Alex Pearce SharePoint MVP enters the debate
Yesterday in a post I outline a debate we have been having at Twynham Solutions about how far we virtualise a County Council deployment which we have been asked to consult on. Dave Coleman and Chris Mckinley put forward contrasting views on how far you can virtualise your deployment. Our good friend Alex Pearce, a SharePoint MVP in UK Education tweeted me last night to say both approaches were wrong! I cheekily suggested he put up a model and half an hour later he sent me one.
Take a look at Alex Pearce’s interpretation here (click to enlarge)
What are your thoughts on models by Coleman, Mckinley and Pearce?
To get a snapshot we have a poll so please do vote on your choice for best virtualised deployment of SharePoint 2010.
If you have a different view and would like to share it please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coleman v Mckinley debate about Virtualisation with SharePoint 2010
In early November the SharePoint Team at Twynham Solutions were approached by a County Council and asked to provide consultancy on a new project. The County Council wanted to build a solution which supported up to 100,000 users travelling to other learning centres to complete Diploma or vocational learning. This has sent minds buzzing in the team over what the deployment would look like. We have recommended building a 2010 environment as soon as it becomes available and as TAP customers we are on High Touch for engagement with the product team on this project.
Two of our key discussions with members of the product team over the last month have been about whether to produce an on-premise or hosted solution through SharePoint Online and the level of virtualisation in the deployment. We have agreed that on-premise is the best way forward but the debate over virtualisation continues to rage in the office. Over the next week we are due to discuss our ideas with SharePoint people from Microsoft but I thought it would be good to share the two sides of discussion with a wider audience. On the one side we have Dave Coleman (@davecoleman146) who favours a largely virtualised solution with some key physical elements. On the other side is Chris Mckinley (@crmckinley) who is suggesting an entirely virtualised solution.
To prepare for our discussions both Dave and Chris produced diagrams showing their deployment suggestions which can be seen below. Please click on the images to enlarge
What are your thoughts? Would you run with the Coleman or Mckinley route or do you think there is a better model? Any comments and thoughts would be welcome.
Vote for your choice below: Alex Pearce has agreed to put forward a third model so you can vote on this when it arrives!
This week I am in Las Vegas with over 8000 people who are attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009. This is the flagship launch for the public beta of 2010 which will be available by the middle of November for people to play with. For myself, Dave Coleman and the team at Twynham we have had a long and detailed exposure to SharePoint 2010 as we have been very fortunate to be on the TAP programme. This is the Technical Access Preview which has been running for a year now. Along with just 1500 organisations worldwide we have been working with Microsoft on the Alpha (in November 2008) and Beta 1 (From July 2009) builds for nearly a year. It has been a long but extremely rewarding journey and today I thought I would share my first thoughts for education now that the NDA (non disclosure agreement) has been removed for TAP members.
Five First Thoughts for Education
- First and foremost SharePoint 2010 is a big improvement for the end user experience. The whole process of editing within the page and the arrival of the ribbon is a massive step forward. For me in schools throughout the world the next few years will see SharePoint move from a technically controlled system to a user controlled system.
- Upgrade is undoubtedly the biggest pain point for schools and those who moved from 2003 to 2007 will no doubt remember this. In place upgrade has been promised with a visual check before committing and Microsoft are very confident of this. Taking the most significant pain away from schools will make the prospect of a summer 2010 upgrade much more likely.
- My Sites have finally joined the land of the 21st Century and their is the distinct possibility that they will be capable of being an e-portfolio. This along with an uplift in blogs, wikis and discussion forums (although these three are by no means perfect) brings SharePoint closer to our web 2.0 world.
- SharePoint 2010 Online represents a genuinely promising prospect of hosting SharePoint off site but retaining all of the functionality of an on-site build. This has major ramifications for the majority of schools in the UK who have a hosting from a company. The lack of functionality with current SharePoint Online has been debilitating but with near-parity functionality between Online and On-site we could see a major shift in the education market.
- Customisation will allow schools to consider SharePoint both for the intranet and extranet but also for their Internet facing site. The emergence of a separate SharePoint for the Internet server was the only surprise we have received this week as it never came up on the TAP. The trend towards SharePoint websites for schools is exciting and somewhere we have been for over a year.
I will blog on each of the points above in the next few days so stay tuned for more detail.
For all who are using SharePoint in their schools and organisations today was a big one. SharePoint 2010 has officially reached the Technical Preview stage and is on the road map to arrive with us in full release in the first half of 2010. We have been fortunate to have an insight and input into the new version of SharePoint during the first half of this year and look forward to supporting the development of what will be an exceptional product. As someone who loves the current version of SharePoint but is not blind to its limitations I can honestly say that the shift from 2007 to 2010 is genuinely huge. For me the next version of SharePoint will comfortably beat any other Learning Platform in the market.
So where to get further information after the announcements at the Worldwide Partner Conference today? Microsoft have put up an excellent site called Sneak Peek which is a great starting place to find out about the new features in SharePoint.
As well as this you could take a look at the whole Office 2010 family over on the Technical Preview site.
So I shouldn’t be diverting from my blogs covering Online Reporting to Parents but a quick trawl of twitter before I call it a night has me thinking of SharePoint and Office 2010. This is in production and a public beta looks likely at the end of the year but the blogosphere is claiming Beta 1 will be announced on Monday at the Partner Conference.
Whilst I don’t want to get in to the speculation it made me think- how many schools who currently run SharePoint 2007 have SharePoint 2010 on the radar? Are you already thinking about when you might upgrade to the next version? Although it is a long way out it seems sensible to plan for summer 2010 as a time when the first schools will use the holidays to make the switch. For many it will probably be another year before the dust has settled and they feel ready to migrate. If it is not on your agenda yet I thought I would wet your appetite as we run into the weekend with this excellent trailer for Office 2010.
My final CPD tip for the week is perhaps the most exciting, powerful and challenging to pitch to your Headteacher, line manager or CPD co-ordinator. The SharePoint Conference 2009 is taking place this year in Las Vegas from October 19-22. It promises to be the most useful piece of CPD you will attend in the next school year for one key reason- it is the launch point for SharePoint 2010. If your school has come a long way with SharePoint 2007 and wants to unlock the potential of SharePoint 2010 next summer ready for a September 2010 upgrade in your school then this conference will act as a fast-track.
The cost is a real challenge and even the most frugal person going to Las Vegas from (Saturday- Thursday because of the need for a Saturday stay over for reasonable flight prices) would struggle to keep the flight, hotel, conference and food bill down to £2000. £2500-£3000 is more realistic. So how might you go about convincing your Headteacher that this is a must attend event? As with all schools now you must have a rigorous rationale for getting out of school whether a member of teaching or support staff but here are some tips before you make a request:
- Be clear on what the value of the trip would be to the school first- what would the outcomes be in 3 and 6 months as well as over 1-3 years?
- Also focus on your own professional development- if you are the SharePoint Admin or co-ordinator this will be a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills with the new version.
- Reference any request with relevance to your School Development Plan- this is the key document which drives the school’s use of resources. Is the development of Online Learning on there?
- Link this conference with your capacity to deliver on key government agendas which are hot topics- primarily Online Reporting to Parents, Parental Engagement, vocational or diploma based learning and e-security.
- When you have made some notes on points 1-4 write a proposal explaining the merits of attending this conference send it to your Headteacher or line manager with a request to discuss it in a few days.
If you have any further questions please contact me below: