Thursday, April 1, 2010

Planning Your SharePoint 2010 Upgrade

Part 1: Inventory

I took a few days off earlier this week to spend some quality time with the family on the beach. Nothing like a game of catch by the ocean to highlight the really important things/people in my life. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I had internet access the whole time so I could stay connected to all things SharePoint 2010. Oh the insanity! We’re in this “quiet” period, pre October conference, so there is a fair amount of speculation and exaggeration out there (especially in Twitter land). White noise! I’m not advising you to ignore it; just remember where we are (on the calendar) and there is actually a plan in place for getting solid information to the SharePoint community in sufficient time to support rapid adoption of SharePoint 2010.

That said, I do think there are things SharePoint 2007 owners can be doing to begin the process of getting to the next version. Right now is a perfect time for… Inventory. I look at it in various categories:

One of the most detailed pieces of SharePoint 2010 is the infrastructure requirements. We know it is all 64-bit. What does your environment look like today? Will you be going to SQL Server 2008? Will you be going to Windows Server 2008? Can/Should you upgrade these technologies in advance of SharePoint 2010 or will you introduce them as part of the process. Take an inventory of servers and technologies and think about what they will look like a year from now.


Do you have the “right” number of SharePoint environments? That is, are there rogue instances of SharePoint 2007 that “popped up” along the way? Does it make sense to consider a consolidation of SharePoint instances? If yes, it also affects the infrastructure inventory (above). Take an inventory of the SharePoint 2007 environments you have (intranet, extranet, internet, rogue). Consolidation? Elimination? Staggered upgrade strategy?
3rd Party Tools:
Are you using any 3rd party or custom tools with SharePoint 2007? Hopefully, these are listed in your Disaster Recovery document. Workflow engine? Admin tool? Backup/Restore? Do/Will you still need these with SharePoint 2010? Inventory the non-native components you have and set a plan for elimination or upgrade.
Remember, the upgrade is still (at least) months away. SharePoint usage will continue to grow and evolve. Take an inventory of the next few phases of your current deployment. Are there things that make sense to defer to new native functionality with 2010? At some point, you will need to draw a line to stop incremental feature deployments and focus on the upgrade. You decide when that is.

Bottom line, the sneak peek videos, nuggets of information and wild speculations are all interesting (if not amusing) so don’t ignore them. In the same sense, don’t let them clutter your planning. Work from the inside (you) out (SharePoint 2010) instead of the other way around.
Having gotten lost a few times on the drive back from vacation, I was reminded that you need to have a solid understanding of your current position before you can accurately set the course for your destination… it makes for a smoother/faster ride (and less yelling from your boss/spouse).

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