Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clearing SharePoint Configuration Cache

SharePoint stores some of the configuration in a cache on the SharePoint servers instead of makings calls to SQL Server (Config DB) every time inorder to improve performance.
But sometimes, this cache might have old or corrupted data which might cause timer jobs to fail.There would be cases where you want to take out a server from the farm and that doesn't refresh properly. Also there is a possiblity that this issue may come up when we change the service account of the sharepoint farm.

To clear the cache, we need to follow the steps below

Note: This operation will break your farm, if we delete the “GUID folder” or the “Cache.ini file”.
1> On all Servers in the farm, stop the Windows SharePoint Services Timer service (OWSTIMER.EXE). To do this go to the Services Console, right click on Windows SharePoint Services Timer service and click stop.

2> After this go the SharePoint Server running Indexing Server and navigate to “System Drive\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\GUID” in case of Windows Server 2003 or “System Drive\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\GUID” in Windows Sever 2008.

3> In the folder there is single “cache.ini” & rest all are XML files. Delete all the XML files except for the “Cache.ini file”, make sure we do not delete the “cache.ini”. This is very important, do not even delete the whole GUID folder too, this is also very important. Do not delete the GUID folder or the cache.ini file!

4> Now open the “cache.ini” file and note down the number. Clear the number and type in 1.

5> Click save and close the “Cache.ini” file.

6> Now start the Windows SharePoint Services Timer Service on the Indexing Server from the services console.

We will see all XML files being generated again. We open the Cache.ini and we will see same the number, as you noted down before.

We need to repeat steps 2-6 on all queries servers followed by application/web servers.

Reference -

Friday, April 23, 2010

What is windows server core in Windows server 2008?

When I was installing Windows server 2008 R2 I came across the option where I had to install either Windows Server R2 Full install and other one was Windows R2 Server Core Installation.

Anyone thought what is Windows server core installation in 2008? I did some analysis. let me explain what is this all about.

What is Windows Server Core?
Windows Server Core is a type of install which installs what is needed to make the Hadware a server. The basics to call the hardware a server. We can call this as a "THIN" install.

Whats the difference between the regular install and the server core install?

a> Server core doesnt have a GUI. Command prompt is used for all the tasks.
b> There are no desktop Icons. Notepad, remote desktops access have got GUI.
c> There is no upgrade from windows 2003 to Windows 2008 server core. We need to go for fresh install.

Advantages -

1> Easier to secure,manage and maintain. It has reduced attack surface as less services and less applications are present. reduced management as less parts are present to manage.
2> Lower hardware requirement. So less maintenance overhead. minimum requirement is about 1.6 GB hard drive space, lower processor overhead and lower memory requirement.
3> Supports unattended installations. It can be fully automated.
4> Supports key infrastructure roles like IIS, AD DS, DHCP, DNS, AD LDS etc.

Disadvantages -

1> few roles not compatible with server core.
2> no windows GUI. work to be done using command prompt.  For example, you can open notepad GUI by typing notepad.exe on cmd . Also the datepalce by tping timedate.cpl on cmd.
3> There is not .NET framework or IE on the server.
4> This needs a fresh installation.

Configuring on server core -

using the command on the command prompt -
start /w ocsetup

This command will help you inconfiguring roles, AD DS, IIS etc.