SharePoint 2013 + Distributed Cache (AppFabric) Troubleshooting

Two messages you may have seen if you’ve administered SharePoint 2013 in anyway way about caching are “This Distributed Cache host may cause cache reliability problems” and/or “cacheHostInfo is null” from PowerShell. This article is about how to fix those errors & caching reliability problems in general for SharePoint 2013. Update: see a simplified version…

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SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server AlwaysOn – High Availability SharePoint

What is AlwaysOn and why use it for SharePoint? Update: SQL 2014 + SharePoint 2013 (abridged) guide also available. Also if you want to use AlwaysOn for SharePoint Disaster Recovery, then you’ll want to have a look at this article – http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sambetts/archive/2015/04/24/setting-up-sharepoint-disaster-recovery-sites-with-sql-alwayson.aspx AlwaysOn is a great new feature to SQL Server 2012 that allows consuming clients…

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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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Setting up SharePoint Disaster Recovery Sites with SQL AlwaysOn

Something I’ve been promoting as an essential high-availability strategy for SharePoint for a while now is having a Disaster Recovery (DR) site for SharePoint. A SharePoint DR site is simply an entirely separate SharePoint farm that uses a copy of the content data in case the first farm runs into problems for some reason, or…

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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SharePoint patching can be a non-trivial task and patching any SharePoint farm from one version to a newer version of the same product involves taking the entire farm offline at a certain point by necessity – this post explains when and why.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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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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Hosting SharePoint Content Databases in SQL Azure

Another great feature of Azure which we can harness for SharePoint farms for is SQL Azure. SQL Azure is basically SQL Server as a service; you never manage the SQL Servers running the service for your databases – it’s all managed for you with you just having a SQL endpoint to consume. Frankly it’s preferable…

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Setting Up an Awesome SharePoint 2013 Dev Box on Windows Server 2012 R2

Update: Modified PowerShell script to install missing Windows Identity Foundation feature and added instructions for SP1 slipstream install. SharePoint 2013 service-pack 1 is officially out bringing with it support for Windows Server 2012 R2. This is most excellent news for SPDevs because finally SharePoint can be used on generation-2 virtual machines which for developer boxes…

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Graceful SharePoint AppFabric Restarts

Many people have asked about how to cleanly restart an AppFabric server so data in the cache isn’t lost and may have even found they’ve not been able to get it to work themselves. It’s a good question; I hope to answer how here to some extent, partly because the official commands don’t actually work…

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SharePoint 2013 on SQL Server AlwaysOn, 2014 Edition

SQL Server 2014 is out bringing with it enhanced AlwaysOn clustering, and is indeed already supported by SharePoint 2013 with at least the SharePoint 2013 May 2014 cumulative update installed. Some new benefits in SQL Server 2014 are the reliability improvements for when connectivity is lost between nodes and also the ability to add a SQL…

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