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Posts Tagged ‘SQL Server 2008’

Dear all,

it is my pleasure to announce a new initiative of communicating SharePoint knowledge via videos using the “SharePointFive” approach: Show how technical configurations are done within only a few minutes (guideline: 5 mins per video, up to a max of 15 in special cases.

If you want to learn about SharePoint 2010 configurations, but only want to invest a few minutes at a time, if you are looking for the essentials that make up what you actually want to do, then SharePointFive is for you.

SharePointFive (SharePoint5)

SharePointFive is a youtube channel, that you can access under the below mentioned URL. It contains all videos (currently 1 only :-)) that have been and will be published, showing how to apply SharePoint (or related) configurations in just a few minutes. Usually, like in this case, there will be published a related blog post on angler.wordpress.com, in order to facilitate it for you to copy scripts and apply them.

SP5Logo

http://www.youtube.com/sharepointfive

The Video

The video will give you an idea of the steps to be executed, a few caveats. But most of all, it is only a few minutes long and won’t take a long time to watch. This first episode of SharePointFive is  a bit longer (about 12-13 minutes), since it contains also the explanation and motivation why SP5 has been launched.

The Scripts

1. Create the Master Key:

 1: USE master;
 2: 
 3: go
 4: 
 5: CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'n0PWStealingAll0w3d!';
 6: 
 7: go

2. Create the Certificate:

 1: CREATE CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate WITH SUBJECT = 'SP5 DEK Certificate';
 2: go
 3: 

 

3. Back up Certificate & Private Key (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO KEEP IT BACKUPPED AND SAFE!):

 1: USE master;
 2: go
 3: BACKUP CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate TO FILE = 'C:\Certificate\TDECertificate.cer'
 4: WITH PRIVATE KEY (
 5: FILE = 'C:\Certificate\PK.pvk',
 6: ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = '?pkP4SsW0rD!');
 7: GO

4. Create Database Encryption Key:

 1: CREATE DATABASE ENCRYPTION KEY WITH ALGORITHM = AES_256 ENCRYPTION BY SERVER CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate;
 2: 
 3: GO

5. Enable Transparent Data Encryption for a Specific Content Database:

 1: CREATE CERTIFICATE SP5Certificate WITH SUBJECT = SP5Certificate;
 2: go

Please bear in mind:

  • Scripts need to be adapted to your needs, of course
  • Please run everything in a isolated test environment, before applying on production level
  • Consult your DBA before applying any changes to the SQL Server Instance, like running the beforementioned scripts.
  • The author of this blog cannot take responsibility for any damages caused by executing scripts, programs and configurations shown
  • It is your responsibility to inform yourself about possible side effects that are not reported. Usually, Technet and MSDN are good references for complete documentation of the concepts shown.
  • The scripts of SharePointFive are provided “as is”

Stay tuned till the next episode of SharePoint 5 and enjoy!

Best,

Martin

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Dear all,

while you can plan and organize availability on farm level by configuring Network Load Balancing and also SQL Server database mirroring and failover clustering, you do also have the possibility to plan for high availability on service application level, especially for critical service applications like PerformancePoint. In order to perform this, you must have a failover database server along your normal SQL server.

 

Higher availability for PerformancePoint Services can be achieved by adding additional failover databases to the PerformancePoint Service Application.

 

Go to the Central Administration, choose the row of the PerformancePoint Services Application (don’t click the name, otherwise you’ll “Manage”), and select “Properties” from the ribbon. Just like in Fig. 1

 

image

Fig.1: Open the properties window for the PerformancePoint Service Application

 

Next, in the “Failover Database Server”, insert the name of your failover database server.

image

Fig. 2: Specify the database failover server

After you did this, click “OK” to confirm.

 

Before fully relying on this mechanism, it could make sense to do a test run to verify whether the failover is working at all.

 

Caution: Do not execute the following steps in a production environment, unless you know what you are doing. At all costs, before testing the settings, notify users, schedule downtimes and make sure to do this together with a SQL administrator. Before applying any changes in production, test them in a similar test environment. The following steps assume that you have a working failover cluster for SQL server. If you don’t, DO NOT PROCEED at this point. If you are having only a single instance of SQL server (tested or untested) or a failover cluster that has been untested or is known not to be working, DO NOT EXECUTE the following steps. Otherwise you might lose data and functionality of your SharePoint environment.

 

1. Open a PPS dashboard.

2. Then, shut the principal SQL server instance down (again: Caution! do not do this in a production environment or without experience. You might lose all or partial functionality of SharePoint temporarily). This is the machine that is running Configuration Manager.

3. The failover server should now take over all the workload of the principal server.

4. Refresh the dashboard. It should work fine.

5. Try to modify it to see whether also write operations work on the PPS failover database.

6. Make sure to start again the SQL Server instance and verify that everything is up and working again.

 

The PowerShell approach:

The same result can also be achieved using the following PowerShell cmdlet:

 

Set-SPPerformancePointServiceApplication –Identity <Identity> –DatabaseFailoverServer <Servername>

 

This is very straightforward and increases the availabilty of your PerformancePoint Services.

Upshot: If you have a running SQL Server failover cluster, with little effort you can achieve high availability also for you Business Intelligence data. Not bad, is it?

 

Stay tuned, and till next time!

Martin (still in Calabria)

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1. Close Distance Rule:

Keep Web Frontends, Application Servers and Database Servers physically located as close as  possible.

 

Rule of thumb: No more than 1 ms of latency between WFEs/AS and DB servers. In practice, this means: WFEs/ASs should reside in the same data center as DB servers.

 

 

2. Co-Location/Separation of Databases

Certain databases must be co-located or ideally separated from other databases.

 

Rule of thumb: Separate the following databases:

 

 

 

image

Source: Microsoft Technet

 

Rule of thumb: Co-locate the following databases:

 

 

image

Source: Microsoft Technet

 

3. Constantly Monitor Database Servers

Size: Rules of thumb:

    Pre-grow databases and logs.

    Monitor disk space at all times.

    < 50 Databases per SQL Server instance (when mirroring)

                          < 200 GB per content database

 

 

Metrics: Rules of thumb:

    Network Queue: 0 or 1 for best performance

    Average Disk Queue length (latency) : < 5 ms

                       Memory used: < 70%

                       Free disk space: > 25%

                       Buffer cache hit ratio: >= 90%

 

4. Transaction Logs Backup

Rule of thumb: Back up and truncate the transaction logs every 5 minutes. Shrinking the transaction logs is not recommended since it will have a performance impact while it re-grows.

 

 

For preventing the transaction logs to grow unexpectedly, view the following KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/873235

 

That’s it for this time. Have fun configuring your DB servers for your SP2010 environment. As usual, no responsibility is taken for any damage that could occurr. And as ususal, I highly recommend trying all changes on a test environment and the adaptation to your specific IT infrastructure.

 

Enjoy and best regards,

Martin

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