How to install SharePoint in real world isn’t a matter of doing it’s a matter of planning. Of course there can be a lot of difficulties and problems during the deployment process itself but with a bad planning it’s even hard to get to that point.
Here are some thoughts which may be helpful. I’m interested in your thoughts…
Usually it’s important to support customers during the planning and deployment of a SharePoint 2010 installation. Although they have experienced administrators and project managers they lack SharePoint knowledge if it hasn’t been part of their companies strategy.
There are a lot of things that my help… Microsoft has released a lot of great articles: Deployment for SharePoint Server 2010. You can enhance the information with checklists or pictures as you can see in the following paragraphs.
SharePoint 2010 hardware and software requirements
The SharePoint 2010 deployment itself has a lot of diverse requirements as you can see here: Prepare for deployment (SharePoint Server 2010). In medium or big sized companies you will have different contact persons who are responsible for things like Active Directory, SQL Server, DNS, Firewalls or certificates. First they need to know what to do since they aren’t involved with SharePoint. Second they have other things to do and they need time to prepare your requirements.
So preparing a detailed list of requirements is important. Using the detailed requirements you have also some kind of checklist you can use to verify if everything is really done. It’s also useful to have pictures ready… e.g. of your required infrastructure. A pictures says more than 1’000 words.
It’s also good to have a responsible person available if it comes to the deployment itself and you encounter problems.
SharePoint 2010 operations
Although there is nothing deployed right now people have questions about maintenance, security or backup. It’s a good idea to provide additional information like Plan security hardening (SharePoint Server 2010) or Harden SQL Server for SharePoint environments (SharePoint Server 2010). Administrators are interested in how they can integrate SharePoint in their daily work or if methods they know apply to SharePoint.
Prepare install media
Verify that the installation media and the product keys are available before you go to your customer. It happens from time to time that they say ‘yes it’s here’ and during deployment they search for the media or keys.
You can also try to create updated installation media using slipstreams: Slipstreaming SP2 into SharePoint Server 2007. This method saves you time during the installation process and can be reused for different environments and customers.
How to install SharePoint
Verify by yourself before you install something if all requirements are done. You can use the checklist mentioned earlier. If you start to install and notice that something is missing or wrong you wasted a lot of time and have additional work to clean it up. There are a lot of different guides helping you to install SharePoint.
Problems and solutions
Of course there are problems since there isn’t one infrastructure matching another even if you are well prepared. Experience and your favorite search engine are your best friends. Sometimes it just helps to paste the complete error message into the search box. So having internet access around you might be helpful.
SharePoint 2010 comes with a lot of PowerShell commands and you should use them… you can create scripts for SharePoint 2010 installation and configuration and reuse them for different environments and customers. Here are some examples:
SharePoint 2010 initial configuration
You should at least configure logging and outgoing mail: Initial configuration (SharePoint Server 2010). Of course it won’t end with that…
SharePoint Backup and Restore
Right after you have successfully deployed SharePoint 2010 you need a working backup and restore solution. People will delete something… databases, content, site collections… everything and every time.
The documentation of the whole process is the most important part. It has to be accurate and detailed. It won’t be done later and there will be no responsible person doing it if you aren’t there. And a few months later it will be your fault and it doesn’t matter if you had the task or not. ;)
Uninstall SharePoint 2010
If you think you made a big mistake take a look how to uninstall SharePoint: Uninstall SharePoint Server 2010.
What do you think?
Please leave a comment about your thoughts on how to install SharePoint…