Week 4 of the 8-Week SharePoint bootcamp, and aside from better definition in my biceps, I’m starting to see some other muscles toning up…SharePoint admin muscles.
Scheduled an SP Admin meeting this week with two other state agency SharePoint administrators. One is my agency’s former admin/dev– the most experienced, having many hours of trial and error under his belt. The other is a fellow newbie SP admin just starting his implementation. (To catch you up, my agency has an established SP deployment with little customization, and no clear admin owner. I’m working hard in this 8 week period to pick up the slack in the admin/dev departments.) The goal was to share information, discuss governance/policy, and try to come up with some best practices based on what had blown up on us. Yeah, it’s a mini SUG (SharePoint User Group). In the spirit of SUG, I invited our sys admins, our DBA, and our intern, who all wanted to learn more about SharePoint.
So fast forward to the meeting. Although they had confirmed, neither of the other agency admins show up. (Turns out, both were in the hospital for unrelated reasons, so they officially get cut some slack.) But my team was there, and we’d allotted an hour and a half, so we had the meeting without them. “Who’s leading this meeting?” my co-worker asked. “Guess that’d be me,” I said, “everything I know about SharePoint administration I’ve learned in the last four weeks, but I’ll tell you what I know, and I’ve got questions for you guys about the database and infrastructure.”
Then a crazy thing happened. I started working through the agenda, and it turned out I’d learned stuff. A lot more than I would have thought, since it’s only from my readings and talking with folks, but … I knew stuff.
“Can you mix 32-bit and 64-bit in your SharePoint farm?” Yes, in 2007 MOSS or earlier, as long as any clusters in the same service layer are of the same bit config. The server housing the SharePoint 2010 application will need to be 64-bit, as well as the SQL Server db.” [Anyone know if this holds true for all server roles like Excel Services, WFE, etc.? Twitter answer before I could finish typing this: Yes. Thanks @ToddKlindt @pagalvin @slkrck]
We discussed SQL Server optimization (pre-grow the database; don’t shrink the db), backup and restore (yes, we actually need to *do * a restore from backup; where can we do a restore from backup for a dev environment?), and general security architecture (basis in Active Directory, but you expand from there with SP Groups; implications of FBA authentication). We went over SharePoint terminology and what it means when we say “site collection” “stop the database [from becoming the content database for the new web app]” and “catastrophic backup.”
So why is this so cool? Up to now, the only server installation and config I’ve done has been single machine installation to support a dev project, and then only for a school class – nothing production. Now I’m having a meaningful conversation on the matter, and on a pretty wide range of admin topics! Quite the newbie (my twitter name of @joyknows was a joke on my part – like Tiffany Songvilay said, I didn’t realize that would be my screen name when I signed up!), I really appreciate the support the SharePoint community provides me when I ask my newbie questions, even when I bulldog them with followups until I get clarification.
Big shoutout and bow-downs to Inside SharePoint 2007 Administration authors Steve Caravajal, Shane Young, and Todd Klindt. This book has been my near-constant companion, having now gone on 23 lunchbreak walks and two trips to the lake with me. The writing is obviously from real-world experience, and they are always surprising me with a joke when I least expect it. What more could you ask for?