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What are the regular check ups that need to be done on a SharePoint installation to preemptively prevent any problems or at least detect them early?

I can think of:

  • Checking event logs
  • Check SharePoint logs
  • Checking That databases backups are done regularly

What else needs to be done and how often?

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for more discussion-like questions like this, you should consider marking question community-wiki –  Anders Rask Jan 27 '10 at 10:26
    
@Emad: As Anders suggests, this should be commmunity wiki as it is a list of resources. Please see sharepointoverflow.com/questions/432/… for more info about why. Thank you :-) –  Alex Angas Jan 27 '10 at 12:17
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11 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Theres a good planning guidance for this on TechNet: Plan for site maintenance and management

  • Ask users what they want in IT-managed sites. Perform periodic surveys to determine what your users need from the site.
  • Use usage logs and reports to find out which areas of the site are being used, and then correlate that with user surveys to find out what can be improved.
  • Archive obsolete content or sites. However, if you are going to archive or delete obsolete content or sites, be sure that users understand that plan, and that you perform these actions only at predictable times. For example, publish a schedule of when you are going to archive content or delete unused sites.
  • Periodically review site permissions. For example, review the permissions quarterly to remove permissions for any users who have left the group or project.
  • Select a reasonable time interval for your maintenance activities. For example, if you plan to conduct periodic user surveys, do not conduct them more than twice a year (and preferably, no more than once a year).
  • Create a plan for regular backups of site content. Determine or discover how often backups will be made, and the process for restoring content when necessary. For more information about planning for backup and restore, see Plan for data protection and recovery (Office SharePoint Server).
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Make sure you have properly configured diagnostic logs and check for possible errors in these logs on regular basis.

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Make sure all SharePoint services are running, and that proper privileges are set (e.g. Search content access account has proper privileges)

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Make sure your content databases do not go over 50-100GB. Check SharePoint Collection Governance for more details.

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This is very much related to the question you already asked http://www.sharepointoverflow.com/questions/1040/what-are-the-maintenance-actions-that-can-be-done-on-a-sharepoint-application-to In other words make sure you maintain your SQL server which is the heart of your SharePoint solution.

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The first questions was about automatic tasks to be set initially. This one is about regular manual system checkup. –  Emad Jan 27 '10 at 11:07
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You mentioned checking the event logs. I'm not sure about the others, but I don't have time to log into each server to check events lots, disk space, etc so I always insist on some form of a monitoring system that can do that for me. It makes it easy to setup rules so that you know what is important and can take quick action.

With regards to Disk Space, make sure your diagnostic logging is configured so that you have the detail you need without giant log files. Break them into smaller time intervals if needed, and make sure that an appropriate number are saved. I have seen servers with over 10GB of log files up to the point where the server stops working.

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Agreed. Managing the amount of space taken up by logging while simultaneously keeping an appropriate amount data to diagnose past events is often overlooked. We've setup scheduled powershell scripts to compress and store log files off on a cheaper network storage medium. –  MBSurf Jan 28 '10 at 15:27
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Here's a checklist I use when going into a new client to do a 'Health-Check' of their systems before starting on anything.

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Another thing i can highly recommend is to do a performance baseline check for your solution before you start installing any custom code or third party products, for both your test/integration servers and preprod/prod environments.

After each deploy you do another benchmark and compare it to your baseline.

This will help you alot when you start developing functionality that, inevitably, will slow down your system. That way you can catch "bad deploys" very early.

Theres different approaches and tools for this. Stress test in Visual Studio Test Edition is one way, but a simple load test tool like WCAT or similar could also give a good indication of degrading performance that hints that a badly performing assembly was deployed.

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Automated monitoring is a good start. Operations Manager has some great management packs for both WSS and MOSS.

Additionally, it's well worth taking a squiz at the output from the Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer from time to time.

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If you've got MS Premier Support then ask about a MOSS RAP (Risk Assesment Program), they have some good diagnostic tools and you are licensed to use them for 12 months after the RAP takes place. They will also recommend you a decent maintenance plan which will be ideal for the size of your environments.

Keep a close eye on your search crawls. When are your full and incrementals taking place? How long are they taking.

Also monitor the IO peformance of your indexing and SQL servers as both can be heavily impacted during search indexing.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the number one check I make as soon as possible when taking over a SharePoint installation, check the restore plan. Checking backups is only useful if you know that you can restore them. Restoring your backups on a regular basis is the only way to check that they are sufficient when you need them.

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