[SPC09] SharePoint 2010 Administration Improvements

This afternoon, the sessions I attended were about SharePoint Administration improvements. The sessions (Part 1 and Part 2) were delivered by the comic duo made by Shane Young and Todd Klindt. They demonstrated the new shiny tools and features that will ease the life of a SharePoint Administrator.

New hierarchy containment objects:

  • Services (in a way of a modularized SSP: metadata service, search, profiles…)
  • Service applications
  • Service application databases (a LOT of them will be created by default)
  • Services can be linked to specific site collections ("multi-tenancy")

Requirements

  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server 2005 SP2 / SQL Server 2008 SP1 CU2 or later
  • “Geneva” Framework
  • Sync Framework
  • There’s a prerequisite installer that will install the missing pieces

Install Process

  • Farm Passphrase, the master password to recreate the security key. It removes the dependency on the install account
  • GPO policies can restrict where can SharePoint be installed
  • Configuration Wizard (like SharePoint 2007 Setup has)
    • "14" hive instead of “12”
  • Farm Configuration
    • New wizard In Central Administration
    • It performs the common Farm configuration
    • Pops up on first Central Administration run
    • Gotcha: the browser must have Central Administration set to trusted zone
  • 4 GB limit in Basic Install (no more unlimited internal database 🙁 )

Managed Accounts

  • Manage password changes according to your AD policies
  • Automatic password changes performed by SharePoint

Other stuff

  • SharePoint 2010 is mirror-aware and failover-aware, you have to specify the failover SQL server
  • Claims Providers (Geneva Framework) now allow more than one authentication provider per web application

PowerShell

  • Default tool for administration
  • SharePoint Management Shell link or SharePoint Snap-in
  • Faster than STSADM (it doesn’t unload from memory)

Backup and Restore

  • Farm backups are the same format as before, but they can make configuration-only backup and use multiple threads
  • Granular Backup is now supported for Site collections, webs and lists
  • Recover data from and unattached content database (the URL dropdown is broken but works)

Throttling

  • The performance is monitored and the users are kept from "shooting themselves in the foot"
    • No more 2000 items limit, now it’s 50 million items
    • The output is throttled in order not to overload the server
    • Can be overriden by Object Model, but the Admins can disable the override
    • “Happy Hour” Settings (Daily Time Windows for Large Queries): you can program when the result limit trimming is disabled
    • Admins and Users have different settings for throttling
    • HTTP Requests are monitored and 503 errors (Server busy) are launched for GET requests and timer jobs (PUT requests are still allowed)
      • Launched by 3 indicator peaks over limit
  • Developer Dashboard
    • It can be used to monitor page load and performance
    • It can be activated on demand

Logging

  • ULS logs now accept correlation ID for a specific request (shown at Developer Dashboard) and can trace a whole request from the beginning to the end
  • Event Log flood protection: it removes the duplicated error messages in Event Log (triggered by default when it’s repeated  times in a row)
  • “Set to default” option for ULS logging settings. The new UI shows the non-default settings in bold.
  • Logging can be exported to SQL Logging database (the schema will publicly be announced by MS)
  • Log Space can be restricted so not to overrun the disk space

Best Practices Analyzer

  • Health Rules that run periodically, integrated into SharePoint Central Administration
  • These rules are extensible
  • These rules can automatically repair some rule violations

Timer Jobs

  • Server Affinity: you can specify which server will run which timer job
  • “Run on demand” command
  • Progress bar for timer jobs
  • Report for the jobs that executed (with error messages and run details)

Patching and Upgrade

  • You can now have servers and database at different patch level
  • Database can be at lower version than the binaries that you have installed
  • Lowers the downtime of the farm

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