Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Implementing Global Intranet Governance with a Proper Long-term Roadmap

By Errin O'Connor, Founder & CEO at EPC Group.net - January 10, 2012 - 6:52 AM

Original AIIM.ORG Article Found Here

You have probably been flooded with external sources telling you what SharePoint Governance really is and I am here to state mine and my SharePoint Consulting organization, EPC Group’s, definitive and believe only true way to implement Global Intranet Governance with a forward looking roadmap to match. For Global organizations with tens of thousands of users, the Return on Investment by following this strategy below should be in the millions.

I have written a number of articles for AIIM but I can confidently stand behind my position on Global Intranet Governance and Roadmaps because EPC Group is engaged in there literally every day and for nearly the past decade.

To state a few probably obvious facts, but to build the case for EPC Group’s strategy here:

What is Governance?
•Governance is the set of processes and policies affecting the way a system is directed, administered or controlled.
◦Includes the relationships among the stakeholders involved and the goals of the system.
◦Creates mechanisms that try to reduce incomplete information

Why Governance?
•IT’s capability is directly related to the investment choices taken by management that have long term consequences for various stakeholders
•Governance implies a system in which all stakeholders, including the board, executive management, customers, and staff have clear accountability for their respective responsibilities in the decision making processes affecting IT.
A Typical SharePoint Governance Plan (Uni-Centric Deployment)

The following are typically subjects hit on in a SharePoint Uni-Centric Deployment plan:
◦Roles & Teams
•Process and Policies
◦Content Management
◦Hardware & Services
•Communication and Training
◦Communication Plan
◦Training Plan
◦Support Plan

Global SharePoint Considerations
(Note: These are all specific to Global, Large Scale, Fortune 1000 Deployments)

•WAN Performance
•Farm Administration
•Help Desk and Support
•Cross Farm Services
◦User Profiles/My Sites
◦Managed Metadata
•Availability and Replication

Global WAN Performance
•A typical LAN user will generally have an initial page load time of about 2 seconds.
◦A broadband user, with continental latency, would experience up to 2x-4x response time (e.g. 4-8 seconds)
◦A broadband user, with global latency, would experience up to 4x-8x response time (e.g. 8-16 seconds)
◦Low bandwidth, and extremely high latency response times’ experience is hard to predict

Global Farm Administration Considerations
◦Web Application Creation
◦Site Collection Creation
◦Content Databases
•Features and Solutions
•Local Service Applications
◦Excel Services
◦Access Service
◦Vision Graphics Service
◦Word Automation Services
◦Word Viewing

Global Help Desk and Support Considerations
◦System Administrators
◦Site Collection Administrators
•Multi-Tiered Support
◦Tier 1: Help Desk
◦Tier 2: Subject Matter Experts
◦Tier 3: Farm Administrators
•Support and Administrative Training

Global Governance: Isolation Levels Examples

Level | Definition | SharePoint Meaning (Potential)

Isolation Tier 1 (I1)

·Out of the box SharePoint
·Out of the box Security
·Uptime During Business Operating Hours (7am-5pm EST M-F) ·Same SharePoint Farm
Same IIS Application Pool
·Same Web Application
·Same Site Collection
·Same Content Database

Isolation Tier 2 (I2)

·Custom SharePoint Features
·Unique SharePoint Permission
·Uptime During Business Operating Hours (7am-5pm EST M-F) ·Same SharePoint Farm
·Separate IIS Application Pool
·Same Web Application
·Separate Site Collection
·Separate Content Database

Isolation Tier 3 (I3)
·Third Party Application
·Custom Functionality
·24 x 7 Uptime requirements.
·Unique SharePoint Permission ·Separate SharePoint Farm
·Separate IIS Application Pool
·Separate Web Application
·Separate Site Collection
·Separate Content Database

Global Governance: Service Agreement Examples
Service Level Agreement 1 (SLA 1)
·Recycle Bin Policy set to 30
·Weekly Full Backups and Daily Incremental
·Uptime During Business Hours Backup Retention for 6 months ·Same SharePoint Farm
·Same IIS Application Pool
·Same Web Application
·Same Site Collection
·Same Content Database

Service Level Agreement 2 (SLA 2)
·Recycle Bin Policy set to 120
·Weekly Full Backups and Daily Incremental
·Backup Retention 6 months
·Backup Retention for Incremental Backup for 4 Weeks
·Uptime During Business Hours
·After Hours Technical Support ·Separate Farm
·Separate Database Server

EPC Group's Lessons Learned
•—Intranet and Internet Deployments
1.Identify Global Governance Board early
2.Roadmap features and solutions for at least 12 months
3.Get buy-in not only from global stakeholders but from local support groups as well
4.Create a unified governance model for ALL farms as though they are one

•—Project and Team Collaboration Deployments
1.Identify the Global Governance Board early
2.Set limits on what is globally governed and what is locally governed
3.Create a high-level global governance which focuses on overall policies, architecture and processes
4.Create local governance extensions which cover people, local policies, local processes and operating procedures and needs.

A Global SharePoint Intranet or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Deployment is a whole different animal than a non-Global deployment. In the weeks to come I will touch on additional considerations such as using tools such as Riverbed to increase SharePoint's WAN performance, language packs, international law considerations such as the Patriot Act, the Freedom of Information Act, etc. and how those can affect your server placement and how to implement a Global deployment with real cost savings in mind.

I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by my brilliant colleagues at EPC Group who have also been on the ground in places like Germany, Australia, Japan, etc. and experience these situations first hand and I enjoy sharing this type of real “in the trenches” knowledge from our lessons learned over the years.

I would also encourage you to read one of my previous articles on developing a Hybrid SharePoint Platform as this also builds upon these type of Global Deployment and long-term roadmap strategies and best practices.

Buyer's Guide: SharePoint Archiving Solutions

Buyer's Guide: SharePoint Archiving Solutions
"Archive SharePoint content to help keep your SharePoint environment running smoothly "

By: Caroline Marwitz
Windows IT Pro

Original article link (Windows IT Pro): http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/sharepoint/sharepoint-archiving-solutions-141264

Microsoft SharePoint has become what email was a decade ago: a dumping ground for content. Companies are realizing that this content needs to be managed, secured, and -- in many cases -- archived.

The first two needs are obvious, but why would you want to archive SharePoint content? For three simple yet compelling reasons: data reduction (which can affect performance), governance, and compliance.

"Archiving tools . . . help you maintain the size of your content databases as well as allow for real-time version-history archiving," said Errin O'Connor, who has more than a decade's worth of experience with SharePoint and is founder and CEO of EPC Group.net. Helping achieve the goals of a governance plan is yet another reason for archiving SharePoint content. "Archiving old sites that are no longer used -- this is key, as it's important to either delete or archive content that's no longer relevant," O'Connor said.

Easily retrieving that content is important as well. "You may have a project team site that was used for a project and that project is over, but in a year or two a similar project may pop up again and the project manager or team members may want to go back and restore that archived site to follow the best practices or lessons learned from that previous project," O'Connor said.

Archiving is a basic best practice in records management, but there's an even more compelling reason for some organizations. "Archiving is about compliance," said Ron Charity, a SharePoint product manager who has worked with SharePoint since 2001 and focuses on governance, information architecture, technical architecture, and operations. Compliance with industry or governmental regulations is essential for many, if not most, organizations, especially in the United States, which is home to the largest percentage of the world's lawsuits. Compliance and auditing capabilities go hand in hand with archiving. As O'Connor explained, "You can restore an archive to a site or SharePoint instance and make that data available to auditors and e-discovery activities without affecting the live SharePoint farm."

But SharePoint 2010 has the ability to declare records in place, so why would you need a third-party archiving solution? For one thing, Charity said, many organizations need a compliant archival engine (e.g., compliant with US Department of Defense -- DoD -- requirements). Another reason, he said, is that "enterprise records management systems scale much better due to N-Tier architecture and use of the file system for items and SQL Server for logic." Additionally, you can't beat the convenience of certain third-party products' features. "When archived data is disposed of, client systems issue certificates for legal purposes," Charity said.

What should you look for in a SharePoint archiving solution? Seamless integration with SharePoint is obvious, and vendors accomplish this goal in different ways. For example, many solutions stub the item in SharePoint and move it to the archive, whereas some solutions integrate with SharePoint at the event-handler layer to capture items. Can end users search for and access archived content in SharePoint? They'd better be able to, unless you like training them on new solutions and procedures.

E-discovery capability is useful; as part of that, so is the ability to archive all content types and data in SharePoint. Also consider how the vendor packages a solution, whether as a suite or a standalone product (only your organization's needs should determine which option is best for you). Then there are things that you won't know until you try a tool: how flexible it is, how easy it is to use, and how responsive the customer service is.

The buyer's guide table shows a sampling of SharePoint archiving vendors and the particulars of their solutions. If you're still not sold on the need for archiving SharePoint content, read the AIIM blog "The Case for SharePoint Archiving." Another useful blog post on SharePoint archiving and what to look for in a SharePoint archiving solution is Geoff Evelyn's "SharePoint Archiving -- Defining a Way Forward."