SAB Survey Results: SharePoint dev/test environments


In the 2014 SAB Annual Survey, SAB members cited SharePoint dev/test environments as an area of interest. Since I have done some recent work in that area, I thought I would recap what content we have. This can be divided into SharePoint Server and SharePoint online.

Dev/test environments for SharePoint Server

The four main options, which involve deploying a SharePoint farm in Azure, are:

  • Basic configuration of the SharePoint Server Farm template in the Azure Preview Portal
  • High availability configuration of the SharePoint Server Farm template in the Azure Preview Portal
  • SharePoint 3-tier farm in Azure Test Lab Guide
  • SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud

Basic configuration of the SharePoint Server Farm template in the Azure Preview Portal

With the SharePoint Server Farm template in the Azure Preview Portal, you can create a simple, 2-tier SharePoint farm easily by specifying very few configuration settings and letting the Preview Portal perform the computer and farm configuration for you.

The intended use for this configuration is an Internet-facing test farm using a cloud-only Azure virtual network. This farm is not connected back to your organization network through a site-to-site VPN connection.

High availability configuration of the SharePoint Server Farm template in the Azure Preview Portal

The SharePoint Server Farm template in the Azure Preview Portal also allows you to create a high-availability, 3-tier SharePoint farm, complete with a SQL Server cluster and an AlwaysOn availability group. This can save you a lot of configuration time, but you will need an Azure subscription that supports the number of servers and cores in this configuration.

Like the basic configuration above, the intended use for this configuration is an Internet-facing test farm using a cloud-only Azure virtual network. This farm is not connected back to your organization network through a site-to-site VPN connection.

SharePoint 3-tier farm in Azure Test Lab Guide

The SharePoint 3-tier farm in Azure TLG builds a simple 3-tier farm, complete with a client computer, and is an Azure-based alternative to building a SharePoint test lab using on-premises computers or virtual machines.

The intended use of this configuration is an intranet test farm using a cloud-only Azure virtual network. It emulates an intranet farm relative to the CLIENT1 computer, rather than from your organization intranet. Unlike the SharePoint Server Farm template configurations, there is no Internet access to the resources of the SharePoint farm.

The advantage to this configuration is that you can use a set of existing SharePoint TLGs to configure permissions, authentication, profile synchronization, and social networking. For more information, see SharePoint Server 2013 Test Lab in Azure.

SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud

The SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud topics build a simple 2-tier farm, complete with a simplified on-premises organization network containing a domain controller and client computer.

The intended use of this configuration is an intranet test farm using a cross-premises Azure virtual network. It emulates an intranet farm relative to the CLIENT1 computer on your simplified on-premises network. There is no Internet access to the SharePoint farm.

The advantage to this configuration is the inclusion of a site-to-site VPN connection and the ability to experience the performance and administration of an emulated intranet SharePoint farm relative to your location on the Internet.

Note that you can also build this using the simulated hybrid cloud.

Dev/test environments for SharePoint Online

To create a dev/test environment for SharePoint Online, you can start with the Office 365 Directory Synchronization (DirSync) in a hybrid cloud environment, which looks like this.

Note: You can also deploy this using the simulated hybrid cloud, in which the Corpnet subnet is hosted in another Azure virtual network.

This environment uses an Office 365 FastTrack trial subscription that includes SharePoint Online and password-based account synchronization of the Corp.contoso.com Active Directory domain to the Office 365 subscription. From here, you can add the applications to SharePoint Online and test it from the CLIENT1 computer on the Corpnet subnet.

For a SharePoint 2013 hybrid dev/test environment, you could build out the following:

Here are the major steps:

  1. Start with the Office 365 Directory Synchronization (DirSync) in a hybrid cloud environment.
  2. Build a two-tier SharePoint Server farm in the TestVNET virtual network by using Phases 2 and 3 of Set up a SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud for testing.
  3. Configure SharePoint 2013 hybrid between the SharePoint Server farm in the TestVNET virtual network and SharePoint Online in your Office 365 FastTrack trial subscription.
  4. Add your application to SharePoint Online and test it from the CLIENT1 computer on the Corpnet subnet.

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas on what you can build to test applications or a proof-of-concept for an IT or productivity workload with SharePoint.

If you can think of other dev/test configurations that you would like to see, comment on this blog post or let us know in the SAB Yammer network.

 

Enjoy!

 

Joe Davies

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