Microsoft Office SharePoint Server use is increasing and so are the complexities of managing it. Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse talks about what this means for your organization. This interview is also available below as an MP3 download.
To hear this SharePoint podcast, click here.

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Q. What have users told you about the impact of SharePoint downtime?

A. When it came to the impact of losing access to their SharePoint data, over 60% of organizations said they could only withstand four hours or less of downtime before they would see some adverse affect on their business. And kind of more glaring -- 36% said they could only withstand an hour or less of downtime. That just really shows how much SharePoint is being used in organizations as a productivity tool.

Q. Can you talk to us about what SharePoint users should be most concerned with when considering backup and recovery?

A. SharePoint increases the amount of storage capacity, not only for primary storage but for backup environments. Another thing is that SharePoint configurations can be somewhat complex. There are a lot of pieces to the whole platform. There are tools that are available through SharePoint, but they don't always meet the needs of larger organizations. Finally, when you are looking at recovery -- you have to look at any capability within the solution that you select for backup and recovery to do a single-item recovery. Sometimes people get caught up in the fact that they have to recover a whole site, or a whole database, just to get one file back.

Q. When do you know a commercial solution might be a good for you?

A. As you start getting larger and having more complex policies, you really have to look at third-party solutions. Do you have to have copies of data go offsite? That's probably another concern because that's not something that would be handled with the more simple native tools that come with the application. There are certain safeguards within the SharePoint environment, like a recycle bin, and you have versioning. But that's not going to cover things like data corruption.

Q. What does your research tell you about how much SharePoint actually contributes to storage capacity growth?

A. We had our respondents state that about 37% had a 10% to 30% increase in the amount of capacity, and another third reported 30% or more. So the system can get unwieldy rather quickly. Some companies just start aggregating more data in a centralized repository. What maybe you had stored previously on a network file share now gets put into that SharePoint environment. Other organizations might elect to make that the aggregation point of email attachments. Capacity can grow rather quickly.

For more information on SharePoint, and other storage technologies, please check our website,

This was first published in January 2009

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