Replicator for SharePoint by Metalogix (previously Syntergy): Easy to Install, Quick to Configure

Written by Ron Charity. Posted in Administration & Infrastructure

review5 (Rating: 5 out of 5)

Review Summary: The Syntergy Replicator for SharePoint provides inter-farm replication services for MOSS 2007 and WWW v3.0. The installation and configuration manuals are well written and provide you with screen shots so you know where to find things and have a sense of context no matter what step you’re in during setup. The user interface matches SharePoint’s look and feel to help reduce the learning curve of administrators. Assuming you have both farms within your grasp, you should be able to setup and configure simple replication within an hour - of course this doesn't include change control and having recent full backups before doing anything to a production system.

Replication Technology Overview

Many clients I work with are global in nature and have multiple farms located on the major continents. As these clients develop their information and technical SharePoint architectures, they find functionality gaps in the core product. One of these gaps is replication, both at the farm and client level. Specifically, at the farm level, functionality to replicate sites to other farms isn’t possible. Additionally, replicating sites to the workstation (unless you have Office 2007) isn’t as robust as it could be.

So why are replication functions required? The following are some quick data points for determining whether you require replication technologies:

  • Geographically Separated Workforce
    • Slow performance between distributed locations
      • Branch office, subsidiaries
      • Mobile divisions
      • Ships, platforms, construction sites
  • Logically Separated Environments
    • Intranets/extranets
    • Outsourcing site
  • SharePoint Migrations – SPS 2003 > SPS 2003/2007
    • Multiple live sites
  • Lotus Notes matching functionality

For site level replication, an organization might have a need to replicate marketing, product and/or Human Resources information to other continents. Instead of recreating the materials, replicating would be a simple way of creating and maintaining the sites. For client level replication, being able to work on documents and/or tasks contained within a site while on the road is advantageous. Being able to replicate the site to your workstation, making edits and then syncing with the site when back on line boosts usage of sites. Some might argue that Groove could be used for this, but with Groove only document libraries sync. 

Syntergy Replicator for SharePoint

For site level replication, Syntergy offers a solution that is a simple installation on the SharePoint farms Web Front End servers. Syntergy Replicator, unlike IORAs product doesn’t require additional hardware (servers, OS software and data center space) to replicate between farms.

Some other benefits include:

  • Immediate or scheduled replication
  • No network traffic unless a change is made
  • Support for checkin/checkout
  • Flexible architecture, works on the existing SharePoint servers
  • Support for all list types in full read/write bi-directional mod

The installation (change control aside) takes a few minutes and planning the replication scheme for a simple information architecture, a few hours. To plan the replication an organization must take into account the Information Architecture requirements and bandwidth limitations of their network.

Once installed, your administration console is modified to include a “Replication Map” feature. The replicator is fully integrated into SharePoint interface, Granularity at the list level and Check-in/out, user permissions, meta-data events are replicated. The following figure depicts the “Manage Map” console.

screenshot1
Figure 1 - Manage Map

As you can see from Figure 1, the Syntergy product has an exact look and feel of the SharePoint administration pages, which simplifies the learning curve of SharePoint administrators.

When selecting which lists within a site to replicate, the Syntergy provides list level configuration (since you might chose not to replicate the entire site, only documents, for example) as depicted in this figure 2:

 

screenshot2
Figure 2 - Selecting Lists


For more information visit the vendor website and look for their Replicator for SharePoint product.

More on SharePoint Replication: Top 5 Requrements for Server-to-Server Replication

 
Ron Charity
Author: Ron CharityWebsite: http://ronjcharity.wordpress.com/
Ron has worked with SharePoint since its Tahoe beginnings and has done a variety of work for clients in different industries and countries. Currently Ron works for a large US bank designing and deploying scalable and versatile SharePoint solutions.

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