In 1978, China introduced the one-child policy to curb overpopulation. The policy decreed that urban couples could only produce one baby. While the population was controlled, an unexpected problem arose: General son-preferences in China contributed to a gender disparity. The National Population and Family Planning Commission estimates that there will be 30 million more men than women in 2020, which may lead to social instability. In a similar vein, VMC Solutions Architect Keith Prunella argues that that having far-reaching plans currently in place will help mitigate or prevent unexpected future problems when it comes to SharePoint custom development.
Sometimes, potential clients say they want SharePoint sites or to do a data migration and come in with business requirements – they want a site that is branded, has reusable components, a news feed, things like that – but they haven’t started talking about disaster recovery (DR) or what it takes on the backend to support the effort. This is an important conversation to have, especially if the client has an extranet site and people need to log onto it. This area is where we really shine in our roles as developers and engineers. We walk clients through the aspects of disaster recovery and help them think about what mechanisms should be in place in event their site suffers some sort of outage and goes down.
I’m a big proponent of hybridizing SharePoint, combining it with other technologies in custom solutions. We’re currently working on a data migration with SharePoint and SQL 2012 and planned out what the DR environment ought to be and how it should be handled. The last several months have been about building sites around SharePoint, SQL 2012, and providing small RPO & RTO disruptions – using types of methodologies and technologies to provide a reliable backup mechanism. Notably, the new 2012 SQL server has a High-Availability (HA) and DR feature, AlwaysOn, which, among other things, makes existing HA and DR procedures more efficient.
Disaster recovery should be a big part of the conversation between developers and clients, especially since many of ours handle financial transactions – credit card and licensing information. Imagine this worst case scenario: At the end of fiscal year, one client’s sites go down. In a matter of hours, this client loses $8 to $10 billion. This directly impacts the stock exchange, as this company drops 5 points. That’s affects everyone.
A comprehensive survey of what lies beneath the surface is integral to the long-term success of a SharePoint-based solution. What have you done to ensure that your systems won’t become outgrown, that they will always work as they should, in nearly all situations?