Blog: Making SharePoint Software-Defined

May 5, 2017 Laurie Douglas

Making SharePoint Software-Defined - DocAuto

There’s a lot of buzz in the storage, networking, and data center corners of our industry for the need to meet the changing needs of the business. In an effort to remain responsive and competitive in the market, IT leaders are looking at making SharePoint software-defined as the answer. So, rather than utilizing traditionally static components of your network environment, the idea is to allow policy, workflow, and process dictate – in many cases, automatically – what the current business needs are, and modify the environment to suit. Server storage is increased, networks are locked down, data centers are failed over to remote sites – all because the software said so.

Then there’s SharePoint – interestingly enough, technically software-defined (in terms of its configuration), but in the grand scheme of things, it’s rather static: Specific content is stored in specific libraries, which are part of specific sites… and so on. Sure, there’s always the ability to empower other parts of the organization to access and utilize existing content in another site, but that’s about as “software-defined” as mapping a drive on one server so data can be stored on another.

For many of your enterprise organizations, there is so much valuable content to be leveraged within SharePoint, that for SharePoint to be truly “software-defined”, it may be time to rethink how SharePoint data is organized, stored, and consumed. The way your organization did business even five years ago, likely doesn’t look very similar today. Department mergers, splitting off business units, acquisitions, and even changes in the way departments operate and interact with one another – all potentially requiring changes to the way content in SharePoint is organized, structured, presented, and used.

Are we talking about massive migrations over and over again?

Not exactly. Certainly, if you wanted to consolidate two sites, there’s a migration in there somewhere. What if you could, on an as needed basis, re-architect SharePoint and its data to meet the current needs of the business? The very concept of a migration becomes less of a massive project undertaken by teams of people over quarters of time, and, instead, becomes a dynamic way of managing and utilizing SharePoint.  It’s like the bridge scene in Inception -  need a way to cross over the busy highway? Just re-architect one. Have a new business unit that is comprised of two acquired companies?  Just re-architect SharePoint.

OK, so how do we take this dream of yours and make it a reality?

Seems a bit out of reach for most enterprise SharePoint environments – or really, even any SharePoint environment larger than, say, one server. What’s needed is a means to achieve software-defined. In every example today, software defined involves both the resources being managed (storage, networking, etc.) and some kind of management component to establish policies, workflow, and the actual movement, allocation, etc. of the resources being managed. SharePoint represents the resources.  So, what’s left is the need for the management component. Third-party solutions, like DocAuto’s SPorganizer™, automate the time-consuming work normally associated with handling just one consolidation – let alone making it a way of life. From dynamically defining deployments, to modeling how data should be structured, to the actual processing of content, structure, and security, SPorganizer can make a “Software-Defined SharePoint” a reality.

 

SPorganizer is a trademark of DocAuto, Inc.

 

 

 

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