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Controlling a chaotic Microsoft SharePoint environment

PAIN POINT: SharePoint can be challenging to manage
Upgrading to Microsoft SharePoint 2010 will involve more than a flick of the switch for most companies. As Shane O'Neill points out on, " ... the time is now for enterprises to assess the suite's new features for both end-users (blogs and wikis) and IT pros (app management, backup and recovery)."

In his article, Shane provides tips for IT departments on managing SharePoint. He quotes Scott Gode, Vice President of Product Management at Azaleos, which helps companies deploy and manage SharePoint and Exchange environments. Gode says, "SharePoint needs constant care and feeding. It is more alive than other applications because users are always adding new content and have more control with SharePoint than, say, a regular database."

This is true. SharePoint databases can grow too large, and as a result, performance can degrade. But I don't believe this is due to SharePoint being "more alive" than other enterprise applications. I don't consider SharePoint to be "more alive" than a CRM system, discussion forum, or Web CMS. All these systems have a great deal of sharing and interacting.

The real reason SharePoint performance can degrade is two-fold.

1. Without considerable IT expertise and/or IT investment, SharePoint can quickly lose value if database volumes exceed 50 GB.

2. As the article states, SharePoint is positioned as a Swiss Army knife. Have you ever tried to use the scissors or the saw in a Swiss Army knife? It's difficult, and they don't do a great job. I would prefer a real pair of scissors.

We've seen these challenges consistently in our interactions with our customers. It's a major reason we added SharePoint integration to Presto, which we've covered extensively on the blog. I thought Shane detailed some other good tips in his article, so I'd encourage you to flip over to CIO and give it a read.

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