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Top 4 revelations about SharePoint

Jonathan Hassell | June 19, 2015
Some of the biggest news to come out of Microsoft Ignite last month was the introduction and the first public demonstration of SharePoint Server 2016 -- a demo that quelled a lot of speculation and uneasiness in the SharePoint administrator community.

To get the latest and greatest, however, you will need to move up your operating system platform. Specifically, you'll need to be running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2 on your SharePoint farm; no previous operating systems are supported. You also need the 64-bit release of SQL Server 2012 for database storage. However, these operating systems and databases have a much improved user experience than their previous versions as well, so the result is that the administrator will have a much easier time of managing a SharePoint farm, most tasks for which can be done through PowerShell remoting.

3. SharePoint Server 2016 will have multiple roles to spread the workload

In SharePoint Server 2016, there will be essentially four basic roles that any given SharePoint farm member can have:

  • User services. Consider this like the Web front end of the SharePoint service. This role handles inbound requests coming from end users, including OneDrive for Business sync clients, OneNote notebooks, rendering pages and libraries, any spreadsheets stored within Excel Services, and any SharePoint apps running within the service's sandbox. The idea here is to provide low latency responses to user requests so that the end user experience is quick and crisp.
  • Robot services. This role handles all of the inner workings of SharePoint and all of the jobs that are required to keep the farm humming. These include user and site provisioning, timer jobs, search and indexing, and more. These services are optimized to get a lot done in a small amount of time -- in other words, they're designed for high throughput and not minimal latency, since no end user will be dealing directly with these services.
  • Specialized load. This type of role handles services that need to be isolated from the in-the-box loads, like third-party document management systems, custom applications and more. This is a protected environment where non-Microsoft code can live and interact with SharePoint without terrorizing the other components of your deployment if something were to go wrong.
  • Caching services. This role basically functions as a load balancer for end user requests and also holds the distributed cache for better response times for frequently accessed but infrequently changed content.

4. Hybrid cloud and on-premises scenarios are emphasized

It's no secret that Microsoft believes all organizations have some business being in the cloud; it's just a question of what and how much. SharePoint has always been a bit of a weird character here, in that companies deploy SharePoint to house a lot of their internal documents, notes, meetings, collaboration and more, and there's a serious need to protect that information and ensure the custody of that data is always known.

On the other hand, SharePoint in an enterprise requires a lot of expertise and scale and most administrators, if you take the data custody question off the table, would love to delegate all of that headache over to Microsoft in exchange for a credit card number to ding monthly. So SharePoint is probably the most likely service of all of them to be run in a hybrid basis, where small, low impact team sites are hosted up in the cloud, but high impact, sensitive collaborations and document libraries remain in the safety and custody of the corporate datacenter or server closet.

 

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