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Upgrade farms that share services (parent and child farms) (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, it was possible to configure parent farms and child farms to share services. In such an environment, the parent farm hosts one or more Shared Services Providers (SSPs) from which one or more child farms consume services. You can choose one of two approaches to upgrade farms that share services. The recommended approach is to upgrade a duplicate of the parent farm (the farm that hosts the shared services). If you need additional time to complete the upgrade of all farms, you can use a temporary parent farm to upgrade the child farms (the farms that consume shared services) until the original parent farm can be fully upgraded. Both approaches require you to create an additional parent farm: In the first case, this parent farm is a duplicate of the original parent farm that you immediately upgrade; in the second case, this parent farm is a new parent farm built on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

When you upgrade parent and child farms, you must perform the upgrade steps in a specific order so that your services (such as Search or User Profile) can continue to work as required. This article describes considerations to keep in mind while you plan to upgrade parent and child server farms, and contains high-level illustrations of the upgrade processes.

Before you begin, make sure that you have reviewed the general upgrade information available in About the upgrade process (SharePoint Server 2010).

In this article:

Information in this article is also available in a downloadable poster, "Upgrading Parent and Child Farms" (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=190984). This Visio diagram is also available in PDF or XPS format.

About upgrading parent and child farms

The following list describes the two approaches to upgrading parent and child farms, and the advantages of each:

  • Minimal downtime: Duplicate parent farm (recommended)   With this approach, you duplicate and upgrade the original parent farm, and then upgrade each child farm individually. After each child farm is upgraded, you configure it to consume services from the upgraded parent farm. After all child farms have been upgraded, you can remove the original parent farm.

    This approach is optimized for minimal downtime during the upgrade process. Because the original parent farm is still available to host services for any child farms that are not yet upgraded, your users can continue to work with sites on those farms.

  • Child first: Temporary parent farm   With this approach, you create a new parent farm, and then upgrade child farms individually and configure them to consume services from the new parent. After all child farms have been upgraded, you can upgrade or remove the original parent farm.

    This approach is optimized for allowing individual child farms to be upgraded over time. Whenever a child farm is ready to be upgraded, it can be upgraded and start to consume services from the new parent farm without affecting the original parent farm or other child farms.

Considerations for upgrading parent and child farms

As you plan for and perform an upgrade for parent and child farms that share services, you must take the following considerations into account:

For more information about how to plan your upgrade, see Plan and prepare for upgrade (SharePoint Server 2010).

Process overview: Upgrading a duplicate parent farm

To provide maximum uptime during the upgrade process, you want to keep the original parent farm running until all the child farms have been upgraded to SharePoint Server 2010. However, because a SharePoint Server 2010 farm cannot consume services from a Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm, this means that you must create another SharePoint Server 2010 farm to provide services to the child farms until the whole environment is upgraded.

In this approach, you duplicate the parent farm, upgrade the duplicate version, and then upgrade the child farms. After upgrade, you continue with the duplicated parent and turn off the original parent farm.

  1. Duplicate the original parent farm.

    1. Back up the original parent farm (Parent Farm 1).

    2. Restore Parent Farm 1 to a new farm, Parent Farm 2.

    Diagram of upgrading parent farm (Before)
  2. Upgrade the new parent farm.

    1. Upgrade Parent Farm 2 to SharePoint Server 2010.

    2. Optional: Configure user profile synchronization for Parent Farm 1 and Parent Farm 2.

      The synchronization steps are optional, but will ensure that the child farms have a smooth experience with minimal loss of services configuration or content as they move from the Office SharePoint Server 2007 parent farm to the SharePoint Server 2010 parent farm. The next version of the Administrative Toolkit will contain a tool called the Profile Replication Engine that you can use to synchronize profiles between Office SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Server 2010.

  3. Publish the service applications that will be used by child farms (at a minimum, these include Search, Business Data Catalog, and User Profiles).

  4. Upgrade the first child farm.

    1. Upgrade the first child farm, Child Farm 1, to SharePoint Server 2010.

    2. Ensure that local service applications (such as Excel Services) are configured and working on Child Farm 1.

    3. Configure Child Farm 1 to start to consume services from Parent Farm 2.

    Diagram of upgrading parent farm (during)
  5. Upgrade the remaining child farms.

    Repeat step 4 for all remaining child farms in the environment.

  6. Remove the original parent farm.

    Diagram of upgrading parent farm (After)

Process overview: Upgrading by using a temporary parent farm

If you need to upgrade a child farm before you are ready to upgrade the parent farm, you can do so by creating a temporary parent farm in SharePoint Server 2010.

  1. Create and configure a new parent farm, Parent Farm 2, in SharePoint Server 2010.

    Diagram of upgrading child farm (Before)
  2. Upgrade the first child farm.

    1. Upgrade the first child farm, Child Farm 1, to SharePoint Server 2010.

    2. Ensure that local service applications (such as Excel Services) are configured and working on Child Farm 1.

    3. Configure Child Farm 1 to start consuming services from Parent Farm 2.

    Diagram of upgrading parent farm (During)
  3. Upgrade the remaining child farms

    Repeat step 2 for all remaining child farms in the environment.

  4. Upgrade the original parent farm, Parent Farm 1, in SharePoint Server 2010.

    You can either re-associate the child farms with the upgraded Parent Farm 1 after it has been upgraded, or continue to use the new Parent Farm 2 to host services for the child farms.

    Diagram of upgrading parent farm (After)
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