Sharepoint Server 2013 Advice

Our company currently makes use of Sharepoint Foundation 2010 as a basic portal that contains our quality management manuals, induction and other general documents as well as the usual Announcements, contact lists, etc

I have recently been tasked with upgrading and expanding the system.
In the last few weeks I have been playing around with SP 2010 and 2013, both Foundation and Standard and feel SP 2013 Std would be suited for our needs.

Here's what I intend on implementing:
Windows Server 2012
SP 2013 Std Edition:
Standalone Installation
Single Web Application
3 different Site Collections, reason for this is that want to split the "general" use (announcements, contacts, general doc) from the rest of the deployment:
Site 1 - This would be the landing page for the companies Intranet, would contain, contact lists, announcements, general docs, In/Out Register and some generally used links to external sites. This site would use the 2013 experience Collaboration Team Site
Site 2 - This site would contain the companies Quality Management manual along with our Induction manual and other training material (pictures and videos). The Enterprise Business Intelligence Center template would be used here
Site 3 - Site 3 would contain important project data used by all staff, the data would range from general word documents to CAD drawings. Would use the Enterprise Document Center template for this.
Sites 2 and 3 would require some IRM, each site would require its own set of Site permissions and the sizes of each site would range from couple of MB to around 100GB.
I am aware of the limitations with SQL Express so SQL Standard would be purchased.

To my question.
Does my planned deployment make sense with creating 3 sites?
What kind of hardware deployment would be required to make the sites speedily available to around 60 users?
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Rainer JeschorCommented:
first of all - thank you very much for making your minds BEFORE starting the implementation!

It makes definitely sense to split that into three site collections - especially in regards to permissions.

In regards to hardware sizing: it depends.
How many concurrent user do you expect?
How important will the system be? Is a downtime of a whole day acceptable? If no, then you might think of having more than a single server installation.
In regards to the content size - again it depends on your SLA. It will take some time to backup and restore a 100GB database. I know that this should not happen that often, but according to Murphy it will happen when you do not need it :-)
You should definitely create a dedicated content database for each site collection.

Do you plan to install everything on one machine (hence SQL AND SharePoint) or do you plan to split these two?
Do you plan to install SP on physical boxes or do you have any virtualization plans?

Side note: please be aware that the max file size is 2GB (not sure if CAD file can grow above that size).

Just my 2ct
DJMohrAuthor Commented:
Hi Rainer

Thanks for your input. To answer some of your questions:
The data that will be stored on Site 3 would be the main working directory for more of our users, so at any given time I would say that at least 35 people would be working. w.r.t the CAD files, we are luckily well below the 2GB limitations.
An entire day of downtime would probably cost me my head.
Regarding the backup, we currently make use of ShadowCraft which takes images of the entire drive. To give you an example our exchange server does a full backup in about 2h:45min, our EDB is 300GB. Restores are also very simple and efficient if single files or directories are missing. A full restore takes longer, with our Exchange test restore it took about 6hrs to do a bare metal restore.

My initial idea was to install a dual CPU system with ample memory and run both SQL and SP from this system, of course the system would have SAS RAID sets, with that being said the implementation would be a physical box and not virtualised.
But I must say that my understand of virtualising tells me that the virtual host should have enough capacity to to run a dual server scenario with easy, which leads me to think a higher hardware cost, please do correct me if I'm wrong.
DJMohrAuthor Commented:
Just another thing, you mentioned separate content databases for each Site Collection, is this possible? Reason I ask is because it looks like the content DB is linked to the Web Application itself and the Site Collections are stored in that.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that our remote users would also be accessing the site, I would just achieve this by having a cname created pointing to our live IP (firewall) and in turn have the request forwarded to the SP, and yes, authentication will be required prior to access.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
For sixty users, I'd consider SharePoint online. By the time you consider the cost of SharePoint standard, SQL standard, CALs for both, and hardware, it'll be cost comparative. But less capex, and considerably less maintenance overhead when SQL tuning, monitoring, and similar IT duties are considered. It is easier to justify those efforts when the cost can be spread across hundreds or even thousands of users, but much tougher to reach ROI with lower user counts. Shifting the burden to someone else makes sense in that scenario.
Allan ReitanChief Financial OfficerCommented:
The previous contributors here have all brought up good points around the CAD files capacity, and architecture/platform for hosting your content.

One item I picked up on in your question and requirements is with respect to your proposed Site #2 & #3 - Proposed use of Business Intelligence Template and the Project Management capabilities.

Just to try to scope out those requirements a little better, if you are going to implement some of the more feature rich BI components you may need to consider the Enterprise Edition of SharePoint 2013, and the recommended SQL Server would be 2012 SP2 or SQL 2014.  These would get you the PowerPivot components necessary to deliver that set of features.
DJMohrAuthor Commented:
Hi all, thanks for all the input.

@ Cliff, based on the pricing for SharePoint Online my directors would rather consider out right purchase. We are in South Africa so whatever the $ price is we would need to multiply it by 12, so for 60 users it would cost the company around 80k a month versus the once off for hardware and software for about 350k, this is of course not considering the running cost.

@ Allan, I have been playing around with the templates and site 2 wouldn't require much security other than setting proper access permissions, only 2 people would need editing capabilities, the rest would be read only.
Site 3 is the tricky one, however the permissions would not differ from what is currently set on the file server. The only "non out of the box" security that would be implemented is that users aren't allowed to create sub-folders and if possible the option to remove 'Open with Explorer' button.

I have received costs on hardware, the following was quoted:
Dell PowerEdge R730 - 2U Rack Server
Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3 2.4GHz,20M Cache,8.00GT/s QPI,Turbo,HT,8C/16T (85W)
4 x 8 GB DDR4 2133 MHz / PC4-17000
8 x 600GB SAS 6Gbps 10k 2.5" (RAID 1 and RAID 10 sets)
SQL 2014 was quoted.

The system board is dual CPU capable so later upgrades is easier

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DJMohrAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input
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