BPC 2011: Keynote with Ben Curry – SP Server 2010 Best Practices – You Can’t Fix Stupid!

Ben Curry started his keynote session off with a few examples of Best Practices in real life where one or more disasters were encountered due to a lack of planning.  With this he moved into the number one Best Practice that one must follow- Planning.  The rest of the session listed nine more best practices for a successful deployment of SharePoint Server 2010.

Best Practice #1 – Planning is the one Best Practice that must not be skipped.  If you do not have a plan written down, it's a bad plan.  If your Plan A is to wing it, that's a bad plan.  Wing it should be plan C or D or what you do when all else fails!  The planning process should begin with the gathering of requirements that lead to the logical architecture and finally the physical architecture.  Everything can then be tested, validated, logged, and monitored while leaving room for adjustments as needed.

Best Practice #2 – Know your existing environment, understand your logical architecture, governance failures and politics.  Politics is important, as it's a good indication of the change management that needs to be put into place before moving forward with an implementation.

Best Practice #3 – Understand Enterprise Content Management and information architecture pitfalls.  Your design should provide a consistent way of doing business and it should do so with business process.  Your process should not prevent workers from doing their job, as they will just circumvent the tool and find alternatives.  The discovery process should focus on non-technical questions like – "what takes up most of your time "or "what is the guiding principal of your organization"…

Best Practice #4 – Study and learn each service application as a standalone component. How are each of the target applications, Social, Managed Metadata, Search, Excel Services, and other Office Web Apps being used?

Best Practice #5 – Don't be in a hurry to upgrade, let business requirements drive the need and test the upgrade.  No upgrade works for the first time.  In Ben Curry's experience, not once in the last six years has an upgrade been successful on the first attempt.  Upgrade planning is crucial and must not be skipped.

Best Practice #6 – Farm architecture has changed – use caution.

Best Practice #7 – Scaling and performance – must get this right.  SharePoint has changed from being a system being used for content in 2003; to content in a motion in 2007 and 2010 has content in motion with service applications – PowerPivot, reporting services, and search!  Getting the SLAs for each service are important to the architecture.

Best Practice #8 – Use solutions for custom code.  Stuff should be packaged in solutions; developers should not be on servers.

Best Practice #9 – Do not overlook Logging and Monitoring.

Best Practice #10 – Have a plan for data backup, restore and availability.  You will need to know how business is using the platform to create the plan to support it.

This was a good session for me to sit in as I come from the business side of the house, but work with Bamboo customers who have opted to use Bamboo Services to assist with their deployment of Bamboo Solutions.  These Best Practices are universal to all deployments and will certainly help when engaging with our customers and their planning process.


Read our complete coverage of the SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2011:

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