SharePoint on Windows Server 2008 – Building the framework

This weekend I undertook the fun of building out a medium sized farm on my personal development hardware with my trusty MSDN license that I bought for my own personal use to begin testing a few pieces of code I’ve been working on as well as to have a play ground to work through occasional architectures, web part testing and diagnosing issues.  Oh, and the fact that I’ve not had the opportunity to work with Windows Server 2008 all that much, so I figured why not go ahead and build out an environment to get my hands dirty and learn the ins and outs?

So the first part to the madness that should be understood is that IIS 7 (standard for Windows Server 2008) is a lot more granular in nature than IIS 6 which is the standard web publishing application on Windows Server 2003.  From even when you’re starting your installation of the Web Server role to installing the individual components, it’s far more granular and modular, and probably confusing to some administrators that are used to just clicking “IIS” from Add/Remove Program in Server 2003.

So where to begin, well, once you’ve got your Windows Server 2008 box up, operational, patched, service packed, sysprepped (if you’re using Virtuals, you end up requiring that you have different SIDs and computer names right?), IP’d and joined to a domain, the fun begins in installing just the framework prior to SharePoint.

Step 1 – Open up the Server Manager, this typically appears when you power on the server, but if not, you should be able to find it fairly easily from the start menu.  Select and expand the roles label from the tree in the left pane, then select “Add Roles” from the right pane.

1 - Server Manager - Roles

Step 2 –   If this is your first time installing a role, this would probably be helpful to read “Before You Begin”.  Definitely read through it at least once, after that, feel free to click the check box to skip it in all future instances.  Click on Next.

2 - Before You Begin

Step 3 – Select the Web Server role from the list of server roles. Note that you will be prompted to select additional features for the Web Server role to operate properly.  Select “Add Required Features” else turn and back away, and perhaps reconsider what you’re looking to do.

3 - Add features required for Web Server

Step 4 – Once you’ve accepted the need for additional “required” features to be installed, you should see something like the below stating that you have selected the “Web Server (IIS)”.  Click on Next.

4 - Select Server Roles - Web Server

Step 5 – The role installation wizard presents an overview of the Web Server (IIS) role which again is fairly useful for an administrator to read through the first time.  Click Next.

5 - Introduction to Web Server IIS

Step 6 – Select the individual server roles that you require for your SharePoint installation.  I’ve found that the basic role services that are installed with IIS 7 are barebones, which from a security posture is fairly helpful so as to not have to remove several roles, but it will make you stop and think through what roles you do indeed to make the system operational.

6 - Select Role Services - Default IIS

Step 7 – The first thing to select of course to make your platform usable by SharePoint is the ASP.NET development platform.  Once you’ve selected this, you will be prompted to add additional roles that are required for ASP.NET.  Select the “Add Required Role Services” else, much like before, be prepared to have a difficult time installing SharePoint services on your server.

7 - Add role services required for ASP.NET

Step 8 – Select the additional roles that will assist in your SharePoint implementation, in my case this also includes “Logging Tools” to diagnose issues that may come up.

8 - Select the role services to install for Web Server - Logging Tools

9 – Select the appropriate authentication providers that you wish to be able to utilize.  For me, I’m going with a fairly vanilla SharePoint installation and configuration, so I’ll select “Windows Authentication”.

9 - Select the role services to install for Web Server - Windows Authentication

10 – Additionally, so as to not bother with going back and installing later, I’ve selected the “IIS Management Scripts and Tools”.

10 - Select the role services to install for Web Server - IIS Management Scripts and Tools

11 – Lastly, the “Management Service” to be able to better manage the IIS 7 instance on the server from the server or remotely.

11 - Select the role services to install for Web Server - Management Service

12 – After selecting the roles that are appropriate to support your SharePoint services installation, click on Next, which then will bring you to a page that lists all of the components that you are looking to install.  Do a quick read through to ensure that you’ve got the components, roles and features that you require and click on Install.

12 - Confirm Installation Selections 

13 – Observe the installation process as can be seen here:

13 - Install Progress - Part I

14 – After a few minutes, the installation progress bar will complete and an installation results page similar to this will be presented.  Click on Close after you’ve observed that your installation results were successful.

15 - Installation Results

15 – After you’ve completed your IIS 7 installation, you’ll see that there are 24 installed role services related to IIS running and operational on the server through the Service Manager roles summary.

16 - Roles Summary Post Installation

Next on Tap:

SharePoint Meetup – 4.4.2009 – Wrap-up

The SharePoint Meetup on Saturday, 4 April 2009 at La Madeline’s in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia went very well, with a diverse crowd of SharePoint professionals from the community coming out to discuss certifications, training and career paths.  Additionally it was great to meet other individuals and hear about some of the training that they’ve taken, what they liked, what they didn’t like and what they’re looking to pursue in the future.

I’ll be putting together a short presentation deck on this topic for anyone that’s curious as to what’s certifications are available, best tips for training and what to consider for if you’re looking to go down a particular career path or another.

Next Meetup will be on 2 May 2009 at the SharePoint Saturday DC event at the Reston MTC in Virginia.

SharePoint Meetup DC – 4 April 2009

For those of you in the greater DC region, looking to steer clear of the congestion and traffic downtown at the Cherry Blossom Festival, interested in collaboration and technology, then come on out to the SharePoint Meetup at Tyson’s La Madeline’s at 4 PM today.

It’s a pretty laid back group getting together for coffee, tea, wine and other beverages (buy your own beverage) chatting about their experiences with SharePoint.