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Multi-Tenancy in SharePoint 2013 (part 2) - Multi-Tenant Use Cases, Partitioning in the Enterprise

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6/4/2014 1:37:06 AM

Multi-Tenant Use Cases

The use of multi-tenancy in the traditional hosted services scenario should be clear at this point. For example, suppose a hosting company decides that it would like to be able to sell SharePoint services to its customers. All the customers will be different individuals or companies that want assurance that their information is kept separate from the other sites hosted on the common infrastructure. Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 included mechanisms to keep a customer’s content separate from other customers’ data, but it lacked the capability to separate processing and data from additional services such as Enterprise Search.

These customers would need to be provisioned using an STSADM command and be given site collections that would be held in shared web applications. The hosting company was also bound to using WSS because of the common shared service provider (SSP) found in MOSS. One of the challenges that the SSP created in this specific scenario was with Enterprise Search. Enterprise Search was designed to index all content associated with that SSP. The query service would then provide results to users when requested. The challenge specific to this scenario is the very real possibility of exposing customer A’s data to customer B via Enterprise Search, as MOSS lacked the capability to segment the data based on site collection. Adding SSPs was not an option because the number of SSPs that can be provisioned in a single farm is limited.

The newer service application architecture fixes this through service application partitioning as discussed throughout this section. Partitioning creates secure boundaries between information and processing based on site subscriptions, making it impossible to expose customer A’s data to customer B. As previously mentioned, partitioning must be done when the service application and proxy are created. Now let’s apply the concept of partitioning to the enterprise.

Partitioning in the Enterprise

Just as it would in a hosted scenario, a large enterprise needs to handle data and services in a manner similar to the hosted world. Consider, for instance, managed metadata. There are terms within the organization that need to be controlled by one central group and consumed by the entire organization. Other terms ought to be defined and managed by individual corporate divisions or departments. The same holds true for Enterprise Search. A partitioned Enterprise Search service application would enable content from one department to remain wholly separate from content in other divisions, as depicted in the general council example shown in Figure 2.

FIGURE 2

image

The capability to segment this data and to create feature packs gives both the multi-tenant hoster as well as the Enterprise customer an opportunity to offer different tiers of services to their customers. The hosting company can provision a single farm and provide SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server Standard, and SharePoint Server Enterprise products. To take things one step farther, they could also layer on additional third-party tools to enhance their product offering and more easily manage the provisioning and billing of those services.

From the Enterprise customer’s point of view, they can provide multiple versions of SharePoint to their users on a single farm. For instance, only half of a company’s 10,000 employees may need SharePoint Foundation capabilities. The remaining user community may need SharePoint Server Enterprise features. Individual SharePoint farms can now have multiple licensing schemas associated with them in a way that is easier to manage and control. In this case, only 5,000 users would need SharePoint Server Enterprise licenses, while the remaining users would use SharePoint Foundation licensing — and this solution would be perfectly acceptable to Microsoft.

The additional capabilities provided by the service application architecture, as well as the partitioning features, provide additional scalability previously not available in SharePoint. For instance, as Enterprise Search grows in content size and usage, it can now be segregated into its own SharePoint farm created for the purpose of providing Search services to the content farm(s). These types of farms, known as service application farms, provide services and data to other SharePoint farms; they are not directly consumed by users. Figure 3 shows an example.

FIGURE 3

image

Other -----------------
- Sharepoint 2013 : Service Application Administration (part 4) - Setting Up the Farm Trust, Publishing a Service Application
- Sharepoint 2013 : Service Application Administration (part 3) - Managing Service Application Proxy Groups
- Sharepoint 2013 : Service Application Administration (part 2) - Using the Ribbon to Manage Service Applications
- Sharepoint 2013 : Service Application Administration (part 1) - Creating a New Instance of a Service Application
- Windows Server 2012 : Managing networking using Windows PowerShell (part 2) - Examples of network-administration tasks
- Windows Server 2012 : Managing networking using Windows PowerShell (part 1) - Identifying networking cmdlets
- Sharepoint 2013 : Managing Site Security - Create Permission Levels for a Site
- Sharepoint 2013 : Managing Site Security - Edit a SharePoint Group’s Settings
- Sharepoint 2013 : Managing Site Security - Create a SharePoint Group for a Site
- Sharepoint 2013 : Assign Users’ Permissions on a Site
 
 
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