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Plan to configure the SharePoint Server 2010 farm for search-first migration (SharePoint Server 2010)

SharePoint 2010
 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-05-23

This article describes considerations for planning Search Centers and people search in the new farm. Before you read this article, you should be familiar with the information in the following articles about search-first migration:

For brevity in this article, the following terms are used:

 

Original farm

The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm that the organization is using in a production environment, with SharePoint enterprise search deployed.

New farm

A new Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 farm that you deploy and initially use only for the search-first migration.

Search-first environment

An environment in which a search-first migration is complete. In this environment, end users can use SharePoint Server 2010 search-query features and search-results features when they submit search queries in the original farm or the new farm.

To configure the new farm for search-first migration, you must deploy at least one Enterprise Search Center site. Search results for queries that are forwarded from the original farm are displayed on a search results page that is associated with a Search Center in the new farm.

In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, search administrators can configure Search Center access for end users by using one of the following approaches:

  • Centralized Search Center. The farm provides search functionality from a single Web application with an associated site collection and a single Search Center. All queries from the original farm, regardless of which Search Center or other site they originate from, are redirected to the same search results page in the new farm.

  • Decentralized Search Center. Multiple site collections provide Search Centers.

  • Hybrid of centralized and decentralized Search Centers. End users access search functionality primarily from one Search Center, but for business reasons such as security, some site collections have separate Search Centers.

For the purpose of search-first migration, we recommend that you use a centralized Search Center in the new farm. A single Search Center is more likely to meet search demands in SharePoint Server 2010 than in Office SharePoint Server 2007 for the following reasons:

  • A Search service in the SSP of a SharePoint Server 2007 farm can index approximately 50 million items. Users can query in an associated Search Center to obtain search results from that index. By comparison, a Search service application in SharePoint Server 2010 can index approximately 100 million items. Users can query in a single associated Search Center to obtain results from that much larger index.

  • In SharePoint Server 2010, a Search Center can serve multiple site collections, which is not the case in SharePoint Server 2007. Therefore, in SharePoint Server 2010, a single Search Center might suffice even when many new site collections are added.

Providing a single Search Center in the new farm also has the following advantages:

  • It is quicker and easier to configure the original farm to forward queries to a single Search Center in the new farm.

  • It can reduce the amount of work that is required for customization and branding.

As the organization completes the upgrade from SharePoint Server 2007, you can modify the new farm to use a different Search Center approach from the one that you used for the search-first migration. For example, the original farm might use a decentralized or a hybrid Search Center approach, but you might configure the new farm to use a centralized Search Center for the search-first migration. However, as the organization completes the upgrade, you might choose to modify the new farm to use the same Search Center approach as the original farm uses.

You might also want to consider options for providing people-search functionality in the search-first environment. People search enables end users to find other people in the organization by searching on attributes such as name, department, job title, expertise, or interests. SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Server 2010 can provide this user-related information in profiles that users can access on My Sites. You can crawl user profiles in either of the following ways:

  • Deploy and crawl user profiles in the new farm. When you use this approach, end users can take advantage of the new people-search capabilities of SharePoint Server 2010.

  • Crawl user profiles that are in the original farm. When you use this approach, end users can take advantage of the people-search capabilities of SharePoint Server 2007 only. People-search capabilities that are new in SharePoint Server 2010, such as phonetic name matching and nickname matching, are not available.

In the first approach, you bring user profiles into the new farm and configure the search system in the new farm to crawl the profiles there. Therefore, in the new farm you have to provision a User Profile service application, create a My Site host location, and deploy My Sites. For more information, see Plan for My Sites (SharePoint Server 2010) and Plan user profiles (SharePoint Server 2010). If additional user-related information is available in a separate business-application database, you can use a Business Connectivity Services connector to import that data and then use the data to augment the information that is in the user profiles in the new farm. When the search-first migration is complete and an end user performs a people search, the search results appear on a search results page in the new farm. Clicking a people-search result on that page takes the user to a site in the new farm that hosts the content for the search result.

In the second approach, you configure the search system in the new farm to crawl user profiles that are in the original farm. In this case, the only configuration requirement for the new farm is that you must create a content source there that specifies that the system will crawl the user profiles in the original farm. When the search-first migration is complete and a user performs a people search, the search results appear on a search results page in the new farm. Clicking a people-search result on that page takes the user to a site in the original farm that hosts the content for the search result.

If you plan to deploy and crawl user profiles in the new farm, you can use one of the following methods to bring user profiles into the new SharePoint Server 2010 farm:

In some cases, organizations face constraints in importing user profiles from the directory service. In such cases, an organization can use the UPRE to bring user profiles into the new farm. Otherwise, the organization can delay bringing user profiles into the new farm (and then crawling the profiles in the new farm) until it is more convenient. In the meantime, the administrator can configure the new farm to crawl the user profiles that are in the original farm.

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