How much storage space is my site collection using?

NOTE: This post is just covering SharePoint 2010, and not earlier versions of the product.

imageA common question administrators have in their SharePoint environment is “How much storage space is my site collection using?”

Well, fear not, trusty SharePoint administrators! There are a few ways to skin this cat – and we’re going to take a look at them.

 

SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer – what was once something administrators and power users shuddered at the mere mention of the tool in prior versions of the product, has gotten a makeover. And, also has a lot of additional functionality. For today’s lesson however, we are only going to look at one specific feature of it – the ability to view the storage used for an entire site collection!

If you open up SharePoint Designer to the root site of your site collection, in the main window, once the site is opened under Site Information, you will see, as highlighted below, that it will conveniently display the Total Storage Used of your entire site collection! There! As the big red button on my desk often says after a good firm press… “That was easy!”.

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Let’s look at a couple of other methods of getting this information, shall we?

StorMan.aspx – SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1+

This one requires Service Pack 1 to be installed to be able to utilize this feature. It was not in the RTM version. At the root of your site collection, if you go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Storage Metrics, this will give you details on the usage – such as what sites, lists, libraries, and items are taking up the most space, however, it will not give you a total like our trusty SharePoint Swiss Army Knife – SharePoint Designer does, but, it will allow you to drill down into the usage.

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I will also urge you to view Bill Baer’s article on Storage Metrics in Service Pack 1 – which has some great screenshots of the functionality, as well as an overview, available here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2011/06/28/service-pack-1-storage-metrics-storman-aspx.aspx

PowerShell

imagePowerShell, one of the other power tools in SharePoint 2010, much more akin to the Ginsu knife, can also serve up the details, and, like the Ginsu knife, allow you to slice and dice the information in a myriad of ways.

Below is an example script to connect to your site collection, and read out all of the usage information.

$site = Get-SPSite http://my.sitecollection.com
$site.Usage;
$site.Dispose();

Which gives the following output (storage shown highlighted below in bytes):

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To view just the Storage property, and not Bandwidth, Visits, Hits, and DiscussionStorage, you can call this:

$site = Get-SPSite http://my.sitecollection.com
$site.Usage.Storage;
$site.Dispose();

And only the Storage property with the total bytes will be displayed. You can also do some other cool tricks, such as calculating kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes right from the command line as well, to make the results a bit more readable:

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Want more? OK! We can give it to you! Keep reading! (Because, reading is fundamental, you know.)

Web Analytics

Another option to view the storage used, as well as some additional metrics around it, if you have Web Analytics enabled, you can view your usage over time. To see this, go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Actions > Site Collection Web Analytics reports

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Once there, in the main screen, you can view a summary of the Total Storage Used under Inventory.

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And if you click on Storage Usage under Inventory within the quick launch navigation on the left, you can then view reports on storage utilization for your site collection, with a graph of the values so you cane easily visualize the trend in storage usage.

image

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As well as a daily breakdown of the storage used, so you can see how this grows or falls over time.

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You can also run reports for any date range since Web Analytics have been enabled, as well as run workflows against this data for alerting and reporting.

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I hope you were able to learn something new today… have another method in which you get your site collection storage metrics? Leave it in the comments below for everyone else!

Stay away from my search result pages [insert search engine name here] bot!!

imageNow, this is a bit overkill, but, there are almost as many different ways a search crawler makes use of a robots.txt file as there are search engines (this may be highly over-exaggerated, but anyways…).

Now, one thing you probably do not want with your public facing site, is for the search engine to waste it’s time crawling your search pages. You don’t exactly want a high page rank for your site’s search results, do you?

What to do, what to do?

Well, if your search results pages happen to live under /search/pages/results.aspx, here is an example. This again is a bit overkill, but it should get the job done. Now the search engines can focus on what you want to be getting searched for – your content!

Some search bots allow for wildcards, some are case insensitive, some are case sensitive – hence the number of variations below. Add this into your robots.txt, and you should be good to go.

Disallow: /search/pages/results.aspx
Disallow: /Search/Pages/Results.aspx
Disallow: /Search/Pages/results.aspx
Disallow: /Search/pages/Results.aspx
Disallow: /search/Pages/Results.aspx
Disallow: /search/pages/Results.aspx
Disallow: /Search/pages/results.aspx
Disallow: /search/Pages/results.aspx
Disallow: /search/
Disallow: /Search/
sallow: /search/pages/
Disallow: /Search/Pages/
Disallow: /Search/pages/
Disallow: /search/Pages/
Disallow: /*Results.aspx
Disallow: /*results.aspx

Any additions? Please share them here in the comments!

Office 365 + Outlook + My Site Social Connector – Hotfix Released 12/13/11!

One of the features I have grown to love in Outlook 2010 is the Social Connector – that window below your emails which you can enable to view aggregations of social network updates (My Site, Facebook, LinkedIn, to name a few) as well as past conversations, calendar items, attachments, and more.

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Up until this month however, if you were a user of Microsoft Office 365, then you could not connect to your My Site hosted on SharePoint Online, you would get this lovely error after entering in all of the credential information:

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Being a user of Office 365 – this was an issue for me, especially since I use the Social Connectors in Outlook daily.

I am pleased to announce, that as of December 13th, 2011,  that it has finally been fixed! You can download and install the hotfix from here (Outlook x64 only): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2597051/

Works perfectly now!

Are you suffering from TMSTGNS (Too Much Security Trimmed Global Navigation Syndrome)?

Is your site collection acting sluggish? Seeing load times of 5-15 seconds on any page or resource? Are other web applications and site collections in your farm acting just fine? Are server resources not over utilized? You may be suffering from Too Much Security Trimmed Global Navigation Syndrome (TMSTGNS). We will walk through some background information, symptoms, diagnosis, as well as ways you can bring your site collection back to life, and still allow your users to get where they need to go.

What is the “Global Navigation”?

Also known as the Top Navigation, or the Top Link Bar in SharePoint. You see it as the horizontal navigation at the top of your pages. See the image below as a reference (highlighted in yellow):

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What is the cause of TMSTGNS?

The global navigation in SharePoint is generally used to get around to sites and pages within your site collection –  based on the configuration from the Look and Feel groups in the Site Settings page for each of your sites. This is found under Site Actions > Site Settings > Look and Feel > Navigation

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And once there, you can configure the dynamic nature of the menus (to automatically show subsites and pages for each of the sites, and whether or not to inherit navigation from those sites)

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Also, by default, there are some settings which are not displayed on this page, which affect your navigation. Those settings are found at the site collection level under Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Site collection navigation

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The settings found within this little-used configuration screen are the root cause of TMSTGNS, and give the syndrome part of it’s name, Security Trimmed (ST).

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As you can see in the highlighted sections above, in this screen are options to Enable security trimming, and to Enable audience targeting. What do these do you ask?

Security trimming, as the description above implies, will hide navigation links for sites or pages the user does not have access to. For instance, if only the Finance department had access to the Finance department team site, then with this option enabled, people who are in Human Resources would not see the navigation node for Finance. Now, this sounds like a great idea, right?

Audience targeting is similar. Under Site Actions > Site Settings > Look and Feel > Navigation, when you are adding a link or a header, you have the option to specify a targeted audience, so only those who are within those audiences can see those links.

SNAGHTML13964a3f

Yes, it is a good idea, keep things hidden that shouldn’t be seen if you do not have access, however, as your site collection grows to hundreds of sites, each which hang off of the Global Navigation, either directly there, or, which are found one or two levels below in navigation flyouts (see image below)….

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SharePoint needs to iterate through EACH AND EVERY NAVIGATION NODE, and check if the current user has access to the site, as well as if they are in the audience for that link, EVERY TIME THE NAVIGATION LOADS! That is a lot of recursive security checking, and can take time. The more sites you have, the longer this will take.

You can see this in action especially with the Developer Dashboard running when your site has one or more team sites enabled (while the example below is minimal, I’ve seen this go on in some instances for pages and pages and pages):

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Now, you see for each of the navigation nodes, it takes roughly 20ms for each link (the area above with the hidden sections to protect some private data) to be checked for access and audiences, which is the EnsureListItemsData method calls shown below each link. Multiply this by the number of navigation nodes you have, and you can probably come pretty close to the amount of time it takes for your pages to load. I have literally seen CPU spikes on servers 25% and higher utilization than normal with the W3WP.exe worker processes for IIS while this operation is taking place as well. It utilizes a lot of CPU to accomplish this task.

The quick fix for this? uncheck those two boxes under the Site collection navigation configuration screen. You will notice a huge performance improvement. This means however, that all of your users can see all of the links within the Global Navigation.

 

But what if I need to hide links, and keep them available to the users who need them?

This is a great question, and one that I can use the classic consulting phrase on – “it depends”. You may find that you can add these links to an audience targeted web part underneath the main site they are on. This may take an extra click, but, security is not transparent. Just compare the time it takes to go through an airport now than it did before 2001. If you need security, and performance, than a small subset of your users having to make an extra click might not be so bad. Ultimately it is up to the decisions you make within your organization, and how these work-arounds can and will be carried out and implemented.

What else can I do?

There are many options other than just disabling the security and audience trimming on the global navigation. Those might be building a custom navigation control (development), to implement security trimming for links in a different manor, such as checking a list which has ONLY the links to be trimmed from the Global Navigation, rather than having to check each link.

Using a list-based navigation source with item permissions enabled – this is also security trimming, however, it is only within a single list, so performance should be better, but, it will be slower than a navigation source without any security trimming.

You may also implement multiple navigation layers, one without security trimming, and one with a custom source that is security trimmed in the master page.

As I said, there are many options – you may need to think outside the box a bit to get to the best resolution for your organization, but at the very least, your pages will be loading a lot faster when you are not suffering anymore from TMSTGNS, thus giving your end users, and yourselves, a better SharePoint experience.

 

Are you a survivor of TMSTGNS?

Then share your story with everyone else in the comments below about how you were able to defeat this horrible performance degrading disease.

SharePoint 2010 Balsamiq Mockups Template

If you haven’t used Balsamiq Mockups before, you should check it out. It is an awesome tool for generating on the fly wireframes for SharePoint, and just about everything else.

Now that you’ve had a chance to look at it (and download and play with it), you are probably thinking… hey, I work in SharePoint, is there a good starter template I can use? Well, I am glad you asked. My good buddy, and colleague, The James Sturges, came up with a great template for it. Go and check out his post on the matter here: http://sharepoint.jsturges.com/2011/11/sp2010-wireframe-template/

Presentation from 12/13/11 CTSPUG

A big thank you to the Connecticut SharePoint User Group (CTSPUG) for having me down last night to deliver my presentation (slides below) on Best Practices in SharePoint Development. While the group itself has been around for 10 years (CT.Net), this was the second official SharePoint UG meeting, and I was happy to be a part of it! A big crowd too! The room was packed, and thankfully, I heard no snoring 🙂

As I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation, there are a lot of slides so you can have them for review afterwards, as we covered at lot of information. Below is a copy of the presentation on slideshare.

If you were at the session, or even wanted to attend but could not make it, please feel free to contact me in the comments below with any questions on the material.

Speaking at the Fairfield County SharePoint User Group (FCSPUG) on December 14th, 2011

imageUPDATE 12/14/11: 2011 – not 2012! As in tonight!

It appears next week is Connecticut week! In addition to speaking at the Connecticut SharePoint Users Group (CTSPUG) on December 13th, I will be headed back into The Constitution State again on Wednesday to deliver a presentation to the Fairfield County SharePoint Users Group!

Presentation information below…

Title: The Ribbon UI and Custom Actions in SharePoint 2010

Abstract: Custom Actions control features in SharePoint such as the List Item Menu, the Site Actions menu, toolbars, and the links within the Site Settings page, as well as the Ribbon UI in SharePoint 2010.

Learn how to leverage Custom Actions to extend the SharePoint User Interface. This session will describe the basics of Custom Actions, demonstrations to build and apply them in SharePoint as they relate to our lists using SharePoint Designer 2010, as well as provide resources for additional information.

Meeting Agenda:
5:30 – Eat & Greet: Food/Drink courtesy of K2
6:00 – News: Commnents from meeting organizers
6:15 – Session Keynote: The Ribbon UI and Custom Actions in SharePoint 2010
7:15 – Wrap-Up: Announcements and Giveaway
7:45 – SharePint @ Field, 3001 Fairfield Ave

I look forward to seeing you there! For more information, and to register for the meeting, please visit: http://www.sharepointusergroup.com/FCSPUG/default.aspx

Speaking at the Connecticut SharePoint User Group (CTSPUG) on December 13th, 2012

I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking at the Connecticut SharePoint User Group (CTSPUG) next week on Tuesday, December 13th, from 6-8PM.

I will be delivering a presentation I normally do with one of my partners-in-crime, Mark Rackley (@mrackley), but I will be going solo on this one, so I may need a stand-in to poke fun at…

Session Title: SharePoint Development Best Practices a/k/a: Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles and Avoiding Pain with SharePoint Development

Abstract: “Why am I getting a security error??” “Why does my code work sometimes, but not others?” “I wonder if McDonalds is hiring.” Writing custom code in SharePoint opens up unlimited possibilities but also throws many hurdles in your way that will slow you down if you don’t take them into account. So, before giving up and searching for careers in the fast food industry, equip yourself with the knowledge you need to succeed in writing custom code for SharePoint.

Attendees will learn:
1. Commonly used methods to improve functionality and performance
2. Best practices for disposing of SP Objects
3. How to avoid common issues when writing custom code for SharePoint

PREREQUISITES: Developers need to have a basic knowledge of SharePoint, know C# and be comfortable in Visual Studio.

For more information on the CTSPUG, and to register for the meeting, please visit: http://ctdotnet.org/CTSPUG.aspx I hope to see you there! I had fun speaking in Hartford at the last SharePoint Saturday Hartford, and am looking forward to going back!

Registration Open for Boston Area SharePoint Users Group on 11/9/11

BASPUG_195square_initialsRegistration is now open for the November 9th, 2011 meeting of the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group, at the Microsoft Waltham office located on the 6th floor at 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA.

November 9th, 2011 Meeting Information – Waltham

PRESENTER
The presenter for our next meeting is Manmeet Chaudhari, Sr. Project Advisor for Advisicon Inc. She will be presenting "Project Management" – showcasing Project Server 2010 and its integration with SharePoint 2010.

Session Abstract
This session will introduce the integration of collaboration strategies and features of Microsoft Project Server 2010 for participants in a project management office (PMO)/project portfolio management (PPM) environment.

It will also showcase what Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 has to offer with features such as Project Sites and Workspaces, version control, task synchronization between Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, governance workflows, tagging, wikis, discussion boards, integration of connectivity with remote team, and business intelligence for dynamic reporting.

About Manmeet
I am a Senior technology consultant with a career history in diverse aspects of information technology, enterprise level IT, business analysis implementation and training. I have led the delivery of complex business processes and enterprise solutions to fortune 100 companies in Asia-Pacific, India and North American markets.
My expertise is in providing technology consulting services with life cycle implementations for a variety of industries including Health Care, Airline, Financial, Manufacturing, and Energy.
I am proficient in architecture design, development, and delivery of business intelligence using business portals & collaborations systems. In depth knowledge of Microsoft based technologies including SharePoint, Business Intelligence platforms such as Project and Portfolio Server and various software development methodologies.
I have been awarded as Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 3 consecutive years since 2009 for my contribution towards the Microsoft Project community.
(I am based out of Cambridge and I am a home worker).

MEETING SPONSOR – Commvault
Headquartered in Oceanport, New Jersey, CommVault is a publicly traded data management software company passionately committed to giving companies a better way to organize, protect, and access business information.
CommVault was founded in 1996 and first made its mark with the industry’s leading backup software product. But what we ultimately provide for our 13,500+ customers goes far beyond backup. Our unique Solving Forward® philosophy and one-of-a-kind Simpana® software deliver complete data management solutions with infinite scalability and unprecedented control over data and costs.

CommVault has recently been positioned in the "Leaders" quadrant in Gartner’s 2011 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Disk-Based Backup/Recovery. And leading technology companies worldwide have formed strategic partnerships with us, including Dell, HDS, HP, Microsoft, NetApp, VMWare, Novell, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Bull.

A wealth of accolades and revenue growth greater than three times the software industry average further reflect the industry’s need and enthusiasm for CommVault’s revolutionary approach to data management.

To learn much more about CommVault, our Solving Forward philosophy, and Simpana Software, download a brochure from the menu to the right, tour the rest of our Web site, or simply contact us. We’re confident you’ll like what you discover.

SUSTENANCE
Food and beverages will be provided at the event.


RAFFLE PRIZES

We will be handing out raffle tickets at the BASPUG meetings.

LOCATION
We will be meeting at the Microsoft New England Research and Development center at One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA.


LINKED IN
Join our group on LinkedIn today to connect with the rest of the BASPUG members, and spread the word!


FACEBOOK

We are also on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Boston-Area-SharePoint-User-Group/113652405354617


TWITTER
Follow news about the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group on twitter by following us @BASPUG, and by using the hashtag #BASPUG


WEB
Visit the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group website at http://www.bostonsharepointug.org

Secure Your SharePoint Extranet!

Or any extranet really… I presented tonight at the Baltimore SharePoint Users Group on Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010, and had the idea to make a quick post like this.

If you are opening your organizations virtual doors to the outside world, please, please,  PLEASE, only open up port 443, and use a secure certificate (or Secure Sockets Layer certificate), a/k/a, SSL certificate, to secure it.

Even if you do not have anything resembling a budget – you can still be secure. GoDaddy offers SSL certificates for as little as $12.99 – just use this link.

Why? Well… take this scenario. Say you are connecting to your extranet from a café, and they do not have a secure WiFi setup, and you can just connect and browse. I bet you that somewhere in there, there is some pimply kid with his Macbook his parents bought him, in his Misfits T-Shirt, sniffing the unsecured WEP network, and watching you log into your Forms Based Authentication extranet, over an unencrypted port 80. Not only does he see the URL you are visiting, and your username and password. He can also see everything you do. Confidential documents, payroll information – you name it. And there you go, your company’s data has been breached.

Now, if you take the extra time, and spend a few dollars – this would not have happened. SSL encrypts the connection from the end user’s browser, all the way to the server, so all the pimply faced hacker would see is just gobbledygook.

So a login session may just look like this (encrypted using SSL):

OIHP(@Q*YPR*Y@*(Y@C*(YR(*@YUP&@G&*T(*@&^$&@()&*CNHUSHLKSJLSHGLRWCTBLSUGL*r(*n^N(*#9693r562095876209387652097cUYTOIWESOFIY#3tyiuGi IWOLIWJdILW#T&@RLIU@HDIWUYR(Q*&#@yrOiu32H  lu hr*#@y*ry b@r*hsdiu wOIU8H9WQ83H RL iuliug # iqq&*g(iU3RG qiu

That looks a lot better than this (unencrypted – not using SSL):

http://intranet.mytopsecretcompany.comJohnSmithPass@word1secretdocument1.txt012-34-5678

While I do not have specific details, certificate providers also can actually insure your SSL certificates, in case a data breach does take place. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, GeoTrust, Thawte, etc. Look around, find what is right for you. And secure your extranet. Not tomorrow, but NOW. Pay for some security, it is worth it to pay money up front and be secure, than be involved in lawsuits, and corporate losses, all due to a yearly fee of up to a couple of hundred dollars. Protect your company, protect yourself, and protect your clients.

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