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Getting SharePoint Under Control

12:45 PM -- At the end of 2008, Microsoft's SharePoint had an adoption rate of about 55 percent and it shows no signs of slowing down. Such rapid adoption raises a few questions: Is IT ready to absorb and manage an enterprise-wide SharePoint deployment? Should a SharePoint environment have its own kind of archive? Should companies plan for an intelligent archive as part of the deployment so as to more effectively store, protect, and retrieve vital collaboration content? I posed these questions to the guys over at Mimosa Systems.

I learned that Mimosa Systems has just announced a new offering, NearPoint for SharePoint. This is good for those who have been struggling with the need to archive their SharePoint environments and are feeling the burgeoning costs associated with increased storage requirements -- and that seems to be pretty much everyone with SharePoint.

As SharePoint deployments have swelled, companies have been struggling to keep up with the accelerating business demand to archive all the new content that users are creating and sharing. While there are huge productivity gains with SharePoint, its distributed deployment allows storage to grow and essentially become a dumping ground. Over time, large items and a large numbers of files start to negatively impact performance, and Version Document Libraries wind up storing full copies of document versions.

Also, many organizations have been struggling with the inability to replicate across server farms, the fact that native SharePoint backup is all-or-nothing, and that item-level restoration is a very difficult task. From a recovery perspective, to assure a proper recovery approximately two times the amount of storage is needed for the recovery farm and scratch areas -- and there are no rollback capabilities.

With regard to retention management, SharePoint's highly distributed model can lead to compliance and e-discovery risks -- items and files scattered about around the world are difficult to manage and properly retain. Policy enforcement has been a devil to deal with as policies are applied within folders, not across folders. Multiple instances of documents can exist across servers, making them hard to mange within a standard set of policies, and there has been no easy way to recall historical content.

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