SharePoint Site Collections

This might be basic, but, I am a bit unsure of how to do the following:

I have three separate SharePoint site collections for three separate clients and I am trying to figure out how to set up DNS. Do I need three separate DNS entries? Is there a way to set this up with one DNS entry but route each to their individual collection? Thanks in advance.
whitlockitAsked:
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Justin SmithConnect With a Mentor Sr. System EngineerCommented:
You could use host named site collections, but that is another topic and another question.
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GeorgeGerguesCommented:
It is recommended to have 3 different applications as it will give you better security , navigation . search separation etc.

If you go that route, you can start using Alternative access mapping along with separate names for each client.

But let me know if that is not doable .
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ThatSharepointGuyCommented:
You don't really need to set up different DNS entries.  

It's all about Alternate Access Mappings.  

Quick rundown here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/tothesharepoint/archive/2008/08/26/3112518.aspx

For instance, there are tree different URLS to get to my SharePoint server, but they all "forward" to the same server name with AAM: https://MySPServer.com.

DNS is do-able, as you could combine that with AAM to get what you need, but you might just be able to do a couple of AAM to point to the correct web application that the users need to get to, and be fine with it.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
What version of Sharepoint?
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
SharePoint Foundations 2010
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ThatSharepointGuyCommented:
Forgive me for being presumptuous but I believe we're looking at the issue from the wrong direction.  Whitelockit wrote:

I have three separate SharePoint site collections for three separate clients and I am trying to figure out how to set up DNS. Do I need three separate DNS entries? Is there a way to set this up with one DNS entry but route each to their individual collection? Thanks in advance.

Whitelockit, you actually don't need AAM or DNS to do anything with this, if you're asking what I think you're asking.

Basically, let's say that your SharePoint server URL is https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com.
And you have three clients: Client1, Client2, and Client3.   So you create three site collections named after each client, respectively.

Your URL structure for each site will look like this:
https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com                   <=== Whitelock IT Portal
https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client1       <===  Client 1 Site Collection
https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client2       <===  Client 2 Site Collection
https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client3       <===  Client 3 Site Collection

For each client to get to their respective site collections, you can do it several ways:

Option #1:
Give the clients a link to their individual site collection.  ie, if you are client 1, I will tell you to just go to https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client1.  Easy as pie!

Option #2:
In my opinion, every SharePoint server needs a "top site", or "Portal".  Thus,  you can have a site at the very top level at the root of your server.  So create a site there, so that when you go to https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com, you will be at the "Whitelock IT Portal" page.  I've always made these with Publishing templates, and then create a custom "Site Directory" list that lists each site collection, what department it goes to, etc (with a link to that site).

So you can have a SharePoint list that does this.
Client           URL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Client1         https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client1
Client2         https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client2
Client3         https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/client3

So when clients go to https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com, they will see their site, and click the link to go to it.  Of course, you would want to lock the security down on each one so that client1 cannot play in client2's backyard, if you know what I mean.

Option #3:
You can still use DNS for this.  What you could do is create a DNS record that points to the following:

https://client1 ==> https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/Client1
https://client1 ==> https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/Client2
https://client1 ==> https://SharePoint.WhitelockIT.com/Client3

I haven't touched DNS in a good bit of time, but from what I recall, it would either be an A (alias) or Host record.  Try it and see what happens.  Don't forget to give it time to propagate to your DC's if you have more than one.
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ThatSharepointGuyCommented:
Actually, you could even use a CNAME record in DNS to do that as well (for Option #2).
Create a record looking like this

client1.whitelockit.com  CNAME  https://sharepoint.whitelockit.com/client1
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
I'm not paitent enough to read SharePointGuy's posts, so forgive me if I'm stating something he already did.

Two things to research:

1. 2010 Tenent functionality (new in 2010, not sure if it's avaialbe in Foundation or not).  
2. Host named site collections.
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ThatSharepointGuyCommented:
Patience is rare these days, eh ACH1LLES?  Haha!

WhitelockIT - if multi-tenancy is what you're aiming for, here is a great article explaining what it is, what it does, and how to set it up from harbar.net.  While I've never set it up myself, this does take some of the confusion out of it.  

http://www.harbar.net/articles/sp2010mt1.aspx

I wasn't sure if this is what you were aiming for or not.  Thanks to ACH1LLES for broaching the subject, and bringing it to light, otherwise I probably would have disregarded it.  


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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the feedback guys it's really helpful. The tenancy thing is pretty interesting. I am definitely going to have to research that one. Thanks for the link on that ThatSharepointGuy.
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ThatSharepointGuyCommented:
No problems.  If I had experience with it, I'd be able to help more, but my discussions about it were basically limited to a 15 minute discussion in a conference a few months ago and that was it.  
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
update please.
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Thanks to everyone for all the feedback but we are still having issues with accessing our site collections from the public Internet.  Actually, we cannot access the site collection internally by using http://Sharepoint.WhitlockIT.com/client1 but have to use http://"computername"/sites/client1.  Due to this I think we may have missed a step on the internal configuration of our Sharepoint Foundation server and/or IIS.

By the end of today we need our customer to have the ability to access their site collection over the Internet by using http://Sharepoint.WhitlockIT.com/client1.  Once connected they need to be prompted for their username and password which we have created via Active Directory.  A few days ago our ISP created a new DNS entry for "sharepoint.whitlockit.com" pointing to the internal server so this looks to be correct.  

Our AAM is setup as the following:
Internal URL                                                Zone                             Pubic URL for Zone
http://"computername":37056                     Default                          http://"computername":37056  
http://"computername"                                Default                          http://"computername"
http://sharepoint                                          Intranet                         http://sharepoint   
http://sharepoint.whitlockit.com                  Internet                          http://sharepoint.whitlockit.com  

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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
1. Configure AAM for web app. - This seems to be completed
2. Configure bindings in IIS for all URL's in AAM - Is this done?
3. Create external DNS for sharepoint.whitlockit.com.  - This is apparently completed
4. Create internal DNS for SharePoint.whitlockit.com - is this completed?

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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
I don't remember checining on bindings in IIS for URL's in AAM.  I'll take a look in a few minutes.
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
I've added all URL's in AAM to IIS bindings, restarted the web site in IIS, but still cannot use http://sharepoint.whitlockit.com/client1 as it displays page cannot be found.  The internal DNS has already been created for sharepoint.whitlockit.com.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
And if you ping the url above from a machine inside the network, you are getting the correct internal IP?
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Yes, I get the correct IP when pinging sharpoint.whitlockit.com.  
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
And sharepoint.whitelockit.com is an AAM on http://computername, not http:computername:37056?
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
sharepoint.whitlockit.com is set as the Internet AAM for http://computername
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
I'm going back to review all settings mentioned above.  If anyone has additional instructions and/or ideas on what to troublehoot please let me know.

Again, thank you for all the assistance.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
I'll throw out "firewall", even though this probably isn't the issue.
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Good thought.  We have a centralized firewall for all offices through a hosting provider for our MPLS network but I am in the same office as the SharePoint Foundation server.  I think I need to be able to acess the site collection internally using http://sharepoint.whitlockit.com/client1 and then test it externally.  Currently, the only way to access the site collection internally is to use  http://"computername"/sites/client1.  I didn't have time to review all the settings listed above in this thread but will do so this morning in case I fat fingered a setting or missed a step.

Thanks again for your assistance.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
Wait a sec.  Why are you adding /sites into the internal URL, but not the external?
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Hi Achilles.  We only use /sites when accessing the server directly for configurations but not as an internal URL for employees.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
So how does SharePoint know to leave out /sites in the public URL?  What did you confgure?
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
I thought IIS bindings took care of the linking between the public DNS entry and the actual server URL?
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
It does but you can't remove the managed path (/sites).  you still have to use sharepoint.whitlockit.com/sites/client1.

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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Thanks Achilles.  We can hit the site using sharepoint.whitlockit.com/sites/client1.  Is there a way to have /sites removed without having to reconfigure the server and/or lose date so we can just use sharepoint.whitlockit.com/client1?
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
I see what you are saying and you are correct. When I typed in sharepoint.whitlockit.com/sites/client1 it worked. Now that I know that, is there any way to remove /sites/ from the site collection I created so I can eliminate that from the url? Thanks again.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
Host named site collections.
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
I can't locate this option.  Is it available in SharePoint Foundation as well as SharePoint Server?
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
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whitlockitAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the help. Host named site collections is exactly what we are looking for. I believe I set it up wrong (path based site collections). I found a script to detach my data and create the host named site collections so this is the path I will take. Thanks again for all the help.
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