SharePoint 2010 enables delivery of hosting environments based on multi-tenancy functionality of SharePoint. However, multi-tenancy has its own limitation and creating multi-tenant farms should be based on the deliberate decision when all pros and cons are carefully evaluated.
There are a few resources of how to configure the multi-tenancy SharePoint 2010 farm, but I consider the following one the best Rational Guide to Multi Tenancy with SharePoint 2010. It’s a quite large reading with several additional resources that will take hours to read.
In this post I just want to summarise the key design considerations for these who are planning multi-tenancy farm.
- Not all Service Applications are tenant-aware
- do not store tenant data (and do not support partitioning) - Excel, Access, Visio, Work Viewing, State and PowerPoint Service Applications
- could not be partitioned - Usage And Heath, Web Analytics, PerformancePoint, FAST for SharePoint
- web.config is shared for all tenants in Web Application
- Configuration can be done via PowerShell only
- Provisioning can be done only in specific order, otherwise information could be shared across tenants
- All custom development should be Sandboxed
- Self Service Site Creation is required to allow tenants to create sites, however it is scoped by Web Application and all tenants will have this on
- Cannot backup/upgrade on a per tenant basis, because more that one tenant can be stored in content database (constraining tenant to specific content DB removes ability to use Tenant Administrator site to create new SC and impact ability to use MySites)
- Too many managed paths create performance implications (the magic number, aka software boundary, for managed paths per Web Application is 20). Consider using host named site collections for large number of tenants
- AD Directory Services are required to store users (linked Subscriptions and Organization Units), because people picker and user profile impart are hooked up to OUs
- Not all SharePoint 2010 features are feature pack aware