Sunday, 18 October 2015

SharePoint 2016 Preview (Public Beta 1) on-prem Notes

Disclaimer:  This notes I made from workshops, what I have heard and the Unity Conference in Amsterdam 12-14 Oct 2015.  A lot of this information is from the workshop with Neil Hodgkinson and Spencer Harare), this is my takeaway summary.

Notes for Sp2016:
  • Same HW req as 2013.  Farm servers min still Mem 12-16 CPU x64 1x4 Disk, Disk 80GB
  • Pre-reqs: Win 2012 R2, Win Mgmt Framework 3.0 gives us DSC, .NET 4.5.2 ..., DSC can be used to pre-bake the VM image.
  • Same DB rules as recommended by MS, loosing dbs from 2013;  No new DBs, need SQL 2012 or 2014 (except project Server DB which is not part of SP).
  • Need Win 2012 standard or higher, not web edition, also dev can support windows 10
  • Still no support for VMWare dynamic memory
  • End-point encryption for SMTP
 - Upgrades and Patching
  • No Foundation edition, SP2013 found to Sp2016 Server
  • Path SP2013 > SP2016
  • SC must be in 15 mode to upgrade
  • Service Apps need to go SP2010 > SP2013 > SP2016
  • SP2010 to SP2016 need to go to 2013 RTM baseline
  • Changed patching, smaller packages and fewer restarts
  • PSConfig not locking farm, can run multiple psconfigs and lower/zero down time patching (with HA farms)
 - Roles & Services
  • Consider moving low impact services onto the traditional WFE role, keep the long running/batch processing (Crawl, search, MTS,  et al) on the app servers.
  • WFE (Access services, SSS, Subscription Services, UPS)
  • Distributed Cache has a quorum so need 3 not 2 for NA.
  • Health Analyser rule for min role enforcement:  Puts min role in the correct state.
  • Min Role does not manage the search topology
  • Watch, switching min roles as index would be lost unless it is replicates (2 instances of each index)
  • Services in Farm overrides the starting of services in the Min Roles,  so can never start "Request Management" in the "Services in Farm" but still use "Distributed Cache" min role.
  • Can always switch min roles "Convert server role" or create custom roles (watch as needs multiple instances to keep running and index could disappear).
 - Key Thresholds for 2016:
  • CDB sizing
  • 100K SC per CDB
  • Max file size 10GB
  • Search index up to 50 million items
  - User Profile Sync:
  • UPS Sync (FIM) is not Microsoft Identitiy Management (MIM)
  • 2 modes: Active Directory Import (light weight, not useful for most large enterprise clients, e.g. Can't import pics or use BCS) or MIM 2016
  • AD Import: faster than 2013, can only use AD, no profile picture. 
  • MIM 2016 was FIM - Standalone product, only using the sync engine part for SharePoint (free if only use this service, does need Win 2012 and SQL Server licence)
  • Using MIM management agent map AD properties to SP user Profile properties
  • Syncing is driven by MIM not by SharePoint (UPS sync)
- What's New:
  • Post to yammer from SP2016 doc library
  • Improved integration
  • Image and Video Preview (changed)
  • Doc Lib accessibility (improved keyboard short cuts, VI user experience improved)
  • SC creation faster on SP Site template using SPSite.Copy
  • Project Server is part of the SP binaries/install, project server using it's own project db and adds 4/5 tables to the content database.  Project Server affects 3 DB (Project db, content db and config db)
  • Save and share email attachments in SP2016

- Release Dates
  • Preview = Beta 1 Aug 2015
  • Beta 2 RC  = +- Nov/Dec 2015
  • RTM Q1/Q2 2016

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Hybrid Search 2016 Notes

Hybrid Search SP2016 (Also applies to SP2013):  Mixing on-prem and SPO results
  • Search can add all crawls into a single index within SharePoint online (historically we have had to use Search Federation to try combine result sets).  So historically we use search federation whereby there are multiple indexes that are the shown on a single page this approach for search result federation is refereed to as "Search-time merging".
Federated Search provide by MOSS, SP 2010 and SP 2013

  • The Index is held on SPO.  The new model is refereed to as "Index-time merging".
Single result set from multiple farms (joined the indexes into an SPO index). vNext hybrid search.
  • Crawls done on SP2016, 2013 and maybe 2010 are pushed into an Azure queue which in turn is combined onto the SPO index (I believe the Index is encrypted as rest in SPO)
  • Dir Sync is required between on prem AD and Azure AD 
UnityConnect Conference 2015 Amsterdam Search session - Architecture of Hybrid Search

Saturday, 10 October 2015

User Profile Service Application Notes

The People Picker Control in SharePoint 2013 & 2016
  • The People Picker control is used to find user, groups and claims.  You'll notice the people picker UI has 2 queries (you can normally see the lag), firstly the people picker looks at the UserInfo list in the local site collection and then it also looks at Active Directory (this is where the custom claims providers need to be written if you don't use AD).  A common misconception is thinking the people picker users the UPA to look for users, it does not use the UPA directly.  Indirectly, if the UserInfo is populated the People Picker gets the user from the 1st lookup.
  • The UserInfo table is populated with the initial stub when a user is added to the security or the 1st time the login to the site collection.  
  • The UserInfo list is not updated if you add the user via an AD group or if you pick the user in a list within a people picker column.
  • The UserInfo on each site collection gets an initial stub of information in the list and a timer job at the web application level looks for a list of users to perform a sync (update more into for the user in the userinfo table), this runs every 5 minutes by default.  Job is: User Profile to SharePoint Quick Sync.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Performance Testing Check List

Rough Notes

Performance Factors Checklist:

  1. Geography and networking - Australia and Africa users always tend to have issues regardless of the centralized SharePoint farms they are accessing.  Poor networking especially in remote satellite offices is not a SharePoint issue but as enterprise grow these are the pains they need to work out.
  2. Security and network design
  3. Usage patterns (Working with documents in the UK after noon when the US comes online may have a peak usage rate 5 times higher than when Australia starts in the morning)
  4. Functionality (Search is heavier than displaying a static web page)
  5. Application design (too many web services calls when 1 can do all the calls) and application implementation.  The application needs to meet the functional and non-functional requirements.  Coding error creep in, implementation needs to meet the design and unnecessary code improved.
  6. Platform (2 server VM farm will only get a set load no matter how well it is tweeked)

Figure out where the bottlenecks are and how big the impact is:

  • SQL is a common performance bottle neck, check you have optimized SQL
  • Monitor all server in your farm, the random, throw more RAM at the solution is pointless most of the time.
  • Size of lists in SP
  • Size of Content
  • Physical architecture
  • Search - design, how many items are crawled are they all needed, multiple search farms, what is going on, AD groups preferential to individual users
  • WAN latency Testing
  • Baseline SP testing
  • Peak loads and what is affected (Monitor and prove where the issues are).  Concurrency and usage patterns.
  • Archiving, document retention, document versioning, unwanted general storage area, recycle bin, can we clean up
  • Optimize highly used page - for example if your home page leverages search and the search service and farm is therefore under load, more the search component into a cached solution or pull off the home page.
  • Auditing logs - Do you log enough, do you log too much can you pull them out of the Content DB and store them elsewhere.
  • Encryption (TDE, SSL, Devices)
  • Web page basics: image size, CDNs, JavaScript optimisation, sprites