The Most Common Mistakes Users Make With SharePoint

If you’ve noticed that your end user experience with SharePoint is choppy and you’re not sure why you’re not getting the streamlined, high-quality experience you’re supposed to, there’s one simple thing you need to check. Do you have enough RAM or hard disk space?

Don’t Cheat SharePoint on Space
One of the biggest mistakes users make is failing to read and understand the hardware and software requirements of SharePoint, provided by Microsoft. If you don’t provide SharePoint with enough space, the server will try very hard to perform the way it’s supposed to, but in the end it simply won’t be able to. Because it has to try and fit itself into a small amount of space, SharePoint will begin to shut down certain functions that take up space, in an effort to continue working in the small amount of space it has.

SharePoint expert Todd Klindt, of SharePoint911, suggests adding RAM. In his article covering SharePoint mistakes published in SharePoint Pro Magazine, Todd says, “These requirements state that at the very least, each SharePoint 2010 production server should have 8GB of RAM and a C drive with at least 80GB. In many cases, that won’t be enough. If your servers are in production, you can watch their memory utilization to see whether they use the entire 8GB of RAM. If so, they could use more.”

Hard Disk Space
In addition to adding RAM, like Todd suggests, it’s important that your computer has enough hard disk space to operate SharePoint. In fact, Karim of PortalFrontHosting suggests adding a secondary drive to be used just for SharePoint. “If you want SharePoint to operate correctly, devote a second drive to it. Not only will you be providing SharePoint with the space it needs to operate, but you’ll be freeing up the space on your primary drive so it’s not stretched to the limits.”

Think of the second drive as an investment to ensure that SharePoint works as wonderfully as it’s designed to. And, you can put all of your third-party plug in files on your second drive as well, so everything used for SharePoint will be in the same place.

Switching from SP 2010 to SP 2013
The hardware requirements will not stay the same if you’re switching from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. As reported by Bjørn Furuknap of Furukanap’s SharePoint Corner, you’re going to need a definite upgrade when switching from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, especially if you plan to run Visual Studio 2012. Bjørn says on his blog, “To summarize the document, as it relates to the setup that most developers will use (a single machine, running SharePoint Server 2013 and SQL server on the same server) you need a minimum of 24 GB RAM (CPU and hard drive requirements seem to remain the same for now). That is before you add Visual Studio 2012 (or 2010 if you are so inclined), which would probably add a few extra gigs. Oh, and these are minimum requirements.”

When you invest in SharePoint to streamline your business or organization, be prepared to invest in the appropriate hardware and software as well.

Ralph Lunder is a promotional writer for many different SharePoint topics.  While his interest lie in many CMS platforms, his greatest interest is SharePoint.