Office 365 Dedicated – Content Migration

Interestingly enough, but if you’re using SharePoint Online in Office 365 in a dedicated environment there are opportunities for content migration from onPrem to the cloud by providing copies of content databases to Microsoft. Or at least you used to have that option as described in this document:

SharePoint Online Content Migration Policy – Office 365 Dedicated Plans – January 2013 – http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/4/0/04054360-DC5E-4AB8-B3AB-6BF01BB3946C/SharePoint%20Online%20Content%20Migration%20Policy_Office%20365%20Dedicated%20Plans_Jan%202013.docx

If you’re looking to have a backup copy of your data perhaps or looking to move off of Office 365 Dedicated, the cut off for having content databases pushed out of Microsoft’s system is 15 April 2013 as stated in the documentation:

Starting April 15, 2013, Microsoft will no longer process outbound migrations for SharePoint Online dedicated plan customers. Outbound migrations will instead be accomplished by third-party independent software vendor (ISV) solutions, just like Inbound migrations are today.

Microsoft states that they are doing this for a number of reasons to include:

ISVs provide an effective solution for migrating content out of your SharePoint Online farm, just like for inbound migrations. Using an ISV solution has the following benefits:

  • Reduces technical requirements and complexity involved in successfully attaching the data to an on-premises SharePoint farm.
  • Frees up customer change windows for deployment of configuration changes and custom solutions.
  • Removes the risk and inconvenience of a USB drive shipment.

For information about using ISV solutions for content migration, see the SharePoint Online Content Migration by Third-Party Solutions Policy document, available to customers on the Customer Extranet site.

Overall the document is an interesting read regarding the SharePoint Online 2010 Dedicated service offering that is a component of Office 365 and outbound data migrations. Just remember however that you do have an impending deadline in April if you wish to utilize Microsoft’s outbound data migration service.

Automation of Password Updates…

Recently I stumbled upon a SharePoint 2010 environment setup a long time ago where the managed accounts and accounts in general were setup a little funny… in particular the issue was that the profile service stopped syncing. I asked the administrator what the issue was and they stated that they’d setup the system to use a managed account for the farm service account and other service application service accounts to automatically change the password in the background. That’s all fine and dandy for the most part, ‘cept that there are caveats with the Farm Account. And low and behold, I checked and sure enough the system’s Farm account was setup now as a Managed Account in our trusty, friendly SharePoint 2010 instance.

Issue – the profile synchronization service runs as this service account. Caveat, profile sync requires that you enter the account information and credentials since you may not necessarily be sync’ing with the Active Directory resource forest that your SharePoint system leverages as its Windows Networking Infrastructure platform.

So how did we attempt to remedy this… not knowing the Farm password, it was updated in Active Directory and then using Set-SPManagedAccount with the -UseExistingPassword argument, the password was properly updated. It was then synchronized across the farm with Repair-SPManagedAccountDeployment.

So SharePoint should now be up and operational with the managed account password updated, but we also have to go and update the synchronization connection with the new password. All should be working and fine, crisis averted, just have to go in Central Admin and make the update there… But, what I thought would be a five minute fix… well, yeah, not so much.

Hello 503 error.

Oddly, after all of the troubleshooting it ended up being the bitness setting for the Application Pool that operates SharePoint was modified to operate in x86 emulation mode. This comes in handy when you need to run two different compilations of a DLL through IIS, but with our native 64 bit SharePoint application, this doesn’t work so well. Why does this happen though? Not certain but it would seem that several folks seem to have this problem when they’ve been running their SharePoint system with managed accounts automatically updating and then reverting back to an “unmanaged mode” so to speak where the metabase becomes corrupt and suddenly the fitness for x86 emulation is set to true.

More on running in both x86 and x64 mode is available here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rakkimk/archive/2007/11/03/iis7-running-32-bit-and-64-bit-asp-net-versions-at-the-same-time-on-different-worker-processes.aspx

Please only modify this if you’re running into this problem – definitely make a backup copy before making any changes!!!

So if I want to avert this, I can force the Application Pool to start in 64bit mode by adding a “bitness64” flag… this is done in the ApplicationHost.config located in

%windir%system32inetsrvconfig

Within the Global Modules section of the ApplicationHost.config, you should search for the SharePoint14Module which should look something like this:

<add name=”SharePoint14Module” image=”C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14isapiowssvr.dll” preCondition=”appPoolName=SharePoint Central Administration v4″ />

If you want to force your App Pool to always start without x86 emulation… then you’ll want to add the following argument of “bitness64” so that you end up with something like this:

<add name=”SharePoint14Module” image=”C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14isapiowssvr.dll” preCondition=”appPoolName=SharePoint Central Administration v4,bitness64″ />

Note you’ll have to do this for each of the Web Applications that are registered – if you choose to make this modification.

And just like that… I start the application pool and all is well. Went and updated the synchronization connection and our UPS started syncing again. Qed.

More on ApplicationHost.config available here: http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/124/introduction-to-applicationhostconfig/

Recycle Bin Misperceptions

I have to say that it boggles my mind on a regular basis when I start talking to end users during a session or when interviewing users in client engagements to find out that they don’t quite understand how the end user and site collection administrator recycle bins work. Most of the time I find that users have the perception that it’s a serial process where once they delete a file, they have thirty days until the file is then moved to a secondary recycle bin where a new timer kicks off – unfortunately this is wrong.

“By default, items in the Recycle Bin are deleted automatically after 30 days. Regardless of whether or not an item is sent to the users’ Recycle Bin or to the Site Collection Recycle Bin, items are deleted automatically after the number of days that the server administrator specified in Central Administration.”

As you can see, it’s plain and simple, 30 days is 30 days, no less no more.

Source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-foundation-help/manage-the-recycle-bin-of-a-site-HA010380088.aspx

SharePoint Users Group of New York

This past week, Scott Hoag and I had the privilege of presenting a session to the New York SharePoint User’s Group, hosted by Microsoft at their offices there in New York City on the Avenue of the Americas. There were a few familiar faces in the crowd such as Paul Galvin, Mary Leigh Mackie, Randi Parrish, Greg Hurlman and Jeremy Thake which made the large crowd a little less intimidating (or maybe more so to have peers evaluating us right?).

Before we presented though we had a few things to explore… such as the Apple Cube on 5th Avenue
wpid-2012-05-0216.10.08-2012-05-6-16-38.jpg
I have to say that it was a pretty cool sight to see – the fact that the store is underground is in and of itself an interesting concept.

After a quick stop through we began wandering toward the Microsoft offices on foot… in the wrong direction… which got us caught up in remembering what it’s like to be a kid at FAO Schwarz… having never been inside the store I didn’t really know what to expect except for what I’d seen in the Smurfs movie that I saw last Fall… needless to say it was pretty crazy to see all of the candy and Gummi bears (oh and the nerds) as well as every popular toy that you could imagine from Star Wars apparel and masks to Thundercats action figures to even BatMan in Lego form.

All well worth the time spent in New York City, but for those that happen to be looking for a copy of our presentation, you can find it here through SlideShare.

If you need a copy to go offline with, you can grab a copy here – Avoiding Administrator Blunders in PPTX format.

SharePoint Saturday Boston #5

It’s been a fun time up here in Boston seeing some great folks like Talbott, Pradeepa and Geoff this weekend (and thanks to the entire SharePoint Saturday Boston team) after not being here since SPS Boston #1 back during St. Patrick’s Day Weekend of 2009. Thanks to Scott Hoag (@ciphertxt) for co-presenting as always – good to have a different perspective to balance things out 🙂

Nevertheless, to those that came to our session (and those that didn’t) we’d like to say thanks and hope that you enjoyed.  If you’d like to check out the slides presented, they can be viewed below through SlideShare.

If you’d like to grab the PPTX file, you can get it here – Pitfalls of Migrating to SharePoint 2010.SPSBOS

Capital Area .Net SharePoint Special Interest Group Presentation

This past Wednesday evening, Scott Hoag and I had the privilege of sharing the evening with the Capital Area .Net SharePoint Special Interest Group, hosted by Excella in the Navy League building in Arlington, VA. The crowd was lively and engaged and we even had Nick Inglis, Mack Sigman, Stacey Draper, David Berry and Cicely Behne in the mix to provide their insight and expertise, supplementing and complementing the gaps that Scott and I left open (it’s the partner ecosystem idea, right? ;)).

Nevertheless, if you were looking for a copy of the slides, they’re available here:

Recycle an Application Pool – #ITProTip

So you’ve deployed an updated solution to your SharePoint 2007 or 2010 farm and you need to recycle the application pool associated with the web application that the solution is deployed to but you don’t want to take down the entire SharePoint farm? No problem, just recycle the single application pool that’s associated with that web application using a quick little command from command shell.

For those running SharePoint 2007 on Windows Server 2003 / 2003 R2:

cscript c:windowssystem32iisapp.vbs /a "%SharePointApplicationPool%" /r

where %SharePointApplicationPool% is the application pool that needs to be recycled. Note that iisapp.vbs resides within %systemroot%system32

For those running SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010 on Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2:

appcmd recycle apppool /apppool.name:%SharePointApplicationPool%

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where %SharePointApplicationPool% is the application pool that needs to be recycled.  Note that appcmd resides within %systemroot%system32inetsrv

The alternative for this of course is just to go in IIS Manager 6 or 7, select the application pool associated with the web application that requires recycling and recycle the pool manually through the UI.

References: