SharePoint 2010 User Profile Sync Service

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One of the big bugbears I’m having with SharePoint 2010 is the User Profile Syncronisation Service (UPSS). It has been a struggle on and off over many weeks, and I just cannot get it to work properly on our intranet farm. I’ve ready many, many well documented guides on how to configure UPSS, but never had a sucessful sync occur. There seems to be a general consensus online that UPSS is problematic.

In my attempts, I’ve played around with Forefront Identity Manager, applied hotfixes, recreated the service application and just about everything inbetween. After everything I have tried, I’m getting pointed down the route of starting again. The other complication is that the farm went unoffically into production, and now most of the organisation is using it. This makes it very difficult to be able to safely perform configuration changes and restart IIS without a lot of screaming from the end users. The situation has also been escalated as it appears no audiences can be applied due to he UPSS not currently being operational.

I recalled while reading Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration the notion of a Services Farm that does nothing else than provide SharePoint services to be consumed. This was reinforced at the Australian TechEd session SharePoint storage and physical architecture best practices. In summary, these services can be published from a Services Farm and consumed by one or more other farms. This can save a lot of duplication of effort, and instead of having UPSS, search, managed metadata etc for each farm, it can be consolidated and save the computing and operational resources to manage those.

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Following this idea, I have planned out how I would like to see this work in my current environment, I also have the added requirement that HR may potentially wish to have their own, secure farm. This helps support my arguement going forward, and allows us to be flexible:

SharePoint UPSS Plan

I’ll post an update once I have this configured, hopefully I’ll have a chance within the next week to get this operational.

UPDATE: I’ve made significant headway on setting this up, and now compiling my ultimate guide to UPSS, MySites, Social Connectivity, People Search and Trusted Farms!

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