Gather Requirements for your SharePoint 2010 Upgrade:
Hardware and Software Requirements –
Now that you know the differences between your old and new environments, as well as which browsers you’ll support, and how many users you expect. It’s time to outline the remaining Hardware and Software environments for your SharePoint Farm.
Do you need to upgrade your Farm OS to Windows Server 2008? If so, you’ll (obviously) need to do this prior to running your SharePoint installation.
Additionally, you need to determine if you are going to upgrade SQL Server to 2008 or 2005/SP3 (64-bit). Either is fine, but it would be wise to consider the longevity of your solution and choose your back-end accordingly.
Features and Services –
What Service Applications will you deploy and where? Will you put them all on one Web Application, or will you split them up across the farm? How many of them will you deploy? What other features do you plan to incorporate into your portal?
What Custom Web Parts will you have? Do you have any 3rd party components that haven’t been tested with SharePoint 2010? Will you be incorporating customized applications and/or building composite applications? What about workflows, dashboards, etc? Remember: It’s KEY to get user input at this stage.
Don’t forget to run the pre-upgrade checker to identify your current customizations.
Also, what Site Definitions do you currently have that are custom? Are there any Custom Features deployed in your environment? Team site or landing page templates? Other custom web parts or UI Components? The Pre-Upgrade checker will help you catch any that you may have forgotten about.
What kind of downtime can your business tolerate? Hopefully, you took this into consideration in the last step while choosing your upgrade approach. Now, let’s make sure you document the downtime requirements and how you plan to execute and/or fall-back should the need arise.
How will you brand your portal? Everyone wants to make it “not look like SharePoint”. With SharePoint 2010, it’s much easier than ever. How far will you take it? Will you use the built-in templates? Will you take it further and use the visual template editor included with SharePoint? Or… if you dare… will you go all out? You decide!
Now, quit daydreaming and write it all down!!!