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Baseline SharePoint Deployment Requirements

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Our customers depend on our expertise and guidance for implementing best practices around the installation and configuration of SharePoint. In some cases, clients would like do as much of the initial setup as they can (prior to us building the Farm) and simply need a few pointers to make sure they ‘get it right’.

The following posts by guest blogger Kevin Talbot contain pertinent setup and configuration information that we typically send to these customers so that they can begin infrastructure rollout while we’re working on the Farm design:

  1. SharePoint Hardware and Software Requirements
  2. Creating a Slipstream Install Source for SharePoint
  3. Creating a base SharePoint Server Virtual Machine
  4. Additional Setup Requirements for SharePoint
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Written by Kevin Talbot

May 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Deployment

SharePoint Hardware and Software Requirements

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This is a guest post by Kevin Talbot in the Baseline SharePoint Deployment Requirements series. Articles in this series include:

  1. SharePoint Hardware and Software Requirements
  2. Creating a Slipstream SharePoint Install Source for SharePoint
  3. Creating a Base SharePoint Server VM
  4. Additional Setup Requirements for SharePoint

SharePoint 2010

The requirements below represent the requirements for typical SharePoint 2010 Farms.  Please refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262485(v=office.14).aspx for a complete list of requirements for a wider range of farm types

Hardware Requirements – Web Servers and Application Servers

Component Minimum requirement
Processor · 64-bit, 4 cores
RAM · 4 GB for developer or evaluation use· 8 GB for production use
Hard disk 80 GB for system drive. You must have sufficient space for the base installation and sufficient space for diagnostics such as logging, debugging, creating memory dumps, and so on. For production use, you also need additional free disk space for day-to-day operations. Maintain twice as much free space as you have RAM for production environments. For more information, see Capacity management and sizing for SharePoint Server 2010.

Hardware Requirements – Database Servers

Component Minimum requirement
Processor · 64-bit, 4 cores for small deployments (typical)· 64-bit, 8 cores for medium deployments
RAM · 8 GB for small deployments (typical)· 16 GB for medium deployments
Hard disk 80 GB for system driveHard disk space depends on how much content that you have in your deployment. For information about how to estimate the amount of content and other databases for your deployment, see Storage and SQL Server capacity planning and configuration (SharePoint Server 2010).

Software Requirements – Database, Web, and Application Servers

Refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262485(v=office.14).aspx#section4 for a detailed list of Software Requirements for SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2013

The requirements below represent our recomendations for typical SharePoint 2013 Farms.  Please refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262485.aspx for a complete list of requirements for a wider range of farm types.

Hardware Requirements – Web Servers and Application Servers

Installation Scenario Deployment type and scale RAM Processor Hard disk space
Web server or application server in a three-tier farm Pilot, user acceptance test, or production deployment of SharePoint Server 2013 16 GB 64-bit, 4 cores 120 GB for system drive

15 GB for Log files

200 GB for Index

Software Requirements – Web Servers and Application Servers

Minimum requirements for front-end web servers and application servers in a farm:

Hardware Requirements – Database Servers

Component Minimum requirement
Processor · 64-bit, 4 cores for small deployments (less than 1,000 users)· 64-bit, 8 cores for medium deployments
RAM · 8 GB for small deployments (less than 1,000 users)· 16 GB for medium deployments
Hard disk 120 GB for system driveHard disk space depends on how much content that you have in your deployment. For information about how to estimate the amount of content and other databases for your deployment, see Storage and SQL Server capacity planning and configuration (SharePoint Server 2010).

Software Requirements – Database Servers

Minimum requirements for a database server in a farm (The KB’s mentioned below ARE REQUIRED for a successful SharePoint 2013 installation and MUST BE INSTALLED MANUALLY:

Written by Kevin Talbot

May 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Deployment

Creating a Slipstream SharePoint Install Source for SharePoint

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This is a guest post by Kevin Talbot in the Baseline SharePoint Deployment Requirements series. Articles in this series include:

  1. SharePoint Hardware and Software Requirements
  2. Creating a Slipstream SharePoint Install Source for SharePoint
  3. Creating a Base SharePoint Server VM
  4. Additional Setup Requirements for SharePoint

SharePoint updates that have been released since the product launch provide fixes and enhancements to the product, and including these updates in a new installation is recommended.  Rather than manually applying the updates after installing SharePoint, you can include them in a ‘slipstream’ mode so that they are automatically installed with SharePoint. The following process outlines creating a slipstreamed installation source for SharePoint:

  1. Create a shared installation source
    1. Create a shared folder in a location accessible by the machines on which you will be installing SharePoint
      1. For example, create a new folder at C:\SPInstall and then share it as ‘SPInstall’
      2. Do this on a physical machine, not on the VM you will be installing SharePoint on
    2. Copy the SharePoint installation media to the shared location
      1. If you have an installation disc, copy the entire contents of the disc to the C:\SPInstall folder
      2. If you have the single-file download version of SharePoint, extract the contents to the shared location with the following command:
        OfficeServer.exe /extract: C:\SPInstall
  2. Obtain the latest Service Pack for SharePoint.  NOTE: If your installation media already includes the latest patch (such as SP1) you can skip this download
    1. The latest service pack for SharePoint 2010 is SP1 and can be downloaded at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2510766
    2. The latest service pack for SharePoint 2013 is SP1 and can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42544
    3. Download the service pack to the C:\SPInstall folder
    4. Even better, download SharePoint Server 2013 with SP1 already included from MSDN or from the Microsoft Volume License site and skip to step 4.
      NOTE: This is the required installer if you’re installing on Windows Server 2012 R2.
      ALSO NOTE: Slipstreaming SP1 into the RTM install source is unsupported; it may seem like it works, but your Farm WILL be broken.
  3. Add the updates to the shared installation source
    1. Extract the contents of the downloaded update file to the Updates folder in the SharePoint installation source with the following command:
      {FileName}.exe /extract:C:\SPInstall\Updates
  4. Obtain the latest Cumulative Update for SharePoint Server
    1. The latest update for SharePoint 2010 can be found at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ff800847.aspx under “latest software updates”
    2. The latest update for SharePoint 2013 can be found at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/jj891062.aspx under “latest software updates”
      1. If the update is a hotfix, it maybe require a specific hotfix request; otherwise, download the file directly to the C:\SPInstall folder.
      2. Hotfixes are delivered as a self-extracting executable file, and you will need to extract the contents to the C:\SPInstall folder.
        1. The extracted file will be named {fielname}.exe’
        2. Once the contents have been extracted, the original downloaded file can be deleted
  5. Add the updates to the shared installation source
    1. The ‘{fielname}.exe’ file contains Windows Installer Patch (.msp) files and .xml files
    2. Extract the contents of the ‘{fielname}.exe’ file to the Updates folder in the SharePoint installation source with the following command:
      {fielname}.exe /extract:C:\SPInstall\Updates

Now, when you install SharePoint Server from this shared location, any service packs and cumulative updates will automatically be installed as well.

Written by Kevin Talbot

May 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Posted in Deployment

Creating a Base SharePoint Server VM

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This is a guest post by Kevin Talbot in the Baseline SharePoint Deployment Requirements series. Articles in this series include:

  1. SharePoint Hardware and Software Requirements
  2. Creating a Slipstream SharePoint Install Source for SharePoint
  3. Creating a Base SharePoint Server VM
  4. Additional Setup Requirements for SharePoint

Follow the steps below to create a base virtual machine image (I typically name it something like ‘SP2010Base’ or ‘SP2013Base’):

  1. Install Windows Server Operating System:
    • SharePoint 2010:
      • The 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, Data Center, or Web Server with SP2;
      • the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise, Data Center, or Web Server;
      • or the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Standard, Enterprise, Data Center, or Web Server.
      • If you are running Windows Server 2008 with SP1, the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool installs Windows Server 2008 SP2 automatically
    • SharePoint 2013:
      • The 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter, or
      • the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter
    • SharePoint 2013 WITH Service Pack 1
      • The 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter, or
      • Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter, or
      • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter
  2. Do not join a domain
  3. Apply any and all Windows Updates that are available
  4. Install OS Anti-Virus of choice
    • Microsoft Security Essentials is free and low-impact
    • If you have a managed anti-virus solution based on domain membership you can delay the anti-virus installation for now
  5. Install any system management or utility software that is common to all servers in your environment
    • BGInfo, for example
    • OPTIONAL: Shut down and capture a copy of the VM at this point to use for a generic Windows server template VM or for your SQL servers
  6. Launch the SharePoint installer from the slipstreamed install source and install the pre-requisites
    • reboot server as necessary during this step as SharePoint installs components and configures the server
  7. Install SharePoint (specifying I:\SharePointIndex as the default index location).
    • At the end of installation, UNCHECK the box offering to run the configuration wizard.
  8. Shut down the VM and make a copy of it (Export/Import)
    • Name the copy something like ‘SP2010_Sysprep’ or ‘SP2013_Sysprep’)
    • Keeping a copy of the pre-sysprep version of the VM allows for greater flexibility to refresh the ‘template’ VMin the future (e.g. new service packs or updates).
  9. Boot up the new Sysprep VM and run sysprep.exe (found in C:\windows\system32\sysprep) using these options:
    082812_0017_Creatingaba1
  10. Once the VM shuts down, it is ready for cloning when you need a new SharePoint server

That’s the general process to create a base SharePoint VM that can be quickly cloned when you need a new SharePoint server. Once the clone of the sysprep’d VM is booted, the mini-setup portion of a windows install will start, allowing you to specify the machine name, domain membership, etc.

Typical Drive Layout for a production SharePoint server

Drive Letter Name Size Type Notes
C: System 120GB Dynamic  
I: Index >= 100GB Physical (or Fixed Size) For Search Index; ideally a physical/pass-through disk with good throughput
L: Logs 15GB Dynamic SharePoint logs (Diagnostic, Usage, etc.) – configure log expiration/limits to keep this drive from running out of space
T: (Otional) Temp 2.5*RAM + 10GB Dynamic %TEMP% environment variable points here; also used for ‘swap’ file (virtual memory); this vhd/vmdk file should be on a physical drive/spindle/volume separate from the volume hosting the System (C:) drive virtual disk, if possible

Written by Kevin Talbot

May 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Deployment

Additional Setup Requirements for SharePoint

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This is a guest post by Kevin Talbot in the Baseline SharePoint Deployment Requirements series. Articles in this series include:

  1. SharePoint Hardware and Software Requirements
  2. Creating a Slipstream SharePoint Install Source for SharePoint
  3. Creating a Base SharePoint Server VM
  4. Additional Setup Requirements for SharePoint

The TechNet article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662513.aspx describes the accounts required for setup.

SQL Server Service Account

In most cases an in-house SQL team already has SQL running so there is nothing for us to do on this one.  Please refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662513.aspx for details should you need to create the SQL accounts

Setup User Account

The setup account is used (logged in as) to install and configure SharePoint (and to run Maestro if using it for Farm creation). We typically name this account SPInstall and use it after install for initial Farm Administration tasks that are not delegated to a specific user. This account will have Full Control over every Farm Setting and though it won’t automatically have permissions in the sites created it will have the ability to grant itself those permissions. This should be considered a HIGHLY privileged account and controlled appropriately.

SPInstall will initially be the only account with permission to run commands via PowerShell. You should grant your intended farm administrators this access by running the Add-SPShellAdmin commandlet after installation of the files has completed.

Requirements for SPInstall account:

  • Domain user account
  • Member of the local Administrators group on all SharePoint servers (not SQL)
  • Granted login to SQL Server and assigned to the dbcreator and securityadmin fixed server roles

Server Farm Account

This account is used as the main service account for the SharePoint farm. The Central Administration website will run under this account as well as the following Windows Services:

  • SharePoint Timer
  • Forefront Identity Manager Service
  • Forefront Identity Manager Synchronization Service

We typically name this account SPFarm and though it is used to run services it should never be used to login to any machine or to SharePoint sites as it will have service-level administrative rights to the farm. This should be considered a HIGHLY privileged account and controlled appropriately.

Requirements for SPFarm account:

  • Domain user account (service)
  • Member of the local Users group on all SharePoint servers

NOTE: Maestro can create this account if it is not present in Active Directory.

Other Service Accounts

The TechNet article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc678863.aspx describes the other accounts that are required for running distinct SharePoint services and websites. Maestro can create all of the necessary accounts (as defined in the Composer map) provided the user running Maestro has [credentials for an account with] permissions to create new accounts in Active Directory.

IMPORTANT: A decision should be made ASAP as to whether or not these accounts will be created by Maestro or created manually. If they will be created with Maestro then we will need either:

  • SPInstall granted rights to create new AD accounts temporarily during installation and configuration, or
  • The username and password of an account that has rights to create new AD accounts

If the accounts will be pre-created, we will need to know the passwords for them to either enter into the Composer map or to enter manually during the Maestro run.

Additional Requirements

  1. Refer to this post for all Hardware and Software requirements on the server
  2. No roles or features need to be added to the base Windows install as the pre-requisites installation will handle it.
  3. Unless we want to do an ‘offline’ installation of the SharePoint pre-requisites (not fun) then all SharePoint servers will need Internet access during installation.
  4. All SharePoint servers should be able to access the shared slipstream installation source location on the network.

Decisions to be made:

  1. Will service accounts be pre-created or will Maestro be used to create them?
  2. Will the three environments share service accounts or will there be a separate set for each environment?
    1. Example: SPSearch used for search in QA, UAT, and PROD or separate SPSearch_QA, SPSearch_UAT, SPSearch_PROD.
    2. I typically suggest using the same set of accounts across environments as it is less to manage but some organizations have strict policies about this.
  3. Where will the service accounts be stored in Active Directory (LDAP path)?
    1. Typically, an OU is created specifically for Service Accounts and you might already have one.
    2. Windows Server 2008 R2 domains include a container for ‘Managed Service Accounts’ by default and this is a good location.

Written by Kevin Talbot

May 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Deployment