SharePoint 2010 Environments Setup

Inspired by Chris Johnson from a year back (SharePoint development environments, my guidance) I will share my experience for the solution deployment life-cycle.

As consultant, I need mobility, so

  • I prefer working on a laptop with 8GB and a dual-core with at least 2,20 GHz
  • If I have a customer image, it is hopefully Windows 7 x64 or comparable
  • I preferrably virtualize my dev environment (preference: vm-player)
  • My preferred environment is a Windows Server R2 Image with SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, Designer, Adobe Reader, Adobe IFilter, Visual Studio 2010

For any work related to the User-Profile-Service or other Domain-Centric development, I need to have a Domain Controller on that machine first. I included that on my newer images.

The customer typically has multiple environments.

For compliance and separation of concern reasons I prefer the test, pre-live and production environment setup. Test and Pre-Live should be virtualized from a cost perspective, production should be a multi-farm environment, dedicated machines, if possible, no shared-sql (actually: SN – shared-nothing). The biggest reasons are scaleability when storing large files in RBS mode and Reporting Services, that should not be on a shared environment, as well as licensing considerations.

If the customer is a global player, a multi-farm-setup should be used. Architecture of multi-farms (Technet Article about this, if you have the money and the need, 3-5 farms with distinct usage can make sense (Services, Collaboration (Light-Weight Sites), Special Use/ High Load Applications, User Profile Services, Custom Services), in some scenarios even more)

Depending on the capabilities and resources in the Infrastructure Department within IT, it can be good sense to have the following mapping for purpose of each environment:

Environment Purpose Notes
Virtual Dev Environment Develop Code, Unit Testing virtual
(Virtual Integration Environment) (Integration Testing) Not absolutely necessary, virtual
Testing System Test/ Integration Testing virtual, same patch path as production, same solutions as production, same web applications and site collections as production
Pre-Live User Acceptancy Testing virtual, same patch path as production, same solutions as production, same web applications and site collections as production, once signed-off by IT-Project-Management, a solution that is in testing, may be deployed here
Production Live Application, only bothered by System and Application Updates, Data Migration preferrably native, once signed-off by Business-Project-Management, a solution that is in pre-production may be deployed here

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