Planning A Proper Virtual SharePoint 2013 Environment

Regardless of the reasons for virtualizing SharePoint 2013 or the stage of embracing virtualization, the design of a virtual SharePoint 2013 architecture has to support your long term and instant business and IT goals and accommodate future modifications. Architects who plan a virtual environment often apply the requirements for a SharePoint option that was deployed in a physical environment to the virtual environment. This includes aspects such as farm capability, performance and topology requirements, and company continuity. You can utilize the lot of database servers, front end web servers, and application servers to identify the variety of virtual devices and virtualization host server computers that a virtualized farm needs. A virtual environment needs added virtual servers to attain the exact same total efficiency as physical servers that serve the same parts. This is a truth of virtualization. Virtual equipment that is set up the same as a physical computer system can not match the efficiency of a physical computer due to hypervisor overhead.

Prior to creating a virtual architecture and the supporting infrastructure, you have to recognize system requirements. In numerous circumstances, you can use an existing or prepared SharePoint environment option, and the physical infrastructure that supports the solution. Whether SharePoint Server or SharePoint Foundation is already deployed can influence the procedure of determining requirements and making design choices. The current state of virtualization innovation in an organization is another factor. If you have an existing SharePoint farm, you can utilize historical benchmark data and use profiles as a starting indicate identify virtual device setups for the different server jobs in the farm. For instance, simultaneous connections, sorts of requests, and peaks in demand serve kinds of information. After you have the virtual equipment requirements, you then figure out the number and capacity of the host servers that you need to support the virtual farm servers.

If you are upgrading an existing farm, keep in mind that you have to have new data standard  to verify your presumptions. This is a requirement since clients normally tidy up and architect their SharePoint solutions once again as part of the upgrade. Another reason to collect new information is that you might include functionality to the farm. SharePoint 2013 also provides new functions and redesigned features, such as Search. Then you have the experience and resources to develop relatively accurate picture of the physical infrastructure requirements for the farm, if virtualization is a fully grown innovation in your company. This includes host sizing, virtual machine distribution throughout the hosts to satisfy anticipated performance demands, and high availability. If your organization is simply beginning to adopt virtualization for applications such as SharePoint 2013, then you probably have a scarcity of resources and expertise to carry out a virtual farm. You would need to prepare and finish a number of pre-production phases to collect benchmark information and configurations until they are ready for a pilot project. It is very important to keep in mind that at this point your requirements and proposed design are preliminary. You will have to adjust the design as you develop a comprehensive design to deploy a farm in a proof-of-concept, pre-production, and production environment.

Identifying the server roles that you want to virtualize is connected to the more comprehensive virtualization objectives and goals of your company. Clearly, if the goal is execute an architecture where all the SharePoint farm servers are virtual, then the pros and cons of server option is not a problem. In a homogeneous environment, the standards for the design of the architecture are based on functional requirements such as efficiency and capacity and the host infrastructure that is should support the farm. Although server virtualization is totally supported for all the server parts of SharePoint 2013, the server job alone is not the identifying consider deciding whether to virtualize some farm servers or all the farm servers. Numerous factors will affect your virtualization technique and architecture: IT restrictions, host server capacity, and operations.

Numerous organizations do not support or permit IT departments to virtualize database servers. This policy is typical in companies that have committed database groups that firmly manage and preserve SQL Server. In these regulated deployments, the data source group has to create all databases. Virtualizing SQL Server is not an option. The accessibility of host hardware than can adequately support the requirements of all the duties is something else to consider. The issue of host hardware abilities happens when you re-purposing existing hardware as part of a virtualization strategy. Managing and maintaining a virtual farm environment is intricate and requires certain abilities and tools. You have to handle the farm on the physical host and the virtual level level. You have to deal with the virtual equipments and their hosts if you deploy SharePoint 2013 in a partly virtualized environment. Furthermore you have to keep the physical computers that are utilized for specific roles. The outcome is that you must have 3 sets of treatments, skills, and tools to support the farm. Full virtualization reduces the support requirements and simplifies support for the operations group.

The front end web server and application server parts are normally the first choices for virtualization. Since the work need on these servers is normally much lower than on various other servers in a farm, the internet server part is usually the first option for virtualization. As a result you can configure the virtual equipment for this duty to use fewer processors, less memory and fewer hard disks. The smaller sized resource footprint suggests that you can deploy more front end internet servers on a single host than an extremely specialized and resource-intensive system such as a database server, and sometimes, an application server. For organizations that are simply beginning to relocate to virtualization, virtual equipments for the Web server part are simpler to think than the other jobs, have the lowest virtualization host requirements, and are perceived as having the most affordable threat in a production environment Application servers are also good initial prospects for virtualization. Relying on the degree of field of expertise, which is mirrored by services they provide, they do not always have low resource requirements. IT professionals vigorously discuss whether to virtualize SQL Server. Up until recently the conventional wisdom was to stay clear of virtualizing the database server. As holds true for various other farm servers, hypervisor imposes an efficiency cost. You need to specify your efficiency objectives and gather benchmark information before you choose whether to virtualize SQL Server. Even with SQL Server optimizations for virtualization and efficiency enhancements in the Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V role, a virtual database server will not surpass a physical server that uses the exact same configuration. Nevertheless, if you scale up the virtual database server configuration, you can attain the same overall throughput at a somewhat increased CPU use cost. We recommend that your data source virtualization decision also accounts for virtual processor requirements in relation to the lot of host server cores, high accessibility, and options for enhancing storage. In the last analysis, the benefits of deploying SQL Server on a virtual device can commonly exceed the performance cost.

After you’ve collected info and developed a draft design, you still may have issues about performance if certain SharePoint 2013 server parts are virtualized. If performance is still a significant consideration to finishing your architecture, then consider testing particular functions that are prospects for virtualization. You can use the examination lead to choose the number of virtual servers to deploy for a specific function, or even whether to deploy a certain part in the virtual environment. One way to conduct your examinations is to deploy a specific role on a virtual equipment and on a physical computer system. The tests that you make use of are very important since they have to appropriately measure the function. After you complete your tests compare the benchmark data for the efficiency counters that are meaningful as a performance measure. These counters are typically several of the following: memory consumption, CPU utilization and Input/Output Operations Per Second. For some circumstances network throughput is likewise an important performance indication.


AppFabric Crashing Affecting NewsFeeds In SharePoint 2013

A client of me deployed the SharePoint 2013 RTM version very recently and was having a problem with newsfeeds not being updated. I went onsite to look at the issue, and in the ULS logs there were a couple different issues, namely that AppFabric was crashing. The exact errors were:

Faulting application name: DistributedCacheService.exe, version: 1.0.4632.0, time stamp: 0x4eafeccf
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: 6.1.7601.17651, time stamp: 0x6u73421f
Exception code: 0xe0434352
Fault offset: 0x000000000000cacd
Faulting process id: 0x142c
Faulting application start time: 1d3e743683765n
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server\DistributedCacheService.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\KERNELBASE.dll

Application: DistributedCacheService.exe
Framework Version: v4.0.30319
Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.
Exception Info: System.UriFormatException
at Microsoft.ApplicationServer.Caching.VelocityWindowsService.StartServiceCallback(System.Object)
at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)
at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)
at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.System.Threading.IThreadPoolWorkItem.ExecuteWorkItem()
at System.Threading.ThreadPoolWorkQueue.Dispatch()

Which actually even robust in it’s error message, doesn’t tell you a shit ton about whats exactly going on. To get the exact error, look under the Feed Cache category and you will see the error No cache hosts are present or running in the farm.

To repair this error, follow these steps:

  1. Open up Central Administration
  2. Select Application Management
  3. Select Manage Services on Server from Service Applications
  4. Locate the Distributed Cache service, select start if stopped.

Boom news feeds should work now.