Thursday, October 3, 2013

SharePoint 2013: Architectural changes. Pain Points

As I have launched a migration project to SharePoint 2013, I have started analyzing the architectural changes in SharePoint 2013 farm and other related products.

My goal is to migrate SharePoint 2010 with Project Server 2010 to SharePoint 2013 with Project Server 2013.

Here is my earliest discoveries:

1. Hardware recommendations differ for SharePoint 2013 and for Project Server 2013. But Project Server lives inside the SP Farm.
For small SP farm, you have to have around 12 Gb for Front End and 8 Gb for SQL.
But in case you want to include Project Server in the farm, MS recommends 16Gb for Front End and 16 Gb for Sql.
NOTE: This 16 Gb recommendation doesn't cover additional need for memory by other SP services:
The minimum hardware requirements in this section are recommended in which only the required services to run Project Server 2013 are enabled. Be aware that enabling additional SharePoint Server 2013 features in the farm may require more resources. 
So, it seems like MS intends to sale lots of  Azure VM services!
At this moment, I am struggling to find on-prem VMs for a new demanding farm. Realistically, I will not get more than 10 GB RAM for SP+Project Server 2013.

PAINT POINT: You have to boost hardware not only for SP2013 ,but for Project Sever 2013 accommodation.

2.Office Web Apps server (or OWA farm) should be installed on dedicated server (NOT ON THE SP SERVER).
 And by the way, have you acquainted with PowerShell? OWA Sever doesn't have UI to set settings, you have to use PowerShell 3.0.
  Once you have installed OWA farm (server) , you have to bind (SPWopiBinding) SP to it.

Now, think twice in case of migration.
Not only you have to boost hardware for serves, you have to find an additional server in order to have Office Web Apps. In SP2010 Office Web Apps product was supposed to be installed on the SP server.

PAINT POINT: You have to find an additional server for OWA to provide  functionality that was  "hardware-strain" free in the previous SP version.

3. Web analytics services are removed from Sp2013 as a separate services. Now it's a part of Search Service.
When you upgrade to SharePoint 2013, do not attach and upgrade the databases that contain the data from Web Analytics in SharePoint Server 2010. We recommend that you turn off Web Analytics in the SharePoint Server 2010 environment before you copy the content databases that you want to upgrade to SharePoint 2013.
PAINT POINT: Web analytics are best service to clean your farm before you go to SharePoint 2013. It allows you find unused spwebs. But you have to turn the service off when you want to copy your content db for test upgrade. So, you need to clean the environment (with help of Web analytics) before even your first test upgrade.

4. A new Access Service requires SQL 2012.

 In case you want\or have to provide Access Service in your SP 2013 Farm, you have point the service to SQL 2012 Server.

PAINT POINT: For Access Service you have to have SQL 2012. So if you have planned to stick with SQL 2008, make sure you don't need to have Access Service. In case you need it you have 2 choices: 1. Have 2012 SQL server installed at the first place, or 2. extend you farm and include additional 2012 SQL server to accommodate Access Service Application.