I aim to keep this post reasonably quick, because I’ve lost enough time to this issue already and I want to get some other posts written up soon, but this is one of those things that I should probably help raise awareness of. I foresee that this could become more of an issue in future if take-up for Native Boot from VHD solutions rises, or as people run demos from bootable removable media, etc.
Late last year my colleagues and I tried to distil the tasks that impede SharePoint developer productivity. Then I ran those tests on EC2, Hyper-V and VMware Workstation, with the latter two virtualisation technologies running on a desktop, an older laptop and a newer laptop. In this post I hope to shed a bit of light on some follow-up testing that I’ve squeezed in to the odd hour here and there over the last six months. Unfortunately hardware availability and my schedule have not aligned to produce a further round of comprehensive tests and since I can’t see that occurring in the immediate future I’m going to fill in some gaps here with a couple of additional concrete findings, particularly regarding i5 vs. i7 testing and the impact of SSD on first page load times after application pool recycles. I’ll also talk less rigorously about a few related issues.
A while back, I posted an article on building a SharePoint development environment in Hyper-V, which included a part on automating deployment of the host machine. Although we’ve now moved to VMware Workstation, we still use this approach for automating deployment of our standard Windows 7 builds, and this commentary is generally relevant to any Windows Deployment Services (WDS) deployment.
When I learned WDS and the Windows Automated Installation Kit (which were both quite new in Windows Server 2008 R2 at the time), I contented myself with getting ~90% of the way to a fully-automated build, as the additional effort to get from 90 to 100% (mostly re: drivers) wouldn’t have paid enough immediate dividends and we needed to start capitalising on some of the other wins of our new environment. As is often the case, we never got back to that remaining 10%, but it’s become more of an issue in recent months, as we’ve added a few Dell Latitude E6410 and Lenovo W520 laptops – both of which had network drivers that the Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 boot images didn’t recognise. Unfortunately the TechNet guidance on adding drivers to boot images is unclear (to me anyway), so I’m contributing this quick post to attempt to clarify the problem that we had and the simple step-by-step solution.
Back in the pre-release days of SharePoint 2010, one of the most reliable sources of information on infrastructure issues was Russ Maxwell’s SharePoint Brew blog. It’s still a great resource, although he’s posting less frequently now than he was during the beta. In this post I want to share my findings regarding Pre-Windows 2000 Compatibility Access group rights in Active Directory. Everything I have to say is supplementary to Russ’s foundational explanation of Why the tokenGroupsGlobalAndUniversal (TGGAU) attribute matters in SharePoint 2010. I’m picking the discussion up from his closing comment, “At a minimum, certain service accounts like the search service account need to be a member of this group.”
A couple of months ago I was happily building a client’s SharePoint Server 2010 farm when I stumbled at Search. The Service Application provisioned fine, but when I pushed out topology changes I started to have problems. Later, these problems returned in different forms, but the root cause appears to have been consistent. In this post I will review the symptoms, the single fix and the reason why this issue emerged in this environment. I’ll also look at some unexpected permission changes that occur when new servers receive Search Service Instances.
In my last post I discussed how the Product Version Job timer job uses the Windows Installer Service to query the installed state of SharePoint 2010 servers and how the Manage Patch Status page in Central Administration displays this information. I also touched on my reservations about what we can infer from this data. In this post, I’m diving a bit deeper in to that question.
Continue reading “Testing Manage Patch Status”
Back in August, I stumbled across a new type of DCOM 10016 error in SharePoint 2010, caused by the Product Version Job timer job. When I found the error, I was primarily concerned with keeping my event logs clean. Since then, the inelegance of my original work-around and the incomplete picture I contented myself with at the time began to nag at me, but I only recently started digging deeper, prompted largely by the fact that this topic has generated more traffic to my blog in the last quarter than any other.
Drum roll please! At long last, I bring you the results of a great deal of testing. Here’s the background:
- SharePoint Development Productivity and Virtualisation Technologies
- SharePoint 2010 Development Environment Performance Tests
I’ve said my preamble in those posts, so I’ll cut to the chase here.
As I indicated in my last post, I’ve been plundering the depths of SharePoint development productivity in recent months. Understanding the context established in that post is pretty essential to understanding what follows here. In a nutshell, I’m trying to improve system performance for current users of our SharePoint development environment. This is not as simple as examining the Windows Experience Index on a number of laptop models. I needed to consult with our users to identify which tasks are slow for them and devise tests that would allow me to measure system performance on different physical and virtual systems. In this post I will describe the systems, the tests and the testing process before reviewing the results.
The 21 tests that we settled on were the result of discussions with a number of the core developers, consultants and architects at Content and Code, plus a few tests that I threw in to confirm/disconfirm some of my suppositions, such as the impact of the User Profile Service Connection on first page load time. All 21 tests were run three times for each permutation of hardware candidate and virtualisation technology. We also tested on Amazon EC2. I will discuss the testing process in more detail in a moment.
In the near future, I’ll be discussing the results of the SharePoint Development productivity testing that I’ve been working on for some time. A key part of the background to that story is a choice to virtualise SharePoint, and within that, a choice of virtualisation technology. In this post I’ll be reviewing the problem in advance of a more detailed discussion of the productivity gains and losses with some of these technologies/approaches.
For clarity, I will quickly state the problem as I see it. SharePoint 2010 system requirements and practitioner mobility requirements are inherently at odds. What guidance exists for this unique problem space tends to regurgitate preferences/allegiances rather than comparing technologies and ratifying assumptions with real-world tests. At best, you get system performance indices for a single laptop model, but these results may vary when any hardware component is changed.