As summer takes a firm hold and thoughts turn to holidays, your organisation probably seems a little quieter than usual. This respite can often be an ideal opportunity for IT departments to get around to those long overdue housekeeping chores.
Take your SharePoint environment for example. Having tirelessly served the business for the past year, in the same way you would expect to service and MOT a car, now is the ideal time to prepare your mission critical platform for next year’s journey.
We’ve identified the top five reasons for doing a SharePoint health check, based on our experience of delivering health checks for numerous customers across various sectors:
1. What we originally designed and built our SharePoint environment to do and what it is doing now are completely different.
You may have more users, more sites, more content, more customisations, more third party tools, or all of the above! You want to be confident that your environment is stable and you are not about to experience an outage or failure.
2. SharePoint seems slower/less reliable recently – we want to maintain user confidence in the platform.
Maybe you even know some aspects aren’t working correctly, but haven’t had the time to address them.
3. Nightly backups and/or search crawls are taking longer and longer to complete.
Scheduled tasks regularly run into the next working day and make the whole environment incredibly slow.
4. The business is looking for re-assurance that the environment is secure.
The business critical and sensitive nature of data held on your SharePoint Farm, together with recent high profile cases of systems being compromised, has highlighted a need for ensure that the environment is built to Microsoft Best Practice and is secure.
5. We are interested in laying the groundwork for an upgrade or migration project.
You want to know that your SharePoint environment is stable and you have a firm footing on which to plan a migration.
The overarching theme tends to be that ‘SharePoint has become mission critical for us now. We’re thinking about it more strategically as a platform and want to make sure our house is in order before considering next steps.’
This is understandable given some of the most common mistakes we see, such as:
1. There is little or no SQL maintenance taking place on SharePoint databases
2. Incorrect service accounts are being used to run services and application pools
3. Security concerns around service accounts being local administrators and/or using weak passwords
4. Backups are not regularly taking place, or restores have not been tested
5. Search crawl, user profile import and timer jobs are regularly failing
Time to get your house in order?
With this in mind, we’ve put together a free self-help check list that can be used to determine whether your SharePoint 2010 environment is in need of some care and attention. Covering vital areas such as Services on Servers, SQL maintenance and with explanatory notes for each check point, the list can be an invaluable starting point for organisations wanting to health check or improve their existing SharePoint environment.
Full details can be found here.
Simon Wright is a Managing Consultant at PointBeyond Ltd, UK specialists in SharePoint Strategy and Business Solutions. Simon has extensive expertise in delivering SharePoint implementations, solution strategy, business systems analysis, development and implementation to organisations across many varying sectors. You can contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.