SharePoint Health Check Assessment for a Natural Resources Consulting Firm
The Customer is a US consulting company that provides their services in various domains of natural resources management.
The Customer runs an on-premises SharePoint deployment that hosts a public portal and a corporate intranet. Due to the increasing number of performance issues, the Customer decided to take up a detailed analysis of the SharePoint environment in order to:
- Reveal existing configuration and security issues that hinder SharePoint performance.
- Get a comprehensive analysis of the entire deployment and check its ‘health’.
- Relying on the analysis results, decide whether to migrate the existing solutions to the higher version of SharePoint or to another platform.
The Customer addressed to ScienceSoft to assess their SharePoint deployment and get SharePoint consulting assistance.
To address the challenge, ScienceSoft applied the proprietary SharePoint Health Check methodology. The methodology allows analyzing a SharePoint deployment from different angles, revealing a variety of performance, configuration and security issues and elaborating relevant recommendations on how to fix the identified issues and improve the overall state of the SharePoint environment.
The Health Check procedure was split into 3 phases:
- SharePoint farm assessment
- Custom application assessment and impact analysis
- Reporting and recommendations
The SharePoint farm assessment included numerous activities:
- SharePoint log analysis (including SharePoint Unified Logging Service (ULS) logs)
- Logical infrastructure sizing and capacity assessment
- Physical infrastructure assessment (including thresholds and limitations)
- Farm configuration assessment
- SQL server assessment
- Proxy tier assessment
- Authentication and networking assessment
- Security assessment
- End-user experience assessment
- Load-time analysis
- Search configuration assessment
- Service accounts assessment
- Backup and recovery assessment
The performed activities allowed the SharePoint team to reveal several configuration and security issues, as well as cases of non-compliance with the Microsoft minimum requirements. The identified issues affected the normal operation of the SharePoint farm and, consequently, the enabled solutions. ScienceSoft’s specialists listed possible measures to address each of the revealed issues.
The custom application assessment and impact analysis included 2 major activities:
- Analysis of custom application exceptions
- High-level code review of custom applications
The analysis helped the SharePoint team to evaluate the state of custom applications used in the Customer’s solutions. SharePoint specialists checked up the custom code for critical defects, which could affect the SharePoint performance, thus hindering employees’ productivity.
Finally, once the SharePoint team finished the analysis, they passed on to the reporting stage. They summed up their findings and delivered them to the Customer, as well as provided consultation on the necessary changes and improvements to the current deployment.
The performed SharePoint Health Check helped the Customer to reveal critical issues that affected their SharePoint deployment, as well as to assess the viability of the existing solutions and get hands-on recommendations on how to improve them.
The analysis also showed that the Customer’s solutions contained a large volume of custom code. That made the migration to a third-party platform highly problematic. Having discussed the Health Check results with ScienceSoft’s SharePoint team, the Customer decided to upgrade the existing deployment to a higher SharePoint version, because it would require less money and effort.
Technologies and Tools
ScienceSoft’s SharePoint Health Check methodology, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Windows PowerShell, Fiddler, Wireshark, ULS Viewer.