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Provision SharePoint Online Site Collections

Objective 2.2: Create SharePoint site collection

This objective deals with creating and managing SharePoint site collections. To master this objective, you’ll need to understand how to configure a user as a site collection administrator, how to configure resource quotas, how to apply storage quotas, and other aspects of managing site collections within SharePoint Online.

Understanding site collection administrators

Site collection administrators are users who have permission to manage SharePoint Online at the top of a specified site collection. A site collection administrator has permissions over all content in the site collection, including all subsites. Each site collection is a separate permissions root. For example, a site collection that has the URL http://contoso347er.sharepoint.com/sites/Research does not have the same permissions as the site collection http://contoso347er.sharepoint.com.

A site collection has only one primary administrator, but can have multiple site collection administrators. A primary site collection administrator receives administrative email alerts for the site collection.

To configure site collection administrators for a site collection, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. Click Site Collections.
  4. In the list of Site Collections, select the site for which you want to configure the site collection administrators. Figure 2-21 shows the site collection https://contoso347er.sharepoint.com/sites/TeamSiteTemp selected.

    FIGURE 2-21

    FIGURE 2-21 Site Collections

  5. In the Site Collections section, click Owners and then click Manage Administrators as shown in Figure 2-22.

    FIGURE 2-22

    FIGURE 2-22 Manage Administrators

  6. On the Manage Administrators dialog box, you can change the name of the Primary Site Collection Administrator, which is set when the site collection is created, and add the names of additional Site Collection Administrators. Figure 2-23 shows Don Funk set as the Primary Site Collection Administrator with Kim Akers and Dan Jump set as Site Collection Administrators.

    FIGURE 2-23

    FIGURE 2-23 Manage Administrators

  7. You can use the Check Names button to verify that the names entered are correct. When entering more than one name in the Site Collection Administrators text box, separate each name using a semicolon.
  8. Click OK to assign the site collection administrator settings to the site collection.

Understanding resource quotas

Server resources are a numerical way of representing server resources, including RAM and CPU utilization. Each SharePoint Online deployment is allocated a server resource figure based on the number of user licenses. This server resource figure is shared across all site collections. You can view the amount of resources available for a collection on the Site Collections page. Figure 2-24 shows a tenancy where 5,300 resources are available.

FIGURE 2-24

FIGURE 2-24 Resource quotas

Organizations that have customized site collections or sandboxed solutions can use resource quotas to ensure that resources, such as server CPU and RAM, aren’t exhausted across the tenancy. If the number of resources used in a 24-hour period exceeds the resources available, SharePoint Online turns off the sandbox. When the sandbox is turned off, custom code will not run. The sandbox will be turned back on when the 24-hour period expires and the resource number is reset.

By applying resource quotas to specific collections, administrators can ensure that custom code running in specific site collections does not deplete all server resources assigned to the tenancy. Purchasing extra user licenses will increase the overall resource allocation to the tenancy.

To configure a resource quota for a specific site collection, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. Click Site Collections.
  4. Select the site collection for which you want to configure the resource quota and then click Server Resource Quota. Figure 2-25 shows the site collection https://contoso347er.sharepoint.com/sites/TeamSiteTemp selected.

    FIGURE 2-25

    FIGURE 2-25 Site Collections

  5. On the Set Server Resource Quota page, specify the number of server resources to be assigned to the collection. You can also configure an email to be sent to the primary site collection administrator when the resource utilization reaches a specific percentage of the assigned quota. Figure 2-26 shows a quota set to 300 and an email alert configured to be sent when the quota reached 95 percent.

    FIGURE 2-26

    FIGURE 2-26 Server Resource Quota

  6. Click Save to apply the new quota to the site collection.

Using SharePoint Online Public Websites

SharePoint Online Public Websites were a feature that allowed organizations to create an online presence accessible to clients on the Internet without requiring authentication. As of March 2015, the SharePoint Online Public Website feature was not available to new Office 365 customers. Existing Office 365 customers will be able to use the SharePoint Online Public Website feature until March 2017. While this feature appears in the current 70-347 exam objectives, the feature becoming unavailable means that items related to it will be withdrawn from the exam.

Setting storage quota for site collection

Storage quotas determine how much storage space can be used. Office 365 tenancies are allocated an amount of storage space for SharePoint Online based on the number of users associated with the tenancy. The amount of storage space allocated to SharePoint Online uses the formula 10 GB plus 500 MB per user. For example, if an organization has 40 users associated with its Office 365 tenancy, the amount of storage space allocated to SharePoint Online is: 10 GB plus (500 MB * 40) equals 20 GB. It’s possible for organizations to purchase additional storage on top of this initial allocation, as needed. Additional storage is allocated and on a GB per month basis. A site collection can be allocated a maximum of 1 TB of storage.

You can view the current amount of storage allocated to the tenancy by performing the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. Click Site Collections. In the Site Collections area, you will be able to see the resources available as well as the remaining storage available. Figure 2-27 shows 30.42 GB available out of 30.45 GB.

    FIGURE 2-27

    FIGURE 2-27 Storage use

This storage allocation is available to all site collections associated with the tenant. It functions as a central storage pool from which all SharePoint Online storage can be allocated.

You can purchase additional storage for a tenancy by performing the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. In the Site Collections area, shown in Figure 2-28, click Buy Storage.

    FIGURE 2-28

    FIGURE 2-28 Site Collections menu

  4. You will need to re-sign in to Office 365 with an account with tenancy Administrator permissions or Billing Administrator permissions.
  5. On the Manage Subscription page, select the subscription that you would like to add additional storage to and click the Add More link next to the text that indicates the number of current licenses.
  6. In the section named Optional Add-Ons, enter the additional storage in GB that you want to add to the tenancy. It is not necessary to enter information in the user license field, though you can also use this section of the Manage Subscription page to add additional user licenses to a subscription.
  7. Click Add licenses and then click Place Order.

There are two ways of allocating storage:

  • Automatically You can choose to use the pooled storage model.
  • Manually Allows you to manually configure storage allocations on a per-site collection basis.

Pooled storage model

The pooled storage model is a feature of SharePoint Online introduced in 2015. The pooled storage model allows SharePoint Online to manage storage automatically rather than storage management being a task performed manually by an administrator. The pooled storage model will be the default setting for new subscriptions created after late 2015.

If your organization has an existing Office 365 subscription, will need to enable the pooled storage model manually. When you do this, SharePoint Online removes the existing limits that you have configured for site collections and reset the limits to 1 TB.

To configure an Office 365 tenancy to use the pooled storage model for SharePoint Online, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center as shown in Figure 2-29.

    FIGURE 2-29

    FIGURE 2-29 SharePoint Admin Center

  3. In the SharePoint Admin Center, select Settings, as shown in Figure 2-30.

    FIGURE 2-30

    FIGURE 2-30 Settings

  4. Under Site Collection Storage Management, select Auto and then click OK. Note that the pooled storage feature is being rolled out in 2015. The Site Collection Storage Management area might not be available through the settings section of all Office 365 subscriptions until the end of 2015.

Per-site collection storage management

The default option for Office 365 tenancies created before mid-2015 was that storage management occurred on a per-site collection basis. If you have switched to the pooled storage model and want to switch back, or have an Office 365 tenancy created after mid-2015, you can switch to per-site collection storage management by performing the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. In the Settings section, in the Site Collection Management area, select Manual and then click OK. The Site Collection Storage Management area might not be available through the settings section of all Office 365 subscriptions until the end of 2015.

Setting site collection storage limits

You can configure storage limits on a per site-collection basis. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. Select the Site Collections area as shown in Figure 2-31.

    FIGURE 2-31

    FIGURE 2-31 List of Site Collections

  4. Select the site collection for which you want to configure the quota. Figure 2-32 shows the selection of the site collection with the URL https://contoso347er.sharepoint.com/sites/TeamSiteTemp.

    FIGURE 2-32

    FIGURE 2-32 Site Collection selected

  5. On the Site Collections toolbar, click Storage Quota.
  6. On the Set Storage Quota dialog box, shown in Figure 2-33, configure the following options and then click Save:

    • Limit Storage Quota For Each Selected Site Collection To A Maximum Of This option allows you to configure the maximum amount of storage allocated to each site collection. A figure of 0 indicates that no quota is set for the site collection.
    • Send Email To Site Collection Administrators When A Site Collection’s Storage Reaches Allows you to configure an email to be automatically sent after the storage allocated to the site collection reaches the specified percentage.
    FIGURE 2-33

    FIGURE 2-33 Storage Quota

Managing site collections

A user with SharePoint Online Administrator permissions is able to create, delete, and restore deleted site collections.

Creating site collections

To create a site collection, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. In the site collections area, shown in Figure 2-34, click New and then click Private Site Collection.

    FIGURE 2-34

    FIGURE 2-34 Create Site Collection

  4. On the New Site Collection page, shown in Figure 2-35, provide the following information and click OK:

    • Title The name of the site collection.
    • Website Address Allows you to specify the address of the website. Drop-down menus allow you to select the domain name and the URL path. The URL path can either have /sites/ or /teams/ after the domain name.
    • Template Selection Allows you to select which template to use for the site collection. Available templates are separated across the following categories: Collaboration, Enterprise, Publishing, and Custom. You also use this section to select a language from a drop-down list. Choosing the correct language at this stage of the process is critical because it is not possible to alter the language selection for the site collection after the collection is created. You can enable SharePoint’s multiple language interface on a site collection, but the primary language will always be the one selected during site collection creation.
    • Time Zone Allows you to specify the time zone for the site collection.
    • Administrator Use this option to specify the administrator of the site collection. You can type the user name, or browse for a site collection administrator. You can alter the site collection administrator after the creation of the site collection.
    • Storage Quota Use this option to specify the storage quota in GB for the site collection up to a maximum value of 1 TB.
    • Server Resource Quota Use this option to specify the resources you want to allocate to this collection in terms of available resources. Resources are a combination of performance metrics related to the execution of code for sandboxed solutions.
    FIGURE 2-35

    FIGURE 2-35 New Site Collection

Delete site collection

As part of ensuring that data stored on SharePoint Online is not retained past the point where no one is using it, you will occasionally need to delete site collections. For example, you might want to delete a site collection used for a specific project that has long since ended. Site collections that you delete are moved to the Recycle Bin. You will read more about the Recycle Bin later in this chapter.

Deleting a site collection deletes the site hierarchy hosted within the collection. It also deletes the following user and content data stored within the site collection, including:

  • Documents and document libraries
  • Lists and list data
  • Site configuration settings
  • Site and subsite role and security information
  • Subsites of the top-level website
  • Web parts
  • Document workspaces
  • Content types
  • User associations

To delete a site collection, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. In the Site Collections area, select the site collection that you want to delete. Figure 2-36 shows the selection of the site collection with the address https://contoso347er.sharepoint.com/sites/TeamSiteTemp.

    FIGURE 2-36

    FIGURE 2-36 Site Collections

  4. In the Site Collections area, shown in Figure 2-37, click Delete.

    FIGURE 2-37

    FIGURE 2-37 Delete Site Collections

  5. On the Delete Site Collections page, shown in Figure 2-38, click Delete.

    FIGURE 2-38

    FIGURE 2-38 Delete Site Collections

Restore deleted site collection

When you delete a SharePoint Online site collection, it is moved to the Recycle Bin for 30 days before it is purged. If you need a site collection restored after this 30-day period has elapsed, you have an additional 14 days in which you can have Microsoft perform the restoration through a Service Request.

You can view the site collections in the Recycle Bin and the number of days remaining before being purged by performing the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. In the Site Collections area, shown in Figure 2-39, click Recycle Bin.

    FIGURE 2-39

    FIGURE 2-39 Recycle Bin

  4. In the Recycle Bin, you can see the list of site collections that have been deleted, and also when deleted, along with the number of days before being purged from the Recycle Bin. Figure 2-40 shows the Recycle Bin.

    FIGURE 2-40

    FIGURE 2-40 Recycle Bin contents

You can restore a deleted site collection under the following circumstances:

  • The site collection has been in the Recycle Bin for less than 30 days.
  • The usage quota for the SharePoint Online tenancy has not been exceeded.
  • The storage quota for the SharePoint Online tenancy has not been exceeded.

Site collection URLs must be unique. This means that an active site collection cannot have the same URL as a deleted site collection that is still in the Recycle Bin. Should you need to create a new site with the same URL as a site in the Recycle Bin, the interface will prompt you to permanently delete the site collection. This will remove the site from the Recycle Bin.

To restore a deleted site collection, perform the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center with a user account that has SharePoint Online administrator privileges.
  2. Under Admin, click SharePoint. This will open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  3. In the Site Collections area, shown in Figure 2-41, click Recycle Bin.

    FIGURE 2-41

    FIGURE 2-41 Recycle Bin

  4. In the Recycle Bin area, select the site collection that you want to restore. Figure 2-42 shows the site collection https://contoso347er.sharepoint.com/sites/TeamSiteTemp selected. Click Restore Deleted Items.

    FIGURE 2-42

    FIGURE 2-42 Recover Site Collection

  5. On the Restore Site Collections page, shown in Figure 2-43, click Restore.

    FIGURE 2-43

    FIGURE 2-43 Restore Site Collections

Objective summary

  • Site collection administrators are users who have permission to manage SharePoint Online at the top of a specified site collection.
  • A site collection administrator has permissions over all content in the site collection, including all subsites.
  • Server resources are a numerical way of representing server resources, including RAM and CPU utilization.
  • Each SharePoint Online deployment is allocated a server resource figure based on the number of user licenses.
  • If the number of resources used in a 24-hour period exceeds the resources available, the sandbox turns off and custom code will not run.
  • SharePoint Online Public Websites is a functionality not available in new Office 365 subscriptions and only available in some existing subscriptions until March 2017.
  • Office 365 tenancies are allocated an amount of storage space for SharePoint Online based on the number of users associated with the tenancy.
  • You can assign storage quotas on a per-site collection basis to limit the amount of storage space consumed by individual site collections.
  • When creating a site collection, you configure the name, URL, primary site collection administrator, template, storage quota, and server resource quota.
  • A deleted site collection can be recovered from the Recycle Bin for 30 days.

Objective review

Answer the following questions to test your knowledge of the information in this objective. You can find the answers to these questions and explanations of why each answer choice is correct or incorrect in the “Answers” section at the end of this chapter.

  1. An organization has 40 users associated with its Office 365 tenancy. You are planning allocation of SharePoint Online storage. How much storage space will be allocated to SharePoint Online by default given this number of users?

    1. 10 GB
    2. 20 GB
    3. 30 GB
    4. 40 GB
  2. What is the maximum amount of storage that can be allocated to an individual SharePoint Online site collection?

    1. 100 GB
    2. 500 GB
    3. 1 TB
    4. 5 TB
  3. You have allocated a 50 GB quota to a SharePoint Online site collection. You want to be notified when 48 GB of that quota has been consumed. Which of the following steps should you take to accomplish this goal?

    1. Set the quota to 48 GB
    2. Set the quota to 52 GB
    3. Set the quota warning email threshold to 48 percent
    4. Set the quota warning email threshold to 96 percent
  4. Which of the following settings cannot be changed after the creation of a site collection?

    1. Site collection administrators
    2. Storage quota
    3. Server resource quota
    4. Primary language
  5. How long do deleted site collections remain in the Recycle Bin before being purged?

    1. 15 days
    2. 30 days
    3. 60 days
    4. 90 days
  6. In which of the following cases will you be unable to recover a site collection from the Recycle Bin? (Choose all that apply.)

    1. Usage quota for the SharePoint Online tenant has been exceeded
    2. Storage quota for SharePoint Online tenant has been exceeded
    3. Site collection was deleted more than 50 days ago
    4. Site collection was deleted less than 20 days ago
  7. How many primary site collection administrators can be assigned to a site collection?

    1. 5
    2. 1
    3. 2
    4. 10
  8. You want to ensure that the custom code running in a specific site collection doesn’t consume all of the CPU and RAM resources allocated to your organization’s SharePoint Online tenancy. Which of the following steps would you take to accomplish this goal?

    1. Configure a storage quota
    2. Configure a resource quota
    3. Configure site collection administrator
    4. Purchase additional user licenses