Based on some typical tasks and standard procedures that SharePoint administrators need to accomplish daily, a list has emerged that can help you identify some of the best practices for SharePoint environments. If you too are going to implement SharePoint for your business purposes, here are certain things to keep in mind:
Assess the compatibility of your server: The size of your server where you plan to run SharePoint should have the capability to handle the load on the system. It’s also in the interest of business owners to judge the reliability, capacity, and availability of their systems, as these factors will help them keep the unplanned downtime below the levels as defined in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Having a clear idea about the future capacity requirements and upgrading your hardware to meet the predicted requirements is another practice that should be accomplished.
Management of change in the IT systems: To make the most of your SharePoint environment, you should have a proper plan in place to control and manage the changes in your IT system. Be it the documentation of changes or that of your assets (hardware and software) and their configurations, testing the platform, application feedback, contingency plans, or management approval to tide over problems, if any, you should make sure that the entire procedure is streamlined.
Handling administrative tasks: Some standard methods for system administration should be outlined. System administration (which includes site administration and database administration) refers to on-demand as well as planned day-to-day administrative tasks, which are required to ensure the smooth operation of your IT system. Having written procedures for the typical system administration tasks would go a long way in making sure that your support staff uses the same standard methods and tools to handle different situations.
Maintenance tasks: To ensure that your SharePoint environment shows a normal behavior and abnormal activity, if any, is detected at the first instance, regular maintenance tasks should be established. Apart from checking the server health and handling daily backup operations, detecting instances such as bottlenecks affecting the server performance or addressing issues like the requirement for supplementary resources in your SharePoint environment should also be handled on time so that your productivity isn’t affected adversely.
Using Trace Logs the right way: Troubleshooting issues related to SharePoint Server 2010 has become easier with ULS – the Unified Logging Service, which is also called by the name of Trace Logs. When your systems administrators need to check and monitor the overall functionality of the environment or troubleshoot an issue, they would simply need to check the lone centralized location where logging error and informational messages related to SharePoint solutions and SharePoint Server are stored. However, since a lot of disk space is quickly consumed by these Trace Logs, administrators should decide which log files should be kept, put some limitation on the disk space that such log files can use, or choose specific events like page load times, search queries etc that they want to be monitored.
Security Audits: To find users who have installed unapproved updates or to reduce the risk of computers from being compromised, regular security audits should be performed. This step will also help you to identify the systems or SharePoint Server that need to have hotfixes or the ones that have missed the installation of the latest antivirus updates or a service pack.
Use some of these best practices to get the maximum advantage from your SharePoint environment.
Converge Point (www.convergepoint.com) is a leading SharePoint consulting firm focused solely on SharePoint and InfoPath technologies. Our primary focus is to facilitate organizations achieve their financial and business objectives by using SharePoint more effectively.