Determine SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Approach
In-place and database attach upgrade are two basic approaches that need to be selected to upgrade
from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.Planning the right
upgrade approach which is suitable for your organization carries a lot of importance. These methods of
upgrade have their pros and cons with concern for downtime and hardware costs etc. Generally,
downtime is needed to be minimized during an upgrade but in actual, several parameters affect the
downtime; all depending upon the upgrade model chosen, performance of server, farm size and
In-place upgrade approach is quite simple as you can install SharePoint 2010 on the same machine.This
approach enables you to upgrade the server farm settings along with the content in a single process.
With in-place upgrade approach, farm wide settings are preserved and customizations are available after
the upgrade but servers and farms are offline during the process.
With database attach upgrade approach; you can upgrade the content on a separate server farm.This is a
faster upgrade process. Farm settings are not upgraded so you have to transfer settings and
customizations manually in order migrate from the old farm. The foremost pulling factor of database
attach upgrade approach is that you may merge several server farms in one server. You can upgrade
several databases at the same time in any order.
Improving Upgrade Performance
In order to improve the upgrade performance and reduce downtime, certain mitigation techniques may
be applied to achieve an optimal upgrade.
With parallel upgrade, you can speed up your upgrade process by attaching and upgrading multiple
databases at the same time.The processing time and number of parallel upgrades rely upon the
hardware.Parallel upgrade is a manual process and involves additional steps with monitoring.
Another useful method is the Hybrid technique which can be divided into Hybrid plan 1 and Hybrid plan
2.In Hybrid plan 1: Content will be provided a read only access during upgrade and the databases shall
be set to read only mode while the upgrade is running on the other farm.You will reduce half of your
processing time for users. In this approach, the existing farm keeps on hosting the non-upgraded sites in
read only mode while the content is being upgraded. Server and farm shall not be upgraded and you
need to transfer settings and customizations which you want to preserve.In case of Hybrid plan 2, Benefit
from in-place’s upgrade capability to upgrade content and settings while enjoying the speed of database
attach upgrade model.Hybrid plan 2 involves the usage of in place upgrade for upgrading the farms and
settings and to detach and upgrade several databases in parallel.Upgrade makes your customizations
available after the upgrade process. This plan allows multiple content databases to be upgraded at the
Upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit SQL Server
In order to obtain the best performance results, it is a must to migrate from 32-bit edition to a 64-bit
edition. It is recommended to perform one type of upgrade at a time to avoid a failure. You may use two
methods for a 32-bit to a 64 bit SQL Server upgrade. Either you may back up all the farm database sets
perform the upgrade and restore the databases after wards. In this case, you will have a full back up and
once you restore the databases, no change would be required within SharePoint 2010. Other than this
method, you can always move the databases to a 64 bit SQL Server edition.With a different 64 – bit
edition, you need to run a command to the computers which are running SharePoint Server 2010 in
order to point them to the 64 bit SQL Server edition.
Upgrade from 32-bit OS to 64 bit OS
For an upgrade, you need to migrate from a 32 bit operating system to a 64 bit operating system. Adding
64 bit servers to the server farm and removal of 32 bit servers mitigate the service down time.
Upgrade a form based authentication environment
Once the migration is complete from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010, the authentication system is
converted to a Windows Login based authentication.For SharePoint environments, where Windows
based authentication exists, no new changes are required and web application will also work
smoothly.Additional configuration changes will be required if your web applications are using the form
based authentication.For using SharePoint 2007 based web applications in SharePoint 2010, it is
important to convert to claims based authentication. After this conversion, web application zones must
be configured to form based authentication. You will be able to migrate users and permissions from
SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.
Upgrade large databases
Databases having greater number or size of document versions take more time to upgrade as compared
to smaller ones. The density of data determines the actual time required to upgrade it but not the
database size. The upgrade process usually times out due to connection issues.
Upgrade databases having multiple site collections
It is recommended to break up large site collections in a database into multiple databases. A default
warning at 9,000 site collections and a hard limit at 15000 site collections is offered in Office SharePoint
2007 but these values are converted to 2000 site collections and 5000 site collections in SharePoint
2010. You can always fasten up your upgrade process by performing paralleled upgrade for multiple
Upgrade from Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
You can attach and upgrade the content databases from Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to SharePoint
2010 by using a database attach upgrade approach. You will be able to upgrade the data in the content
database with this process but cannot transfer any farm settings.
Upgrade Microsoft Office forms server 2007 to SharePoint 2010
Due to the unavailability of Office Forms Server 2007 for buying, its capabilities have been incorporated
into SharePoint Server 2010. For using forms, you need to upgrade to SharePoint 2010 by adopting the
database attach upgrade approach.
Change Languages for site or environment
For changing the language for a particular site, you need to upgrade in the same language and
afterwards install new language pack for changing to that language. But if, you need to change the
installation language for servers, you need to use the database migration approach for migrating your
data from the old version and language to a new one.
Use Internationalized Domain names
It is recommended to delete the configurations and related settings of IDN’s in the existing SharePoint
server 2007 before migrating to SharePoint 2010.
Deciding on a particular upgrade approach at the right time can improve upgrade performance. Various
upgrade options can be chosen depending upon hardware and software requirements. The key benefit
of in place upgrade is that it can upgrade various settings and migrate customizations to SharePoint
2010. But with database approach, you will be allowed to attach multiple databases at the same time
but each database is unavailable during the upgrade. With parallel upgrade, you can considerable reduce
your down time while attaching multiple databases in parallel for upgrading. In case of various upgrade
scenarios, you will get the best results if you back up all the farm database sets or add 64 bit OS or
covert authentication system to a Windows Login based authentication, install new language pack…., all
depending upon the upgrade situation. You can get the most favorable upgrade if you select an
appropriate upgrade approach.
Author Bio: Richard Tyler
Richard Tyler is a leading technology consultant who has been providing technology consulting services
to organizations throughout the USA. The author also specializes in providing SharePoint solutions.