SharePoint Solution Deploy, retract, upgrade – What causes your SharePoint farm to go offline IISRESET (web server outage).

You may have had questions or have had others ask you:

Does a WSP deployment (Install-SPSolution) cause a farm outage?
Does a WSP deploy perform an IISRESET?
We are upgrading (Update-SPSolution) a solution, will it cause an outage?
What causes an outage when working with SharePoint WSP files?

Over the years, I have had many discussions / meetings with clients & colleagues about this and I would like to publish my findings and the links that I have had with me for a while. Let’s clarify this ambiguity:

Here are answers straight up in three scenarios:

1. Deploying a solution
Do you need to prepare for a SharePoint WFE & Farm outage / IISRESET?: Yes, it stops all Web Application app pools and then starts them all at the end.

2. Retracting a solution

Do you need to prepare for a SharePoint WFE & Farm outage / IISRESET?: Yes

Upgrading a solution

Do you need to prepare for a SharePoint WFE & Farm outage / IISRESET?: Yes, it stops all Web Application app pools and then starts them all at the end.

 

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SharePoint Upgrade Checker

As I was looking around, I came across this upgrade check command in stsadm
This command scans your farm servers before starting an upgrade to ensure that some of the prerequisties are met for a successful upgrade.
This is only a guide and will not fix the problems itself.
Remember to work on a development environment and not production. Backup anything before you touch it  – even if its your development environment!