So I recently was having a discussion with an administrator about their SharePoint 2007 environment, we had discovered that they had many large lists and I was trying to explain how this could cause performance issues within their environment and that governance could help.  The response from the administrator caught me off guard so I wanted to discuss it here, his statement went something along the lines of “I do not want to police my environment” and I couldn’t understand his feelings as I was suggesting the following:

  1. Insure that all views do not allow more than 2000 items to be displayed.
  2. Have users create folders within their lists so that there are no more than 2000 items at any level.
  3. Setup some kind of archiving guidance so that item counts don’t get too large.
  4. Report back on what sites/lists were not following guide lines

For those of you who have read the TechNet articles and Whitepapers on Large Lists these should not be new ideas. 

Designing large lists and maximizing list performance (SharePoint Server 2010)

Manage lists and libraries with many items

Manage large SharePoint lists for better performance

White paper: Working with large lists in Office SharePoint Server 2007

This got me thinking as an administrator is it not our job to protect our environment and insure that no one user or group of users can cause the performance in the system to degrade to the point that it causes issues for other user sharing that system?  And if we do so, does that mean we are acting in a poor manner pushing our weight around or are we trying to create an ecosystem that works for everybody?

If you look at SharePoint 2010 it has several built in functions to do just that it stops individual lists, process, etc from causing an issue that would block other users from being able to use the ecosystem properly.

Working with Large Lists in SharePoint 2010 - List Throttling

HTTP Request Monitoring and Throttling

Understand and Configure Resource Throttling on SharePoint Server 2010

Governance features (SharePoint Server 2010)

I’m of the opinion that governance done properly is self-preservation!  We need to insure our systems are properly shared by all. This means we need to insure that our users follow certain processes and to not allow the performance of the system to degrade.  Then you have to wonder when is
it too much?  Where is that line, when does the system become too controlled?  And here are my thoughts on how you can insure that your governance is not a police action but indeed your self-preservation

  1. Discuss changes with a subset of your users try to understand what they need to do, and then get there buy-in on the solution.  In my experience it will bring light to a solution that will allow you to protect your system and allow the business to function properly.
  2. It is always best to communicate with your users; it always amazes me when administrators hesitate to discuss changes with your user and prefer to let helpdesk explain everything after the change happens.
  3. To go along with #2 have some kind of internal KB or bulletin board that you keep up-to-date and send your users to it when appropriate, it will create enlightened users and less calls to helpdesk.

If you apply these principles to any issues in your environment I don’t think anybody can claim your creating a policed system, the bottom line is communication.  The IT group cannot live in a bubble, and only answer to themselves.   Because you do have users who can be reasonable and think for themselves, and if you get rid of the users or they stop using your system (Either because of restrictions or poor performance) guess what….your out of a job.

Other resources that helped me come to my conclusions

 

Governance in SharePoint Server 2010

Governance overview (SharePoint Server 2010)