Sunday, June 6, 2010

SharePoint 2010 Upgrade, Validation and References

Implementation and Validation Phases

This final phase is the actual upgrade of your SharePoint environment and validating that it was a success.

Communication Plan

A prerequisite of the upgrade is to make sure you have a rock solid communication plan for the business users and stakeholders. You need to:

  • Show them all of their functionality is being upgraded.
  • Explain to them your testing approach.
  • Ensure them that service level agreements will be maintained.
  • Describe to them how the upgrade process will work.
  • Explain to them where there will be changes.
  • Give the stakeholders confidence that you have accounted for everything.

I would not wait to start communications with stakeholders until this phase. I would actually start it very early in the upgrade project but there are things that will come out of testing that will affect your communication plan.

The Upgrade and Validation

The actual upgrade should be completed based on all the steps capture in your previous test runs. You should make sure you steps throughout your deployment plan that spell out who is doing what and when. You should also spell out specifically who needs to be on call during specific periods of during the deployment. A well prepared deployment plan will actually spell out to hour what tasks are being done by whom and what are the dependencies. The objective of any deployment (SharePoint or not) is to ensure that there is minimal downtime with little to no errors.

It is not possible for me to give you an actual plan for your SharePoint environment because every client has different dependencies. As well depending on the upgrade approach you chose the steps will be different. However the following need to be accounted for:

  • Hardware Configuration Steps
  • OS Configuration Steps
  • System Account Configuration Steps
  • SharePoint Installation Steps
  • SharePoint Configuration Steps
  • Upgrade Approach Steps
  • Customization Upgrade Steps
  • Data Recovery and Back-up Configuration steps
  • Validation Test

After the upgrade is complete, you need to make sure you validate things are working as expected. There are several things that you can do to ensure the upgrade went successfully (reference):

  • Review Logs – Review all of the logs. There are logs associated to the setup, the SharePoint Configuration wizard and the upgrade log that tell you if there were any errors.
  • Verify Version Numbers – Go into Central Admin and check the version number on the farm page.
  • Check Web Site Status Page – All sites can be checked in Central Admin to see if the site has been upgraded or is still in progress. This can also be checked via command line (localupgradestatus).
  • Walkthrough Service Configuration – Ensure services are configured as expected.
  • Search – Run a crawl and review the logs to see if there any errors.
  • Review Upgraded Sites – Very basic functionality, check placement of web parts and controls, review highly visible sites, check integration functionality, review large lists and ensure it works with the new SharePoint list throttling features, check branding and layouts, check user permissions to ensure they have access to what they used to, check customized (unghosted) pages, etc.


I hope by the end of this you have initial understanding of how to get started with your SharePoint Upgrade. It is complex process and there are tons of facets you need to think about. I believe success of a SharePoint migration is understanding the People, Process and Technology.

I also hope that during this upgrade process your organization begins to really focus on SharePoint Governance and create an official project to manage your SharePoint environments based on this experience.


SharePoint Migration Models

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