Overengineered

As of today, I have officially added SharePoint as only the second of two Microsoft technologies I want nothing to do with (the other being System Center Configuration Manager), both chiefly on the ground of being far too complicated for their own good.

I have long held the belief that only a sadist would run an on-premises SharePoint server, due to my previous experience with it usually resulting in far more work troubleshooting problems than the actual server was worth to me. I’ve never even run anything more complicated than a single standalone server, and I’ve had to look up more SharePoint error messages than possibly every other Microsoft product I’ve worked with combined.

Yesterday, my last remaining SharePoint Foundation server self-destructed to the point where all I could coax from it was “Service unavailable”. Inspection of the error logs revealed that right after the SP1 upgrade last week, it had started spewing error messages to the Event log that, when searched for on Google, revealed only 5 pages on the entire web, none of which cast any light on the issue whatsoever. The actual site itself had been working normally for 5 days after; why it chose last night to finally expire remains as much a mystery as the error itself.

Luckily this wasn’t a production server; it was a server I kept around to test little things out on like InfoPath submissions. I’d barely touched it from the default config, and it had managed to destroy itself so utterly that I couldn’t even uninstall it without restoring from a backup 6 days ago. None of this fills me with the confidence I would want when running a system to store anything even remotely important.

I eventually migrated what little data I had in there to different systems, and removed it from the server.

Goodbye SharePoint; I won’t miss you.

P.S. Thanks for that 3GB of server RAM back that I can now use for something stable.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

10 responses to “Overengineered”

  1. Parlance says :

    Just out of curiosity what are you using for a SCCM supplement these days?

    • AngryTechnician says :

      Basically I have different solutions for the different things that SCCM/SCE does:

      • OS deployment is done with WDS.
      • Updates and software are done with WSUS and Local Update Publisher.
      • Config and power management is done with Group Policy.
      • Asset management is done with Lansweeper (currently using the free version but considering buying this year).

      Can’t think if there’s anything I missed there?

  2. Parlance says :

    How does using WSUS for software installation actually work out? Does Local Update Publisher really have anything to offer over SCUP? Thanks!

    • AngryTechnician says :

      LUP and SCUP offer very similar functionality in terms of creating your own update for WSUS. However, SCUP is only licensed for use with SCCM, and offers no way of approving the updates once they are published – you have to use SCCM to make the approval.

      LUP allows you to use WSUS to deploy your own packages without SCCM or SCE, at no additional cost, and has a UI for both approving the updates and reporting on their installation status.

  3. ScottishTech says :

    The RM-operated GLOW which is a sort of “Scottish-schools-wide Intranet hosted on an external site type thingy” appears to run on Sharepoint (or a modified version of it).

    Mercifully we have nothing to do with it, as the training sessions I sat in on had me foaming at the mouth.. I can just about master logging in before my interest level takes a quite spectacular nose-dive.

  4. codeguru says :

    Here, here! SharePoint is a pain to administer, although the new version is more visually appealing than previously.

  5. tombull89 says :

    Your blog as recently been posted to reddit’s /r/sysadmin page…it seems one guy, at least, doesn’t “get” your writing style.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/meo5t/my_favorite_admin_blog_funny_and_informative/

  6. ScottishTech says :

    Dear me – ImOlGregg seems to be quite the overly-sensitive sort. Methinks he doth protest too much.

    Mind you, AT is apparently a work of fiction so I guess it doesn’t matter what gets said.

  7. Merit Coba says :

    I have been recently been testing the use of dell and hp updates via wsus using scup 2011. We run sccm 2007 and wsus(each runs on their own server).
    Initially we had the hope that it would allow us to publish them to non sccm clients via de wsus(our company is setup in such a way that we centrally manage the hardware, but not the os running on it: hence we can’t install sccm everywhere).
    Setting this up was truly very complex with many moments where things can ‘break’. You need no less then 4 tools to see what is going on. Adding a catalog takes many hours just for the metadata. Adding the patches themselves adds even more time. To much effort for little gain.