Sharepoint 2010 and SystemCenter

7:57 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Just attended a live meeting on System Center and Sharepoint 2010 and as usual, it was looking very promising again.

Although this is the blog about Data Protection Manager I will briefly tell also about Operations Manager and Virtualization but my main focus will be on DPM.

 

Sharepoint is a collaboration product that is used in many companies.  Many IT administrators will acknowledge that the product has become an essential asset in a business environment, but they will also acknowledge that it is a hell of a product to maintain.  This is basically because of the nature of the product.  Many team sites are created, project sites, document libraries and so on and for each type there is security and so on… To keep track on this, is very difficult for an IT admin.  It even becomes more difficult when a user has deleted a document, site or whatever and you are in charge of recovering it.

 

Another big issue with Sharepoint is managing the different farms.  When you only have one farm, you have one site where you can manage it, but when you have multiple, it’s getting more difficult to maintain it. 

 

System Center should be the answer to that, beginning with Operations Manager 2007 and the new Management Pack for Sharepoint 2010.

 

Operations Manager

This management pack has some great advantages.  To start with, the product team really has listened to the customers and the feedback that they got.  In the meeting, they explained that the new Management Pack was designed specifically to manage your entire sharepoint infrastructure (which can be multiple farms) from one console.  And this is great, even fantastic. And they went further.  The new management pack will be able to monitor the logical entity of your infrastructure.  This means that you will now have the possibility to monitor your SLA’s about sharepoint.  When one server is down, but another one is up that does the same thing, your sharepoint infrastructure will be healthy for your SLA.  And that is exactly what we want.

Check out the next pictures

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And there’s more.  They have reduced the alerting noise in the management pack.  All common component monitoring such as SQL and IIS are disabled by default.  Why?  Because you will probably have IIS management pack and SQL management pack in your environment anyway.  And if not, you still can enable these monitors.  Important here is that you still will see that the sharepoint infrastructure is down, but not 5 times anymore when the problem is SQL oriented.  I’m not sure if this is correct, but I think the makers of this management pack listened very carefully to the Exchange Management Pack programmers :-)

 

Also, they have added all features of sharepoint (search, project server, Office web apps…) into 1 management pack and into one view.  So for all you OpsMgr admins out there… it will become easier to “deploy” a view to your sharepoint admins.  Again, cool stuff.

 

Now what are the changes between 2007 and 2010

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As you can see in the picture… A lot.  A lot more monitors, less rules, more classes.  All great news, but what more?  Less reports… Huh?  Less reports?  This is not good.  However, the team promised us that they kept only the reports that mattered.  All the other reports are SQL data, IIS data and those reports are in the other management packs. 

A new feature is the SPHA rules.  SPHA stands for SharePoint Health Analyzer and are standard in the Sharepoint product.  The good thing here is that you can create your own rules in Sharepoint (by a Sharepoint admin for example) and that Operations Manager automatically will add this to its management pack.  Again, a very nice feature and one that Sharepoint admins will love to have.

SPHA integration

 

Virtualization

The last topic off the day was Virtualization but was only touched lightly.  Nevertheless I’m gonna give you the slide here before I start with my favorite topic 😉 SCDPM

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Data Protection Manager

And this was presented by Jason Buffington (yep, him again :-)).  And Jason demonstrated (this guy really loves demo’s, even with all the risks :-)) in short what we can expect for Sharepoint 2010 protection with DPM 2010.

Following screenshots demonstrate the difference between DPM 2007 (w. Sharepoint 2007) and DPM 2010 (w. Sharepoint 2010)

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To make a long story short… While you need a recovery farm today, you will be recovering single documents straight to the production infrastructure tomorrow.  And you will have all the possibilities for Disaster Recovery and so on too (see my previous post for more explanation on this).

 

As always, DPM 2010 for sharepoint proves to be another great backup solution, but not only a backup solution, it will be much more then that.  The workload will be perfectly protected through DPM with quick recoveries, automatic consistency checks and SLA’s that will be easily met.

 

And it’s getting better.  If you have a management solution that automatically deploys a DPM agent onto a new server (think Dynamic Data Center) and you deploy a new server that is part of the Sharepoint infrastructure, DPM will automatically recognize this and add it to the protection group.  No more “forgetting” about the new server…

You really got to see it in action… Jason, if you read this, try convincing your boss to come over to Belgium for a meeting with the Belgium System Center User Group 😉

 

My conclusion

The different teams really have listened to the remarks of the customers, influencers and MVP’s.  And that’s a fantastic thing.  Managing your Sharepoint infrastructure will become easier, more straightforward and better protected then ever.  In the next months, when Sharepoint 2010 will go live in many companies, a lot of admins will need to discuss the System Center products to their peers also, because implementing a solution is one thing, maintaining it is different.

Will this be perfect?  Probably not, but since the system center products are more “frameworks”, you can easily adapt it to your own needs, and don’t forget, the product teams actually listen to the feedback, so contact them if necessary.

 

Till next time.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike