order to install SharePoint 2010, your SQL Server will need to be version 2005 or 2008 and it will need to be 64-bit. You won’t be able to use a 32-bit SQL Server or a SQL Server 2000 instance.

So What Else Is There?

SQL Server is the heart of your SharePoint farm. I continue to repeat this phrase every opportunity I get to discuss SharePoint infrastructure. With the improved functionality of SharePoint 2010 or your current SharePoint 2007 platform, your usage and needs from SharePoint will continue to grow. SharePoint 2010 providing more functionality means you will need more SQL resources. The first place to start to ensure the infrastructure is ready for your needs is SQL Server.

Does your current SharePoint environment’s response time meet your needs? Do you have enough capacity to handle your database growth for the next six months to year? These are important questions to evaluate now. If your answer  to these questions is no or I don’t know, I want to give you some steps to begin finding the root of the problems.

Performance

In evaluating the performance of a SQL Server, review these four components: processor, memory, disk and network.

Disk is normally the primary bottleneck I find when evaluating client deployments. The disk subsystem needs to have enough disk throughput (or IOPs) so that it can stay responsive enough to your needs. For small to mid-size businesses, your disks should probably respond to requests within 20 milliseconds (ms). For most enterprise environments, a 10 ms responsive time is ideal. For high performance needs, you will design for 5 ms. Look at performance counters \Logical Disk\Avg. Disk sec/Read and \Logical Disk\Avg. Disk sec/Write.

Memory bottlenecks on a SQL server are harder to identify so I want to provide some very high level guidelines: small servers need 8GB, medium servers need 16GB, and large servers need 32GB. I will do a future post digging into these sizing recommendations in more detail.

Processor and network on your SQL server are pretty easy to evaluate. Processor should stay below 80% average utilization and not have any long sustained peeks at 100% utilization. Network utilization should stay below 70% average utilization.

When evaluating bottlenecks, you want to evaluate and eliminate bottlenecks in this order: memory, processor, disk and network. There are reviewed in this order because the previous item could be effecting the item after it.

Capacity

As your use of SharePoint grows, you are going to want to manage the growth of your content databases. For collaboration environments, you want to make sure your content databases do not grow above 100GB. If they start to approach this size, you need to break up the content in different site collections and move those site collections to other content databases.

Ensure you check the free space on each of your drive letters (LUNS).  NTFS performance drops after the free space is below 25%. Therefore, no drive letter should not go beyond 75% utilization.

You want to monitor how quickly your databases grow over time. This allows you to predict future storage needs and plan accordingly.

Putting It All Together

These are a series of check you should do in your environment to make sure today that your SQL Server is ready for the SharePoint workload tomorrow.

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Outdated: Do Not Use, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) | Tagged | 2 Comments

Attention SSRS 2005 SharePoint Integrated Users – Oct 2009 Security Patches Manual Steps


This blog post discusses the additional manual steps SharePoint Integrated Reporting Service instances will need in order to be fully patched correctly.

As part of the October 2009 Microsoft Security Patch Release, the security patch MS09-062 contains fixes for SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS). This patch will normally automatically be applied to your Reporting Services instances either through Windows Update or applied as part of your company’s normal security patch process.

However, for Reporting Services instances that are installed in SharePoint Integrated mode, you need to apply an updated “Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services Add-in” also. This will NOT be done automatically as part of the update process.

In most deployments, this updated add-in will need to be applied on your Reporting Services server and all your SharePoint Web Front Ends. Basically, wherever you have already installed this add-in in the past.

There is an SQL 2005 SP2 and SP3 version of this patch so I will list the KB article and the add-in download link:

SQL 2005 SP2 Add-In Details
MS KB 970896
Download add-in here (make sure you grab x32 or x64 as need)

SQL 2005 SP3 Add-In Details
MS KB 970894
Download add-in here (make sure you grab x32 or x64 as need)

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, SQL Server 2005 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

WSS 3.0 and SharePoint 2007 August 2009 Cumulative Updates are published


UPDATE – 10/13/09 They have updated the WSS package. It went live on October 7th. Now, you can safely download the WSS CU package using the link below and it should not contain the database attach issue.  Links to both the WSS and MOSS CU packages are below.

UPDATE – 10/01/09: They are updating the WSS CU package to resolve the issue described in the blog posts below…I will update this post again when the new package is live. Right now, you just need to wait for the new package and do not use the previous WSS CU version.

New build available for August CU

—————————————————————————————

However, note there is an issue with the current cumulative update (CU) packages. Please read the following posts and determine if this issue will effect you before installing the packages:

Important: Be careful when installing WSS August Cumulative Update

WSS August CU and re-attached content databases

You can download the packages by using the “View and request hotfix downloads” link at the top of the KB articles:

WSS 3.0 August 2009 Cumulative Update “Server Package”

SharePoint 2007 August 2009 Cumulative Updates “Server Package”

As always, you can get the most current information about the updates by visiting the TechNet Updates Resource Center for SharePoint Products and Technologies

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Problem installing SQL Server 2008 on Windows 2008 R2


This post is focused on installing SQL Server 2008 on a Windows 2008 R2 server for those of only need to do a few installs. In other words, this is the quick fix. At the bottom of this post is the solution for how to resolve this issue if you regularly install SQL Server in this configuration. In other words, at the bottom is the enterprise solution. For me, I ran into this issue building a virtual machine for local testing of SharePoint.

I ran into a problem installing SQL Server 2008 (SQL2K8) RTM onto a Windows 2008 R2 server. After some research, the issue is SQL2K8 is not supported on Windows 2008 R2 without SQL2K8 Service Pack 1.  We receive this error message when you try the install:

SQL 2008 Warning

If you continue the install process, you will get through all the setup screens but the installation of any of the services will fail. The issue is the setup files that come with the RTM version of SQL2K8 cannot properly install the services on the R2 version of Windows 2008.  Anything I did from this point forward did not resolve the issue. I did some research and found the answer. I started with a clean Windows 2008 R2 image and started my resolution process from there.

So here is the work around solution. Before you even try to install SQL2K8, run the SQL2K8 Service Pack 1 install. As it starts up, it will install the latest group of setup support files.

Installing SQL 2008 SP1 Support Files

After this part is done, it will not detect any installed SQL components (to be expected) and you will cancel the installation. Now run the installation of SQL2K8 just like you always would. The installation will detect that there are newer versions of the setup files installed already and will use them instead. These SP1 setup files are aware of Windows 2008 R2 and your installation will complete successfully.

Remember to go back and re-run the SQL2K8 Service Pack 1 to actually update the installed services on your system now. That is it!  You are done!

Enterprise Solution: If you are regularly installing SQL2K8, this solution is very much a work around and adds extra steps and time. The solution for when doing several installs is to make a SQL Server 2008 SP1 slipstream install location. With this solution, you will be able to run the install once, have it install without errors, have the server configured and have the service pack already installed.

Posted in Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Windows Server, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 | Tagged | 38 Comments

St. Louis Day of .Net Presentation


It was great to be able to speak and to see the great turnout for the event this year. There were over 400 attendees this year and with speakers and volunteers over 500 people involved.  As always, feel free to provide any feedback and ask questions in the comments.

My presentation on Best Practices for SharePoint Deployment and Management is available for download.

Posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Presentations, St. Louis (STL) Day of .Net, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) | Tagged , | Leave a comment