Healthy SharePoint farm: don’t underestimate the journey

Healthy SharePoint farm: don’t underestimate the journey

Published by: Jason O'Dwyer
Published date: 10th Apr 2018

SharePoint can be a remarkably powerful productivity tool for your business. But if you really want to get the most from it, make sure you don’t underestimate the planning, the caring… And the journey to a healthy SharePoint farm starts with a solid health check.

Your SharePoint farm can be a critical part of your business IT strategy – driving automation and collaboration within the organisation and between departments. Its use can range from document management to business process automation to providing a company intranet.

Affected user adoption

SharePoint is a large and complex software system, which can be configured well but also poorly. A badly configured SharePoint can result in poor system performance, which will adversely affect user adoption. This can lead to the system falling into disuse and your investment of resources being lost, or under-performing.

Frequently, SharePoint Server is installed by IT staff who are not necessarily SharePoint experts. This can regularly result in an environment which is sub-optimally configured. In these cases, sites, lists, libraries and data are commonly structured wrongly. This is where the need for a SharePoint health check comes in.

Healthy SharePoint farm: key areas to check

So, what do we usually look for when carrying out a health check on a SharePoint environment? We review:

  • the farm configuration hardware – Is the hardware suitable for running the SharePoint farm?
  • the farm software – Is the SharePoint farm patched and up to date?
  • the service accounts used within the farm – Are best practices adhered to regarding service accounts used within the farm?
  • the farm topology – How are the web applications, site collection and site arranged within the farm? Is all data in the farm housed in a single site collection thereby exceeding the maximum size recommended for a content database and resulting in degraded performance?
  • the configuration of the databases – Are the databases optimally configured to ensure the best possible performance of the SharePoint farm?
  • the farm security – Is the security and permissions structure used within the farm adhering to best practices as espoused by Microsoft? Over-complicated permissions and a high level of broken permissions can be difficult to manage and maintain oversight on

Is SharePoint providing a return on your investment?

The health check will help highlight the causes of current issues which are having a negative impact on the performance of a SharePoint farm. Recommendations will be made to rectify these issues once the cause has been pinpointed. Recommendations can also be made for changes which ought to be made to the farm’s configuration to improve stability and performance.

Our health check can also be used to produce documentation of current SharePoint architecture. Security vulnerabilities which have come to light can have remediation steps outlined to bring the farm into line with best practices.

Another output of the analysis can be a highlighting of whether or not SharePoint is being utilised to its fullest potential in regard to bringing value to the business, and giving an adequate return on investment.

The key metric at the end of the day is that the investment of a company in a SharePoint solution should be protected, and the return on investment should be optimised.

A thorough health check can help ensure this goal is met.

Want to start your journey to a healthy SharePoint farm now? Book in your SharePoint Health Check today here, or phone us on +353 (0)1 603 4300.

Jason O’Dwyer is a Senior SharePoint consultant at Codec, with the primary goal of working with customers to plan, design and deliver the best thought out SharePoint solutions.

Codec is a Microsoft Gold Content and Collaboration partner. We provide end-to-end expert level SharePoint consulting services including planning, mentoring, deploying and configuring across all SharePoint versions, including SharePoint Online with Office 365.