Beta Hosting Scope and Results for Data Storage

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The Internet Platform and Operations group designed their betadeployment of Windows SharePoint Services to both test WindowsSharePoint Services and provide working sites for IndividualExternal Partner (IEP) customers.

Disk Space Requirements

One of the goals of the Windows SharePoint Services Beta hostingprogram was to determine how much hard disk space an average sitewould require. Initially, each customer site was given a quota of30 megabytes (MB). The sever farm was set up to support 6,000customer sites, therefore the Windows SharePoint Services contentdatabases were designed to hold at least 180 gigabytes (GB).

Actual usage was less than anticipated. The configuration andcontent databases acquired only 7.5 GB. (Other space was requiredfor the MSSQL system databases.) These results showed that initialdisk space requirements were 2.5 to 3 times greater than the actualrequirements. By the end of the Beta hosting program, the serverfarm hosted over 14,400 English, German, and Japanese sites forexternal world-wide customers.

Availability Requirements

The Internet Platform and Operations group had a goal ofproviding high availability (at least 98 percent availability forcustomer sites, excluding planned downtime for maintenance) andreliability and short response time. In the course of the project,based on the configuration in this series of papers, the InternetPlatform and Operations group met their goals and reached 99%availability, excluding the scheduled maintenance time anexcellent result for beta code.

Additional Configuration Goals

Further, the Internet Platform and Operations had the followingscalability, reliability, and availability goals for the WindowsSharePoint Services deployment. These areas will be addressedfurther in this white paper.

  • Validate the Windows SharePoint Services scalability design andimplement a huge data store. Windows SharePoint Services supportsscalability through multiple servers in server farms. To provescalability and compatibility, the server farm must contain atleast two unique content databases on two servers running MicrosoftSQL Server and a storage area network (SAN) repository withmore than 700 GB of raw data.

  • Design the backup and disaster recovery plans. Back up contentand configuration information regularly and test the restorationduring complete system failure situations.

Backup/Restore Design Overview

Backups are a necessary insurance for any unforeseen event or circumstances that may warrant database restore or complete disaster recovery. Developing plans and procedures for recovering from failures before they occur can also minimize damage and productivity lost. The Internet Platform and Operations group maintained regularly scheduled data and system configurations backups. Details about backing up and restoring this system are in the "Backing Up and Restoring Data" section.