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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Planning for Database and Additional Software

In addition to the operating system, a SharePoint farm requires software for the database, and preferably other add-ons such as backup and antivirus software. Although these are the most common software add-ons, there can be multiple third-party and other add-ons installed into SharePoint, depending on the needs and scale of the deployment. Consult with third-party vendors to determine any potential needs for your farm.

Database Software

The only supported database for SharePoint is Microsoft SQL Server. SharePoint databases must be installed on 64-bit SQL servers, and they can be successfully installed on the following types of SQL servers:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 x64 with SP1, Standard or Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2012 x64, Standard or Enterprise

It is highly recommended to consider SQL Server 2012 for the SharePoint database role because it provides for the most robust, capable, and secure platform for SharePoint. In addition, it includes features that are useful for SharePoint, such as AOAGs, PowerPivot, and Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), which enables the SharePoint databases to be stored in encrypted format. You can find information about these features in Chapter 9.

With so many new features to discuss and so little space, this section focuses on a number of different components that, together, make up the entire new SQL Server product. This discussion introduces SQL’s many components and purpose. The components consist of the following:

  • Database engine: The database engine component is the heart of SQL Server. It is responsible for storing data, databases, stored procedures, security, and many more functions, such as full-text search, replication, and HA.
  • Analysis services: Analysis services delivers online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence applications. Analysis services allows organizations to aggregate data from multiple heterogeneous environments, and transform this data into meaningful information that can then be analyzed and leveraged to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.
  • Integration services: Provides businesses the opportunity to integrate and transform data. Businesses can extract data from different locations, transform data that may include merging data together, and move data to different locations, such as relational databases, data warehouses, and data marts. Integration services is the official SQL server extract, transform, and load (ETL) tool.
  • Reporting services: Includes tools such as Report Manager and Report Server. This component is built on standard IIS and .NET technology and enables businesses to design report solutions, extract report data from different areas, customize reports in different formats, manage security, and distribute reports.
  • Notification services: Consists of a notification engine and client components meant for developing and deploying applications that generate and send notifications to subscribers. Notifications are generated when they are either prompted by an event or triggered by a predefined or fixed schedule. Notifications can be sent to email addresses or mobile devices.

Backup Software

Although SharePoint 2013 products include built-in backup capability, the tools used are not enterprise level and do not have built-in scheduling, item-level restore, or robust alerting capabilities. It is subsequently recommended to purchase and install enterprise backup software. This may include software from a number of third-party vendors, or it may include a solution from Microsoft such as System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2012. Backup and restore is discussed in more detail in Chapter 10, “Backing Up and Restoring a SharePoint Environment.”

Antivirus Software

SharePoint 2013 includes an antivirus application programming interface (API) that enables all documents to be scanned for viruses by a compliant antivirus engine. It is highly recommended to include SharePoint-specific antivirus as part of a SharePoint deployment, because client-specific antivirus cannot disinfect documents in SharePoint, and alternatively, viruses could be uploaded into SharePoint if the client antivirus is missing or out of date.

There are multiple third-party antivirus vendors in the SharePoint space. For more information on antivirus products for SharePoint, see Chapter 14, “Protecting SharePoint with Advanced Edge Security Solutions.”

Index iFilters

The most common add-on for SharePoint search are iFilters. Index iFilters provide specific knowledge for the SharePoint indexer on how to break open specific file types and index the text content within them. The most common iFilter in earlier versions of SharePoint was the PDF iFilter, which is fortunately included in the FAST Search engine that is used in SharePoint search in SharePoint 2013. Other iFilters may be needed, however, so it is subsequently important to determine which file types will be stored in SharePoint and to determine whether iFilters are available for those file types so that the files can be properly indexed.

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