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Review upgrade best practices

Updated: March 5, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-03-05

To ensure a smooth upgrade process, follow these best practices:

  1. Ensure that the farm is fully functioning before you perform an upgrade.

    An upgrade does not solve any problems that you might have in the farm. Therefore, ensure that the farm is fully functioning before you perform an upgrade. For example, if you have Web applications or virtual servers that are no longer in use, unextend them before you upgrade. If you want to delete a Web application in Internet Information Services (IIS), unextend the Web application before you upgrade. Otherwise, Office SharePoint Server 2007 tries to upgrade the Web application although it does not exist, and the upgrade fails. If you identify and solve problems beforehand, you can help to maintain the upgrade schedule after the upgrade begins.

  2. Perform a trial upgrade on a test farm first.

    Back up the live farm, restore to test servers, and then perform the upgrade. Examine the results to set expectations for what the live upgraded sites will look like, to determine how much post-upgrade customization will have to be done, and to estimate how long the upgrade will take. Try a full search indexing crawl. For more information about performing a test upgrade and a list of common issues, see Use a trial upgrade to find potential issues (Office SharePoint Server).

  3. Plan for capacity.

    Ensure that you have disk, processor, and memory capacity sufficient to handle gradual upgrade requirements. For more information about system requirements, see Review system requirements for upgrade (Office SharePoint Server). For more information about planning disk space required for upgrade, see Estimate how long the upgrade process will take and the amount of space needed (Office SharePoint Server).

    For key recommendations and best practices to help you plan and monitor your SQL Server storage requirements to support optimal performance and operation of your server farms, see Planning and Monitoring SQL Server Storage for Office SharePoint Server: Performance Recommendations and Best Practices (white paper). For more information about planning for capacity, see Plan for performance and capacity (Office SharePoint Server).

  4. Load balance site collections.

    Load balance site collections in a large database into several smaller databases to facilitate backup. Perform the backup of site collections by using the stsadm -o backup operation. After the backup, create a new content database and restore the content to the new database.

    For more information about the stsadm -o backup operation, see Backup: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server).

    For more information about moving databases, see Mergecontentdbs: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server).

    NoteNote:

    Areas cannot be backed up.

  5. Back up your data.

    Perform a full backup before upgrading, and then perform backups again after each set of upgraded site collections goes live. There are two reasons to perform the additional backups after upgrading sets of site collections:

    • If anything happens to your servers, you won't have to start from the old version and perform the upgrade again.

    • In a gradual upgrade, at some point, you will want to reduce the amount of space consumed by upgraded sites, old sites, and the backups themselves, and you will need to delete the old versions. However, you will want to keep backups of the upgraded sites in case you need them for any reason after you have deleted the old sites.

    We recommend that you use the following backup methods in the different environments:

  6. Do not change previous version sites or configuration data during or after the upgrade.

    We recommend that you lock the sites to updates while you perform the upgrade. The upgrade process itself can lock the site content and the configuration data from Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0, but not the configuration data that is specific to SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Be sure that you do not make configuration changes (such as adding a site to the site directory) to the previous version site while you are upgrading it or afterwards, because those changes cannot be synchronized with the new version; you might either lose those changes or need to revert to the previous version and perform the upgrade again. There are two methods you can use to lock the sites:

    • You can use the Adding content prevented lock on the Manage site collection quotas and locks page in SharePoint Central Administration to lock site collections. For more information about locking sites by using quotas, see Configuring Site Collection Quotas and Locks (Windows SharePoint Services 2.0) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=89388&clcid=0x409).

    • You can set the content database to read-only in Microsoft SQL Server. For more information about setting a database to read-only, see the "Setting Database Options" topic in the SQL Server Books Online for SQL Server 2000.

  7. Do not add any servers to your server farm after you begin the upgrade process.

    Running the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard upgrades the configuration database. The configuration database contains the list of servers in the farm. Servers added to the farm after the configuration wizard has been run are not included in the database. Therefore, servers added after the wizard runs do not appear in the upgraded version topology. If you need to add servers to your farm, do so either before starting the upgrade or after you have completed the upgrade process by following the steps in Add servers to an upgraded farm (Office SharePoint Server).

  8. If you have shared services, upgrade the parent portal site first.

    However, if it is not feasible to upgrade the parent portal site first, you can create a temporary Shared Services Provider (SSP) to host the new version services and upgrade a child portal site first. If you intend to take this approach, keep the following things in mind:

    • After the upgrade, you need to create a temporary parent Shared Services Provider (SSP) and populate it with data (search, profiles, and so on). Associate the temporary SSP with your upgraded child portal site or portal sites and test the new functionality.

    • Consider a trial deployment with a small department's child portal site to start with. Then, when you're ready to begin the full migration, upgrade the parent portal site first and point the upgraded child portal site at the upgraded parent's SSP. The child portal site's content will be available immediately after you upgrade the child portal site, but the shared services content associated with the parent portal site will be unavailable until the parent portal site is upgraded.

    For more information about upgrading with shared services, see Perform a gradual upgrade with shared services.

  9. If you migrate a portal site that contains personal sites, create a Web application for the My Site host location.

    When you perform a database migration, you perform an in-place upgrade on the databases, but you do not upgrade server farm configuration data. Consequently, the URL for the My Site host is not configured in the upgraded server farm. Before you migrate databases that contain the personal sites, create a My Site host location for the personal sites in the new Office SharePoint Server 2007 environment. Use the following procedure to create a My Site host location.

    Create a My Site host location for personal sites

    1. On the Shared Services Administration home page, in the User Profiles and My Sites section, click My Site settings.

    2. In the Personal Site Services section, type the URL of the Web application for the My Site host location on the upgraded server farm.

    3. Migrate the content databases that contain the personal sites to the My Site host location that you created.

    NoteNote:

    If you also migrate the user profile database, you create the SSP for My Site during the migration of your user profile database.

    For more information about how to configure settings for My Sites and create a My Site host location for personal sites, see Manage My Site host locations.

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007 .

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