SharePoint 2010 provides a container approach to partitioning information, security boundaries and infrastructure:



When you design your SharePoint governance strategy, you can apply decisions on how the platform is divided at each layer in the model.  For example, you might have a content structure that looks like this:


In this case, we see a single farm, a single content database and several sites organized under two site collections.  If using the new multi-tenant features in SharePoint 2010 or start adding in multiple content databases, the ability to partition sites is even more flexible.

The decisions you make on how you partition using this model can have a significant impact on your overall governance strategy in the following ways:

  • Each layer in the model can be assigned to different management roles, e.g. Farm Administrator, Site Collection Administrator, Tenant Administrator, Site Owner, etc.
  • Some of the layers (infrastructure, content database, farm) have impacts on physical infrastructure and therefore need to be carefully considered in order to meet performance, availability and security requirements
  • The site collection boundary in particular can have significant impacts on how taxonomy, navigation, deployed features, etc. are available to sites within their boundary
  • Permissions and security can be assigned all the way from the entire farm to individual objects stored within a single site.  The level of granularity you use to manage these rules will have an impact on your operational model.

A mature governance strategy should define how the SharePoint implementation will be partitioned and the policies, guidelines or roles and responsibilities for each partition.