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Archive for January, 2008

Host file problems when using dedicated web front-end for crawling

Posted by Christian Dam on January 30, 2008

I ran into a weird problem today.  I couldn’t suddenly no longer access the Central Administration site when sitting on the server hosting the Central Admin!

I started trouble shooting:

  • I checked the local event viewer … no errors or warnings
  • I checked the System Center Operations Manager … no alerts
  • I checked for domain membership … the server was still member of the domain
  • I checked the event log on the domain controller … no errors or warnings
  • I checked DNS … everything OK
  • I checked the local host file …. oh … wait a minute, this can’t be right?! The host file had been modified and contained only one line – not even the localhost entry was there anymore:
      192.168.1.105 donkey # Added by Office SharePoint Server Search (1/30/2008 8:28 PM).

The IP address is 192.168.1.103 so what’s going on?!

Fair enough, I’ll just correct the host file, and everything should be back to normal, right? Wrong! The host file was changed right back into the incorrect version. The host file entry suggested it has something to do with search, so I had to disable the search service to get the host file corrections to stick. I could now access Central Administration, but still not very satisfying since I lost my search capabilities in the process.

Having done a bit more research, the host file change seems to be by design when you specify a dedicated web front-end for crawling as I did a couple of days ago! For the fun of it I changed the crawl setting back to Use all web front end computers for crawling in Central Administration (Operations -> Services on Server -> Select Central Admin server -> Office SharePoint Server Search) and the “incorrect” host file entry is automatically deleted.

Ultimately, this means that you cannot access Central Administration locally from the server hosting the site if you use dedicated web front-end for crawling. It may be by design, but it is not very logical to me. You can naturally still access Central Admin from a remote server.

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Posted in MOSS | 3 Comments »

Global SharePoint deployment solutions

Posted by Christian Dam on January 28, 2008

Very interesting preview of an upcoming white paper at Joel Oleson’s Blog. Joel has taken on the task to describe some of the scenarious for global deployment and some of the partners that operate in that space as well as tools/application that can help us achieve that dounting task.

The options are many:

  • WAN Accelerators
  • Offloading and Cache Devices
  • Clients (Nearline, Offline and Online)
  • Data Replication, Multi Master Synchronization, and Configuration Management
  • Multi Farm Manageability and Reporting
  • Byte level or Hardware Based Replication

Check it out and chances are I will not be the only one looking forward to Joels white paper 🙂

Posted in Global Deployment, MOSS, WSS | Comments Off on Global SharePoint deployment solutions

Case Study: AMD Deployment on Windows Server 2008 and SharePoint Server 2007 is Faster and More Manageable

Posted by Christian Dam on January 26, 2008

Interesting post over at the SharePoint Products and Technologies Team blog discussing some of the lessons learned when AMD migrated http://developer.amd.com/ to Windows Server 2008 and SharePoint 2007.

Some of the interesting points are:

  • better performance
  • faster IISresets
  • the administrative interfaces loaded quicker
  • the SharePoint pages themselves also seemed faster
  • IIS7 is easier to manage once you get to know the new interface
  • no issues with deploying on pre-release code!

Posted in MOSS, Windows Server, WSS | Comments Off on Case Study: AMD Deployment on Windows Server 2008 and SharePoint Server 2007 is Faster and More Manageable

MOSS Licensing and SharePoint Server Version and Edition Comparison

Posted by Christian Dam on January 24, 2008

I spent some of my day figuring out how MOSS licensing works and especially what the possibilities are in respect to single farm deployments. I stumbled upon two great (slightly old) links that was of great help to me:

First, The SharePoint Product and Technologies Team Blog talks a bit about the different features and links to a great spreadsheet which lists the differences.

Second, The Team Blog also mentions an Important change to MOSS 2007 for Internet Sites (MOSSFIS) licensing. The key change is that now you can host both Intranet, Extranet and Internet sites on the same MOSS farm, something that was previously prohibited for licensing reasons. You need to buy the same amount of licenses as you would, if your deployment was split up on different farm, though.

Finally, the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 frequently asked questions also contains valuable information about licensing.

Posted in MOSS, WSS | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on MOSS Licensing and SharePoint Server Version and Edition Comparison

Installing Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint with SP1

Posted by Christian Dam on January 20, 2008

A quick start guide to Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint.
Step 1: Installation

  1. Click setup.exe
  2. Click Next on the Welcome page
  3. Click Next to accept the licence agreement
  4. Enter User Name and Company Name and click Next
  5. Select Local Installation anc click Next
  6. Select Full Installation
  7. Select the engines to install and click Next
    • Forefront comes with eight different scan engines where the Microsoft Antimalware engine and four additional random chosen engines are selected.
    • The possible scan engines are:
      • Microsoft Antimalware Engine (cannot be de-selected)
      • AhnLab Antivirus Scan Engine
      • CA Vet
      • Authentium Command Antivirus
      • Kapersky Antivirus Technology
      • Norman Virus Control
      • Sophos Vires Detection
      • VirusBuster Antivirus
    • Only four additional engines can be selected during installation.
    • You can add or remove selected engines at this point or through the administrative client later
    • More scan engines add to the memory requirements
  8. Click Next
  9. Select Destination Folder and click Next
  10. Select Program Folder and click Next
  11. Enter User Name and Password of an account that have local administrative permissions on the SharePoint Farm Servers including the database server if it is a seperate server. Click Next
  12. Click Next
  13. The installation starts …
  14. That’s it. Click Finish

Step 2: Configure and Update Scan Engine Definitions

After the installation make sure you update the scan engine definitions:

  1. Start Forefront Server Security Administrator (Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Forefront Server Security -> SharePoint Security -> Forefront Server Security Administrator)
  2. Select server to connect to and click OK
  3. Navigate to Settings -> Scanner Updates
  4. Select every scan engine in turn and click Update Now
  5. Jump to the Antivirus settings and select the scan engines you want to enable for both scan jobs

Step 3: Test

  1. Verify that antivirus has been configured in MOSS:
    • In Central Administration navigate to Operations
    • In the Security Configuration section select Antivirus
    • Make sure that Scan documents on upload and Scan documents on download are checked
  2. Create a test “virus” file
    • Copy the following string to a file and save the file as eicar.com:
      • X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*
    • This is naturally not a real virus, but a definition defined by European Institute for Computer Anvirus Research for situations like this, where we need to test an installation without messing about with real vira
  3. You may need to unblock .com files first:
    • Go to Central Administration -> Operations -> Blocked Files Types
    • Select the Web Application that host your portal
    • Remove the com file type from the list (remember to add it again later)

  4. Upload eicar.com to your portal
  5. If you get the following message, you should be OK

    “eicar.com” contains the following virus: “VIRUS= EICAR_test_file (VBuster,Sophos,CA(Vet),Microsoft); Tagged ID: 0C542A02_C741_4366_A6DD_8A5546B38D70″

    This file cannot be saved to the document library. If you want to save this file to the document library, clean the file using alternative virus scanning software and try saving it again.

    Posted in Forefront Server Security, MOSS, WSS | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Installing Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint with SP1

    Slipstreaming WSS and MOSS SP1 into one installation base

    Posted by Christian Dam on January 16, 2008

    Want to avoid the hassle of upgrading to SP1 when installing MOSS from scratch? Then maybe slipstreaming MOSS and WSS SP1 into the MOSS installation base is for you:

    1. Download WSS SP1 and MOSS SP1
    2. Start a command prompt and CD to the directory where the service packs were downloaded to 
    3. Create extraction directories:
      • mkdir WSS_SP1_Update
      • mkdir WSS_SP1_Update
    4. Extract WSS SP1:
      • wssv3sp1-kb936988-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:WSS_SP1_Update
      • Accept license agreement and click Continue
      • Files are now extracted to <current directory>\WSS_SP1_Update
    5. Extract MOSS SP1
      • officeserver2007sp1-kb936984-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe /extract:MOSS_SP1_Update 
      • Accept license agreement and click Continue
      • Files are now extracted to <current directory>\MOSS_SP1_Update
    6. Copy the installation media to current directory or extract your TechNet ISO Image 
    7. Copy extracted SP1 files into the <MOSS Image>\<architecture>\update directory. I am slipstreaming 32-bit versions:
      • Copy WSS_SP1_Update <MOSS Image>\x86\update
      • Copy MOSS_SP1_Update <MOSS Image>\x86\update

    The updates are applied at the end of the installation process.  This method is perfect when installing MOSS on Windows Server 2008 RC1.

    Oh, did I forgot to mention that the inspiration for this post was a post over at Ben Currys blog?

    Posted in MOSS, SharePoint SP1 | 2 Comments »

    Using System Center Operations Manager 2007 to monitor your MOSS farm – part 3: adding management packs

    Posted by Christian Dam on January 15, 2008

    In part 1 and part 2 of this series about MOSS monitoring with System Center Operation Manager 2007 we have completed the installation of Operations Manager 2007 software and deployed agents to the servers we want to monitor.

    Now, let’s install and deploy some management packs! Depending on your infrastructure, you’ll probably want to deploy different management packs. The following management packs should be considered:

    A lot more management packs can be found in the System Center Operations Manager 2007 Catalog

    Here’s how to install the management packs:

    1. Download and install the management packs of your choice. Hint: if you install the management packs in the same directory you can import them all in one go.
    2. Start the Operations Manager 2007 Console (Start -> All Programs -> System Center Operations Manager 2007 -> Operations Console)
    3. Select Reguired: Import Management Packs
    4. Navigate to the folder where you installed the management packs and select the ones you want (they have a .mp extension)
    5. A list of selected management packs are displayed. Resolve any issues (e.g. the MP is already imported, a MP it depends on is not present etc) and click Import
    6. The management packs are now imported …

    That’s it. Your farm is now being monitored. The tricky part going forward is to trim the events and alerts based on your environment and to figure out what to with the remaining alerts 😉

    This concludes the series of how to use System Center Operations Manager to monitor your farm. I might continue posting a bit on the subject a later time.

    Posted in MOSS, Operations Manager 2007, System Center | 2 Comments »

    Using System Center Operations Manager 2007 to monitor your MOSS farm – part 2: adding servers to manage

    Posted by Christian Dam on January 15, 2008

    In part 1 we installed Operations Manager 2007. In part 2 we will add servers to our managed environment.

    Here’s how we add the servers:

    1. Start the Operations Manager 2007 Console (Start -> All Programs -> System Center Operations Manager 2007 -> Operations Console)
    2. Select Reguired: Configure computers and devices to manage
    3. Click Next
    4. Select Advanced Discovery. We am only interested in servers at this point, so select Servers Only in the Computer & Device Type drop-down bow. Make sure you select the rigt management server, should you have more than one in your environment. Click Next
    5. The discovery can either scan your Active Directory for omputers matching specific criteria or be manually added. In this case, select Scan Active Directory and configure it to scan for all servers by searching for computer names = * and click Next
    6. Specify the Administrator Account. In this case we just use selected Management Server Action Account. Click Discover
    7. The Discovery now begins ….
    8. A list of discovered servers is now presented. Select the servers you want to manage and click Next. Make sure the Management Mode is Agent
    9. Specify the Agent Action Account and click Finish. We are using Local System but any account can potentially we used. It should have administrative rights on the managed servers, though.
    10. The egents are now being intalled on the selected servers.

    That’s it. We are not yet ready to monitor MOSS since we have yet to install the management packs. We’ll do that in part 3.

    Posted in Operations Manager 2007, System Center | Comments Off on Using System Center Operations Manager 2007 to monitor your MOSS farm – part 2: adding servers to manage

    Updating MOSS 2007 to SP1 in a farm environment

    Posted by Christian Dam on January 14, 2008

    I have been postponing it for a while, but now it’s time! My farm is due for a SP1 upgrade!

    The farm consists of the following servers (since it is a true farm, all servers are named appropriately):

    • COW: Web Front-End (x86)
    • DONKEY: Application Server hosting the Central Administration and is used for indexing the MOSS farm (x86)
    • INDEX64 (I ran out out of animal names ;-): index server in a seperate SSP used for indexing a external content source (x64 – yeah, I know it may not be fully supported to mix architecture on the same tier but I needed to test out if the mixed index servers would break anything – it didn’t :-))
    • HORSE: SQL Server

    I modified this blog from Shane Young a bit to suite my need – I hope you don’t mind, Shane 😉

    Here’s how the upgrade was done:

    Step 1: Backup SharePoint! Seriously handy little paper here if you need help.

    Step 2: Download the software you need. For my servers I downloaded the 32 bit editions for COW and DONKEY and the 64 bit edition for INDEX32. You must install BOTH the WSS and MOSS update if you have MOSS installed.

    1. WSS SP1 downloads
    2. MOSS SP1 downloads  

    Step 3: Stop the World Wide Web Publishing Services to keep your users off the server.

    1. Start > Administrative Tools > Services
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the list, click World Wide Web Publishing Service
    3. Click the Stop button

    Step 4: Install Windows SharePoint Services SP1 on all MOSS servers

    1. Start with DONKEY (the application server hosting Central Administration) and install the Windows SharePoint Services Service Pack
      1. Find the downloaded file. For me this was wssv3sp1-kb936988-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe
      2. Double click to run the file
      3. Read the license terms, click accept
      4. Click continue
      5. Now it starts processing the update.
      6. At the installation complete message click OK
      7. If the configuration wizard opens close it.
    2. Repeat the above steps on COW and INDEX64 (I used the x64 version for this one)

    Great, all servers are now on WSS SP1. Proceed with … 

    Step 5: Install the MOSS SP1 update on all servers:

    1. Again starting with DONKEY, install the MOSS SP1 update
      1. Find the downloaded file. For me this was officeserver2007sp1-kb936984-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe
      2. Double click to run the file
      3. Read the license terms, click accept
      4. Click continue
      5. Now the update processes…
    2. Run SharePoint Configuration Wizard on DONKEY
      1. Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office Server > SharePoint Product and Technologies Configuration Wizard
      2. Click Next at the Welcome screen
      3. Click Yes at the warning about restarting services
      4. Click Next at the Completing the SharePoint Product and Technologies Configuration Wizard
      5. Your server is now processing step 1
      6. You will be prompted to now install the updates on other servers in your farm.
    3. Repeat 1.1-1.5 and 2.1-2.6 above to install MOSS SP1 on COW (the only Web Front-End) and INDEX64
    4. OK, at this point we should be at a point where all servers are waiting for an OK in the SharePoint Product and Technologies Configuration Wizard
    5. Which one should we continue with first? Well, the Planning and deploying SP1 for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server guide states it should be on the site hosting the Central Administration, so we head back to the DONKEY and press OK
      1. Now your server is processing steps 2 through 9.
      2. At Configuration Successful click Finish
    6. Now complete the Wizard on the remaining two servers, COW and INDEX64, one server at a time
    7. Check out Central Admin
      1. Restart the World Wide Web Publishing service you stopped in step 2. If you had to reboot this is not necessary.
      2. Click Operations tab
      3. Under Topologies and Services click Servers in farm
      4. Next to your server you should see Version 12.0.0.6219 not 12.0.0.4518. If you do you should be good to go.

    Posted in MOSS, SharePoint SP1, WSS | Comments Off on Updating MOSS 2007 to SP1 in a farm environment

    Using System Center Operations Manager 2007 to monitor your MOSS farm – part 1: installation

    Posted by Christian Dam on January 11, 2008

    Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 is a great tool to monitor your MOSS environments. In this 2 part blog, I will describe how to install and configure SCOM2007 to monitor a MOSS 2007 farm.

    Below is a quick’n dirty installation and configuration guide on how you install and configure System Center Operations Manager 2007 in to two-tier setup using a database server and a server for OpsManager. I assume you already have a database server available.

    First we must install the OpsManager database on the database server:

    1. Start the installation, select Install Operations Manager 2007 and click Next
    2. Accept the Licence Agreement and click Next
    3. Enter User Name and Organisation, License Key and click Next 
    4. Leave the database option selected and deselect everything else. Click Next
    5. Verify that the preresuisites requirements are met and click Next
    6. Specify the Management Group name and configure your MOM administrators. Click Next
    7. Select the database instance and click Next
    8. Specify the database specific information and click Next
    9. Make your choice about reporting to Microsoft and click Next
    10. Finally, click Install
    11. Click Finish

    That’s it for the database part. Let’s move on to the Operations Manager server:

    1. Install Windows Server 2003 R2
    2. Install IIS, ASP.Net, .Net Framework 2.0 and 3.0
    3. Install PowerShell 
    4. Update the server with the respective updates and service packs
    5. Make sure ASP.Net 2.0 is registered with IIS. From a command prompt do the following
      • cd \windows\microsoft .Net\Framework\v2.0.50727
      • if aspnet_regiis /lv doen’t list v2.0.50727 as the valid root, run aspnet_regiis /i command to install ASP.Net 2.0

    We are now ready to install System Center Operations Manager 

    1. Start the installation, select Install Operations Manager 2007 and click Next
    2. Accept the Licence Agreement and click Next
    3. Enter User Name and Organisation, License Key and click Next 
    4. We are using a diffenrent database server to host the OpsManager databasem so de-select the database-option and keep the other options selected. Click Next
    5. Verify that the preresuisites requirements are met and click Next
    6.  Enter the database server, database name and port number. Click Next
    7. Enter the Server Action Account information and click Next
    8.  Did you you the domain admin account? Well, then you must click Next to bypass the warning … like me …
    9.  Enter the SDK and Config account information and click Next
    10. Make you Web Console Authentication choice and click Next 
    11.  Join the Customer Experience Improvement Program if you feel like it and click Next
    12.  Finally we are ready to click Install
    13. Leave Start the Console checked and click Finish

    Posted in MOSS, Operations Manager 2007, System Center | 1 Comment »