Microsoft SharePoint: Three Tips for Making It Behave

Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 debuts in a few months — but many enterprises still haven't made the most of their current SharePoint implementations. Consider this advice to get a grip on this complex software and the forthcoming upgrade.

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Thu, February 18, 2010

CIO

With Microsoft (MSFT) SharePoint 2010 due in the first half of this year, the time is now for enterprises to assess the suite's new features for both end-users (blogs and wikis) and IT pros (app management, backup and recovery).

But there's one big complicating factor: Simply managing existing SharePoint 2007 is more than a handful for IT departments.

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"Many organizations are not ready to upgrade to SP 2010 until at least six months after its general availability, or they wait until service pack 1," says Scott Gode, vice president of product management at Azaleos, a service provider that helps companies deploy and manage SharePoint and Exchange environments.

Organizations that Gode talks to are not in a rush to move to SharePoint 2010 because of dramatic feature changes and its requirement of 64-bit hardware, he says.

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At The SharePoint Technology Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, Azaleos Director of SharePoint Services Jason Dearinger gave a presentation focused on general management issues for SharePoint.

Here are three monitoring and management tips from that presentation that will help keep the unruly SharePoint suite under control.

SharePoint Is Alive ... Treat It as Such

Since SharePoint is in use nearly all the time with users and data coming and going, it must be constantly monitored.

IT must always treat SharePoint as a live thing by monitoring the health of applications, the size of databases, and how quickly search is running, Gode says. Also, you need to check the status of virtual machines if you're using virtualization.

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Every part of an IT department needs attention, Gode says, but SharePoint is special.

"SharePoint needs constant care and feeding. It is more alive than other applications because users are always adding new content and have more control with SharePoint than, say, a regular database."

Because it is so alive though, SharePoint can grow out of control and become unusable. With too much end-user control and not enough administrative oversight, too much content can be piled into SharePoint.

"Users won't be able to find what they need," says Gode. "There's a fine line for IT to let users run with SharePoint but also rein them in."

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