SharePoint 2010 tip 1: Prerequisites
SharePoint servers have a set of prerequisites that you need to have installed first on any server you want to run SharPoint. These include the Microsoft Filter Pack 2.0, the Sync Framework Runtime 1.0, and various hotfixes. The prerequisites are typically installed through an Internet connection your server will most likely have.
However, there are times when that server may not have an outside connection to the Internet or you may simply want to make the install more convenient for multiple servers. In those cases, you can download the prerequisites to a network share, and if you pack the files into an ISO, they can be mounted easily.
When you have the prequesite files together, look at the PrerequisitesInstaller.exe utility on the SharePoint DVD and simply run it with the /? flag to get the various command-line options.
SharePoint 2010 tip 2: Installation
Installing SharePoint is complicated, but it's definitely improved since SharePoint 2007, thanks to an easy-to-use wizard that does most of the installation work. However, if you've ever seen the SQL-side nightmare that is left behind after the Farm Configuration Wizard completes, you know that the GUID extensions appended to all the databases created in SQL make for quite a mess.
CodePlex has provided the AutoSPInstaller tool to both help make the overall SharePoint install even easier than it already is and provide for much nicer SQL database names than Microsoft's tool does.
SharePoint 2010 tip 3: Upgrade
If you are upgrading rather than doing a fresh install, you have different options. but the short of it is that you can perform an in-place upgrade, do a database-attach upgrade, or go with a hybrid approach. Before you decide or your plan, you might want to run a Microsoft-provided tool called the pre-upgrade checker. The tool reports back on the status of your environment and the SharePoint sites within that environment, as well as on its upgrade readiness, alternate access mapping settings, installed elements, unsupported customizations, orphaned objects, valid configuration settings, and database requirements.
To run the tool, you have to first make sure SharePoint 2007 is upgraded to SP2. Then you navigate through an administrative command prompt to the %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\bin, type stsadm.exe -o preupgradecheck, and read the results.
SharePoint 2010 tip 4: Extending the Web application for alternate access mappings
One cool feature of SharePoint 2010 is its ability to provide different URLs to access the same site or site collection. This is done through a feature called Alternate Access Mappings. AAMs are great for when you want to load balance SharePoint or make it work with reverse proxies like Forefront TMG. They're also well-suited for providing access to the same sites through different authentication methods.
However, to accomplish this, you need to perform a task called extending (or cloning) your Web application. By extending the Web application, you can provide different authentication methods through five separate zones (Default, Intranet, Internet, Extranet, and Custom) with different URLs. This is incredibly helpful if you have a site that is, for example, aimed at both intranet and extranet users, but you want to provide only HTTP access for intranet users and deploy claims-based authentication for extranet users. By extending the Web application and establishing a new zone for extranet users, you can establish unique authentication and a unique URL for those users.
SharePoint 2010 tip 5: Achieving a 1:1 site collection/content database ratio
In SharePoint 2010, you'll find interesting scalability facts about content databases and site collections. For example, although you can place multiple site collections in a single content database within SQL, the typical size recommendation per site collection is 100GB, and 200GB is the recommended maximum size for a content database. That 200GB recommendation is not a cap: Content databases can grow, but for the sake of performance, Microsoft recommends the 200GB limit. However, 200GB goes quickly, so the wise move is to create additional content databases and move site collections into them so that you have a 1:1 ratio of site collection and content database.