Synchronising Service Applications Between SharePoint Disaster Recovery Farms

A key part of hot-standby/disaster-recovery SharePoint 2013 farms is the principal that only content is synchronised between the two farms. The reason being is that we want to reduce the chance that a failure will replicate over to the other farm too, so we just replicate content and keep services separate in each farm. This…


SharePoint Disaster Recovery Failover Techniques

So you’ve got or are interested in two SharePoint farms running in parallel and you want to know how to switch users between the two farms for when you need to. There’s a few options to do it; choosing the right one largely depends on how quickly you need to be able to failover everyone,…


SharePoint Usage Database in SQL Server AlwaysOn

SharePoint has a very handy service-application that’s normally running called the “SharePoint usage & health” application. It’s actually a very useful to have under normal circumstance as it logs pretty much everything you could ever want to know about the operational health of the SharePoint farm; page-load times & metrics along with the developer-dashboard data,…


Why SharePoint Check Permissions Can Give Wrong Results for AD Groups

Alternative title: “the mystery of the SharePoint security token caches”. Something that comes up now & then is why SharePoint seems to say a user has no permissions for something when said users clearly do have access when they try (or the opposite too). Checking permissions looks something like this; you go-to the thing you…


Introduction to Troubleshooting AppFabric Reliability Issues for SharePoint

AppFabric & distributed cache issues in SharePoint is something that comes up with reasonable regularity, often because SharePoint admins have never been introduced to this extra layer of SharePoint before. Read this if you either want to get to know how SharePoint & AppFabric/distributed-cache hang together and/or you want to know the basics of troubleshooting…


Publishing SharePoint-Hosted Apps with Web Application Proxy

To continue the SharePoint on Web Application Proxy theme, something that’s not been covered yet is how to publish SharePoint-hosted applications with Web Application Proxy, in particular with single-sign-on (via ADFS) to make sure we only authenticate users once for any URL. It’s a legitimate question given SharePoint & SharePoint app URLs are different by…


Introduction to Running Disaster-Recovery/Hot-Standby SharePoint Farms

So you’ve heard about the possibility of running two SharePoint farms in parallel to help keep SharePoint users happily online longer, and you want some more information about how it works and why you’d want it. This one is a nice and quick post on just the basics to sell the idea a bit -…


Virtual Machine Snapshots for SharePoint

…or perhaps better titled, “why you really shouldn’t consider using snapshots with SharePoint (but fine, if you insist…)”. A common question that comes up for SharePoint is how to snapshot/rollback virtualised SharePoint farms, often inspired by worried admins having to install updates to the farm looking for a contingency plan. Unless you’re crystal-clear on how…


Patching SharePoint with No Downtime using SQL Server AlwaysOn

As highlighted in a previous post, it is perfectly possible to patch SharePoint without suffering any downtime at all if you have x2 SharePoint farms to play with. This is great if you’re worried about the update process taking either too long for a maintenance window or not completing at all (initially). Edit: here’s some important…


A Deeper Look: Patching SharePoint 2013 Farms

So you need to patch a SharePoint farm and you’re unsure about the best way of doing so & the risks this might involve. This post broadly covers the best way of updating SharePoint farms, looks at typical problems you could see when it happens, and tries to answer some common questions about the process….