Paddling Out to the Coming Wave – SharePoint 2010

If you’re a surfer, you are good at paddling out to sea. It’s a different sort of meditation than riding the wave in to shore, which many people find more exciting, more physically demanding, yet in a deeper sense more centering and relaxing than riding a chair-lift up the slopes to make your big alpine skiing run. Perhaps Nordic skiing is more akin to surfing than the Alpine flavor, but that’s beside the point. If you’re using either Microsoft’s Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) or Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) [or the older Portal Server], the time is ripe for grabbing your board and paddling out for the coming wave.

One of the reasons that now is the time is that, even if you don’t plan to deploy SharePoint 2010 technologies (still in beta) until the year 2011 (or even 2012), it is good to take time to plan your strategy. Take time to paddle out before the wave comes – connect with the technologies so that you’re ready for SharePoint 2010 in body, mind, and spirit.  It’s not rocket science, nor is it surfing, so let’s take a look at the cast of characters, the elements, the building blocks of a SharePoint 2010 farm.

Like earlier versions of SharePoint technologies, SharePoint Foundation 2010 (think WSS 4.0), SharePoint Server 2010, and their cousins for Internet applications, can be deployed to a single stand-alone server, or to a distributed farm. Whether your deployments warrant one or more servers, the key services are the web front-end services, the application services, and the database services. All services must be hosted on 64-bit (x64) servers as 32-bit hosting is no longer an option. Here are some of the requirements:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 64-bit with Service Pack 2: the operating system platform for SharePoint 2010 must be 64-bit. If you’re planning to deploy on Server 2008 SP2 rather than Server 2008 R2, be sure to upgrade Windows PowerShell to version 2.0.
  • SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005 SP2: the database platform must be hosted on 64-bit servers. On a stand-alone server with an Express version, you’ll be hosting on 64-bit Windows Server anyway, but in a bigger farm, SharePoint also requires that the other servers also be 64-bit.
  • In farm configurations, the farm configuration in the SQL databases is bootstrapped via Active Directory Domain Services (or in some cases Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services) even in small farms in which one server is used for the web, app, and database components. Of course, performance and capacity factors usually demand more than one server in the farm, and the AD DS (or AD LDS) requirement is more obvious. Standalone configurations could be deployed with AD if necessary.

Just remember to be purely 64-bit and get ready with PowerShell v2.0. Yes, you guessed it, we don’t need to use those crazy PowerShell scripts for SharePoint management anymore. That’s right, you don’t have to type those magic incantations only after manually loading assemblies and referring to the classes by their true names – unless you really want to. The SharePoint cmdlets are coming to the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell. More on that later.

Here’s to a sure-footed surfing experience with SharePoint 2010 for you.

Cheers!

-Brad

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