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Where to store all the company data on the server?

I am wondering where the best place to store all the company data on the server is.  It includes, documents, pictures, accounting files, data from other programs.  

Now i see that the Company web has storage for all documents and pictures but I am wondering if it is safe to put and entire companies worth of data in there, it seems like if anything happens to the webserver then all that data is inaccessable.  Also,  where is this data accually stored on the c dirive.   And, is it possible to have the data in a folder on c and then replicated or mirrored onto the companyweb

Should i use a folder on the c drive such as c:\companydata and then add is to the distributed file system and share it or should the data all go into the users shared data folders.  Please be patient I am a computer tech but have limited experiance with servers.

In short where is the best place to store all the companies critical data so that everyone can access it and it's easy to sort and backup.
I need to have one big hirearchy of data, I would like to keep all the data under one directory.

Lots of questions...Sorry
K...
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eke-the-electron
Asked:
eke-the-electron
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1 Solution
 
mattridingsCommented:
This is a tough one for me, not because the question isn't easy.  Just because I wish the answer were a different one.

The short answer is that I would store all of your company 'data' on it's own drive partition at a minimum, and preferably that partition would be it's own physical drives as well.  One big shared heirarchy is fine, as long as you are ok with some of the limitations that's going to place on you (namely quota's, limiting permissions effectively, etc.).  Preferably though it'd be one big heirarchy on the physical drive, but with subdirectories that are grouped in a meaningful way for your company (perhaps by department, etc.) which are then shared out to only the people who need access to them.

The long answer is that I love Sharepoint (what drives companyweb).  I've become a fanatic.  I was on one of the first deployments with Microsoft of Sharepoint and then it's big brother SPS, and have developed massive applications built on top of it, it's become one of the mainstays of my consulting work.  So it's painful for me to say that I wouldn't recommend putting all of that data into your companyweb site.  There are a ton of reasons for that, and I'm happy to delve into them if you have any real interest, but for now let's just say that storing all of that critical data as blobs in sql server (or worse yet, MSDE) on a WSS site would make me incredibly nervous.  The data is in the database, not in the file system structures.  In an SBS environment the technological leap in thinking required to completely understand how to properly manage, backup, restore individual files, etc. in a sharepoint system is simply so different from the traditional ways of thinking about those processes that I can't recommend it.  Company photos?  Absolutely.  HR Forms?  Perfect.  Shared workspaces for working on a project?  Ideal.  Gigabytes of user and company data in companyweb?  Never.

However, and it's a big however, there is no reason that you can't still use sharepoint as *another* means for getting to all that data stored in the traditional file structure.  I would recommend spending a small amount of time getting to know what webparts are in sharepoint, and in particular the "Page Viewer" web part as you could easily point to the same shared file structure within the sharepoint environment to allow file navigation in that way.

Create yourself a new Sharepoint website on your SBS server, and play away.  You screw it up, no harm no foul and there is no better way to learn it in my opinion.

Enjoy,

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
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eke-the-electronAuthor Commented:
Ok well thats well put,   I have another question if your still around.  

I install SBS and then after installed the Premium Services Disk which is SQL Server.  However I am not entirely sure if my Sharepoint site is using the SQL or MSDE as would be used by default if I understand correctly.  If I am using MSDE I would like to switch it over if you could point me in the right direction as to how to check and

Also if you could elaborate on why it's a big however to use Page Viewer to get at data stored in a directory, is there some risk invloved with this?

Thanks you've cleared a few things up already.

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mattridingsCommented:
In regards to the 'big however'...I didn't mean that as a caveat :)  just that you could still use sharepoint as a means for allowing users to get to their data even if you aren't using the 'document library' and 'image library' functions of sharepoint.

In regards to migrating sharepoint from msde to sql server...look on your premium services disk and there should be a file called premiuminstallsteps.htm .  If you follow those you will have migrated your msde sql instance to a new sql server instance I believe.  If for some reason my memory is shaky and that's not right then do a quick search for how to enable full index search on sharepoint as that's the main reason that most people upgrade msde to sql server for sharepoint so the instructions should server your purpose.

As for checking what db instance you are currently using go into your sharepoint administration pages (for some reason the frontpage administration also has the word sharepoint in it so that's why you may see 2 similar titles in your Administration Tools program menu.  In those settings you will see the field which lists your current main content database.

Cheers,

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting



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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
To try to take this back to the core of your original question, "where is the best place to store all the companies critical data so that everyone can access it and it's easy to sort and backup.", I'm focusing on your use of the word "critical".

It's less important WHERE you store any "critical" data than HOW it's stored.  In order to provide a better level of data security, you should ALWAYS use a RAID array.  Hard drives WILL fail at some point, the question is just when, and how redundant your data is will determine whether you can survive a hard drive crash without too much trouble.

The other word I see as important in your question is "access".

There's no question that SharePoint along with SQL server's full-text searching capability will provide the greatest accessibility to your company's documents and other files.  Just installing the Premium Technologies disk's SQL will not automatically upgrade the WMSDE version of SharePoint to SQL.  Nor will it enable full-text searching.

First, familiarize yourself with Sharepoint:  http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=3947117

Then, follow this KB to upgrade it to SQL: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837367

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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eke-the-electronAuthor Commented:
My database server says EWANMCKSERVER/Sharepoint
And the sql server database name says STS_Config

Thanks guys, I'm using a mirror raid and NAS backup so I think I will be able to weather any crashes. I have been playing with the sharepoint site for days and love the functionality. I have figured out how to share a NTFS folder to the website and make it look nice and how users may use both the sharepoint for current team projects and the standard storage folder for other things.  I will have the users save the documents from the sharepoint site into the ntfs storage folders when they are done working on them and that should work great. This server is comming together very nice althoiught I am sure to have more questions as the days go on...

Thanks for all your thoughts, I really appreciate that I can ask dumb questions and not be flogged.

Kevin
East Kootenay Electronics
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mattridingsCommented:
Thought you might like it :)

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Hey, I live on Folsom Street in San Francisco... Flogging is right outside my front door!  (http://www.folsomstreetfair.com)  I don't need to allow that to spread to here!

FYI the STS_Config.mdf is your Configuration Database.  The content database is STS_EWANMCKSERVER_1.mdf.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

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eke-the-electronAuthor Commented:
Does that mean that  STS_EWANMCKSERVER_1.mdf is an SQL Database and I am currently using the SQL server and NOT the MSDEngine
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
No, it doesn't mean that at all.  MSDE is SQL, just a limited version, so the file naming structures are the same.

The quickest way to tell would be to open add/remove programs and see what it says is installed for the SHAREPOINT instance.  If it's MSDE it'll say MSDE, if it's SQL, it'll say SQL.  
My guess is that it's still MSDE because you would had to have upgraded it separately from installing the (local) instance of SQL server.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

Flogging comes next... so open a new question if you have a new question.  :-)
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mattridingsCommented:
Doesn't mean that at all.  In fact it looks like you're still connecting to the Sharepoint 'instance' which is typically created by msde vs. the default 'instance' typically used after full sql server is installed.  But since you can 'upgrade' that instance following the instructions I pointed you to, vs. migrating that database to the sql server default instance for example, you can't use that as a guide to which it is using.  (if you know, or want to learn, anything about using Enterprise Manager for SQL Server you could easily determine this by using that tool)

Did you 'migrate' your db to sql server using the instructions on the disk that I referenced?  I'll paste them below just in case.   If you did then did you apply SP4 of SQL Server too?  If so, and that didn't throw up any errors when you tried to apply it to the Sharepoint instance then the db is definitely on SQL Server and not MSDE....because it wouldn't have let you apply that SP4 to MSDE :)


Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting


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Please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837367
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mattridingsCommented:
doh.  i'm a parrot
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eke-the-electronAuthor Commented:
Done Thanks!
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