SharePoint in the Cloud: SharePoint Environment Management and Complex Application Integration was created with development and test professionals in mind. As SharePoint has evolved from an emerging composite of technologies into the fastest growing server product in Microsoft’s history, it has created unique challenges for companies that want to implement it.
This paper presents an overview of several pain points often experienced when working with SharePoint and information on how a cloud solution can help to mitigate that pain. It also addresses options for creating secure hybrid cloud solutions that support organizations as they grow, evolve, and require configurations for increasingly complex scenarios.
From the white paper:
“Setting up a SharePoint environment can be a major undertaking. The number of servers alone in a non-development environment is significant. For example, it might include:
- Multiple web servers
- One or more (clustered) database servers
- One or more application servers (index, workflow, service application, sandbox, etc.)
From a software perspective, the list can be equally formidable—a fully patched operating system (including drivers), SharePoint itself, the .NET Framework, various service add-ons, and all of the current patches and updates required for each distinct base requirement.
Establishing a SharePoint development environment requires an average of four hours if you automate or script the process, a full day if you start from scratch, and considerably more (up to three full days) if your environment is complex.
Going through the process for rebuilding development machines multiple times during a long project, or rebuilding a fresh test environment multiple times during a single day, can have a significant impact on the total time required to complete a project.
So far, the machines and environments we’ve discussed have all been server-side. But building a SharePoint application will also require multiple, client-side machines—particularly when it comes time to do testing.
In a test environment, you will have dedicated client machines, each with different combinations of operating systems and browser configurations, so you can test your SharePoint application sufficiently—especially if what you’re building is a public-facing website. In most cases, the client test environment is larger than the server test environment, and can be comprised of 30 or more separate machines. Teams may decide to skip some configuration combinations from their test matrix. And at least part of the decision not to test these configurations is often rooted in the difficulty of setting up the multiple machines required for multi-scenario testing.”