Online Training On SharePoint

Monday, 7 November 2011

Understanding Multi Tenancy in SharePoint 2010 for Dummies

Multi Tenancy in SharePoint 2010 is a difficult topic to understand so I am trying to put my thoughts which can help you to understand this fantastic concept. This article only explain what is Multi Tenancy in SharePoint 2010 and why this is needed and what concepts helps to achieve this. There are further information to implement this.

As we all know creating SharePoint infrastructure is not only costly but a tedious job. Sometime it is not possible for few organizations to create their own environments to host SharePoint application. So this is where Multi Tenancy comes into picture. Multi Tenancy helps to create hosting environment on SharePoint 2010 where multiple different companies can host their application without compromising the security on their data and using only the features & functionality they need from the plethora of functionality which SharePoint offers.

Now we all are well aware with SharePoint 2010 Service Applications. They are now in the heart of SharePoint which provides services to the associated Web Applications. Every Service Application can have their own database to store the data related to Site Collections which are hosted inside the Web Application. Now all these Site Collection hosted in these Web Application share this data which is not a correct scenario when these Site Collections are hosted for different companies. Now to solve this problem SharePoint 2010 introduce a concept called Site Subscription.

Site Subscription: Site Subscriptions are nothing but a logical grouping of Site Collections which helps to achieve multi tenancy by segregating the data for site collections in the same service application and also helps to share other settings and feature (covered below). Lets try to understand Site Subscription in further details using this diagram:

Now I will put few salient points which can be inferred using the above diagram:
1. A Site Subscription can have site collection from Single Web Application or from Multiple Web Applications. This also infers that Site Subscription can include content across multiple content databases.
2. All the Service Applications which do not store data can not be partitioned (though few service which store data can not be partitioned as well such as Web Analytics & Usage and Health Data Collection).
3. Site Subscription can not span across SharePoint Farms.
4. Sites can be added to Site Subscription at a later stage.
5. Sites from a  Site Subscription are managed using a common site which is called Tenant Administration Site.

Feature Packs: Now we all know the importance of Features in SharePoint. So now if a feature is deployed at a Web Application level essentially all the site collections in that web application can activate these feature. Now in the hosting scenario we may want that particular Site Collections can not use those features. This is achieved by using Feature Packs.

Feature Packs are collection of specific feature. We associate these Feature Packs with the Site Subscriptions. With this only the Site Collections which are part of the Site Subscription can utilize these Features.

All these Site Subscription and Feature pack can only be created using PowerShell. You can reference the article @ to get the further insight.

I have referenced this poster given by Microsoft for putting this article. You can get this @

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Has anyone used this tool:

It's suppose to help provide a GUI for managing a multi tenant environment.

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