Earlier this month Idera published a white paper titled "Keep SharePoint Fast and Your Users Happy - The SharePoint Troubleshooting Guide", written by John Ferringer, a Senior Manager with Sogeti, LLC. John has over eight years of experience administering and supporting SharePoint technologies and, as he states in this white paper, has "never seen the same problem twice". While this may be the case, John promises a troubleshooting solution to any SharePoint problem that you may encounter, making a clever analogy to my favorite TV personality, Dr. Gregory House. It looked very interesting, but is it really worth your time? I couldn't help but share a few thoughts.
John suggests looking at the problem with fierce attitude as Dr. House would. Think of the problem as a framework for any SharePoint environment, no matter how unusual it may be. At a high level:
- Understand the issue
- Determine the root cause
- Find a cure
For each of these processes, there are optional steps that you can take. In this white paper, using the hypothetical example of a problem - the users can access all of the production SharePoint farm sites and view content without issues, but in some sites users are unable to modify content or to upload new content - John describes various steps of the framework that can help solve the problem.
The author acknowledges that there is no one-fit-all solution, but suggests a good process that you can follow to rectify the issue, including all the steps needed to first identify the problem. This includes review of AD domain controller, space allocations, various log files, your farm's performance metrics, and system capacity ensuring that you know everything there is to know about your system. To rule out some of the options, and to pinpoint the solution, John suggests getting insights from various in-house and external resources, for which he provides a few recommendations, including information on how to evaluate your sources, getting feedback from experts, gathering other opinions via social media sites and SharePoint community. He provides a few considerations for getting this feedback in the most effective way possible.
This white paper is fun to read, and provides useful information on how to troubleshoot your SharePoint environment when you have a new issue. Though each case may be different, this paper can be used as a good educational piece on getting your processes in order, especially if you are just starting out as a SharePoint Administrator. You can treat this paper as a starting point to creating a set of activities, documents, and solutions that will minimize the steps needed to solve the problem next time. Keep records of OS for your farm servers, version of SharePoint, how was it installed, any maintenance information, and changes to the support systems of SharePoint. Idera provides excellent tools for troubleshooting SharePoint performance issues with SharePoint diagnostic manager. Their free trial is worth a shot (the solution itself is under $1K).
Read this White Paper (fill out a short form on Idera's website)
Let me know what you think, whether you agree with the author, or want to highlight a few key points I may have missed in comments below.