Blu-Bench were chosen to redesign and configure a SharePoint 2010 platform for this NHS IT services provider.

This provider was faced with a need to supply SharePoint 2010 services to its customers, the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Commissioning Support Units (CSU). There was an understanding that the number of CCGs and CSU customers coming on board would grow and the provider was unsure that the existing platform and configuration was adequate. Along with this they wanted to adhere to Microsoft best practises when implementing and configuring SharePoint and make use of some of the Enterprise Business Intelligence functionality.

Blu-Bench were asked to run workshops gathering requirements and information across a number of different areas including Network Design, Infrastructure Governance, Business Intelligence and Multi-tenancy.

Business Problem

These challenges were facing the provider:

  • The existing SharePoint infrastructure was not robust enough to handle the expected increase in demand and usage in the medium and long term.
  • There was data ‘leakage’ and information which was only relevant to a particular customer was available for other CCGs.
  • Though Business Intelligence functionality has been implemented on the existing Intranet, it was not working to the customers’ satisfaction. This was particularly true of the PowerPivot and PerformancePoint, functionality.
  • Kerberos was not being used for authentication on Business Intelligence information and this posed a security risk.

Objective

To address the problems facing the business, the following project objectives were agreed upon:

  • Build and deploy new SharePoint 2010 environments for testing, production and disaster recovery purposes.
  • Provide a Disaster Recovery strategy for the new SharePoint environment.
  • Provide an SharePoint environment that would be robust enough to handle any expansion in usage of the implemented SharePoint solution
  • Minimise the overheads for the SharePoint provide by creating an environment that would allow Farm administrators to administer the CCGS, CSU and Business Intelligence applications easily and efficiently.
  • Isolate the CCGs data while still making use of the available SharePoint functionality.
  • Fully utilise Kerberos authentication.
  • Make use of the SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence and provide working examples of its functionality.

Deliverables

For Blu-Bench to meet the objectives for the project it delivered the following environments:

  • Test Platform
  • Production Platform
  • Staging Platform
  • Disaster Recover Platform

The Production and Staging platforms mirrored each other and included:

  • 2x Network Load Balanced SharePoint Web Front End Servers
  • 2x SharePoint Application Servers
  • 2x SharePoint Database Servers, running SQL Server 2008

To address the objectives for the CCGs it was decided that Multi-tenancy functionality was the way forward. This allowed certain SharePoint Service Applications to be partitioned and isolate information within the relevant CCGs.

Multi-tenancy implementation also meant that there was not a proliferation of web applications for the Farm administrators to manage, therefore decreasing the administration burden. Another benefit of applying Multi-tenancy was the site collections were host named allowing each CCG had their own unique address.

Blu-Bench also delivered Business Intelligence solution including PowerPivot allaying the client’s initial concerns of it working within a SharePoint environment.