Increasing Service Application Redundancy

A key part of any high-availability strategy for SharePoint web-farms is making sure service-applications have more than one server to service them to increase back-end resiliency to a SharePoint server dropping off the network. This concept isn’t anything new to many SharePoint admins at least but in case this internal load-balancing/fault-tolerance system isn’t clear I’ve…

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Installing SharePoint 2013 Offline on Windows Server 2012 RTM

SharePoint 2013 won’t install on a Windows 2012 machine that has no connection to the internet by default. This is actually documented @ http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2765260 already and numerous other sites to some extent but I wanted to do a step-by-step guide on the steps in the above article. There are two workarounds – install via PowerShell…

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Generation 2 Virtual Machines in Hyper-V

Somewhat off-topic but this is something I’ve been toying with recently and I’ve found rather impressive so I thought I’d share. Windows 8.1/2012-R2 as we know has been out for a while and with it comes a brand-new Hyper-V which amongst many other things includes the ability to create a new type of VM called…

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Patching SharePoint Farms with No Downtime

Patching SharePoint farms is a rare occurrence but one that almost certainly will happen at some point or other, if only for the need to stay on a supported platform as time goes on. When patching SharePoint it’s necessary to take the entire farm offline at one point for reasons explained here at length. In…

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Changing Indexer Performance Setting in SharePoint 2010/2013

Just a quick note for anyone that used MOSS/SharePoint 2007 and is wondered why the option to change the indexer performance has been removed in SharePoint 2010/2013. Well worry not SharePointer, it is still there. Where is it in SharePoint 2010/2013? It’s just moved to PowerShell – Set-SPEnterpriseSearchService to set it and Get-SPEnterpriseSearchService to see…

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Managing Custom Solutions for Disaster Recovery SharePoint Farms

Having x2 SharePoint farms that need to be synchronised perfectly does raise the question about how to maintain both farms updated with any custom solutions that may need to be applied to the farm/application. This guide is about how to maintain custom solutions across two or more farms and what can happen if it’s not…

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Creating a Clean Visual Studio Solution from a SharePoint 2013 Site Template

Quite often for SPDevs it can be useful to reverse-engineer a SharePoint site into code if you need to build a site definition for sites that don’t exist yet. Usually this would mean starting a new project & added each project item by hand but in this example we’re going to start a new VS…

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Hot-Standby/Disaster-Recovery SharePoint Farms – Basic Setup & Failover

Something that’s often required for high-availability SharePoint installations is the ability to failover to another web-farm entirely when needed because of a failure of some kind on the 1st farm, or wanted because of maintenance taking the 1st farm offline completely. Edit: If you want a quick overview of SharePoint DR, then this new post is…

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SP2013 + Win2012: Unable to retrieve topology component health states. This may be because the admin component is not up and running

I’ve just been fighting an issue with SharePoint 2013 Foundation – the search functionality specifically. Once I’d provisioned a search application via the wizard, the health status of the service wasn’t available despite the fact the administration service was started. There are known issues for using this on Windows Server 2008 R2 (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/sharepoint-server-2013-known-issues-HA102919021.aspx#_Search) but this…

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Farm Patching Explained – High Availability SharePoint

SharePoint patching can be a non-trivial task and patching any SharePoint farm from one version to a newer version of the same product involves taking the entire farm offline at a certain point by necessity – this post explains when and why. Later we’ll look at how to avoid outages during patching but for now…

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