Categories
Infrastructure

Installing SharePoint 2010 on an Island

Have you found yourself installing SharePoint on an island of sorts – completely disconnected from the Internet, without external DNS connectivity or the ability to download files that are required for SharePoint? Even though you know that the Internet is within reach you’re unable to access it, probably because of an OSI layer 1 network adapter not being plugged in just yet.

So how do you install SharePoint? Where do you pull the prerequisites from? What do you need to grab and transfer via sneakernet?

Island Tree on Lochan na h-Achlaise ~ Rannoch Moor, Scotland

Look no further… Microsoft kindly provides the SharePoint Server 2010 Hardware and Software Requirements which includes links to downloads of the prerequisites in the "Access to Applicable Software" section.

One thing to make note of is the release of the QFE for SharePoint issues addressing "Performance Counter fix and User Impersonation" (KB979917).

Also, something to make note of, while Microsoft has the "Applicable Software" section, it doesn’t exactly give you links that will work when you’re trapped on an island. For instance, the link for the .NET 3.5 Framework with SP1 is for the Bootstrapper which launches to download files from the Internet.  This isn’t exactly useful when you’re in a disconnected environment.  Instead, scroll down and make note of the information pertaining to the Full Redistributable.  Also note that there are updates that need to be downloaded for the .NET 3.5 Framework with SP1 (three of them actually) and an update to re-associate XPS files with the .NET framework.

Alas, there are some caveats… an item to make note of is that as of this writing the SQL Native Client download button from the link provided pushes you to an ill formed HTML page where you have to seek out the SQL Native Client package for downloading purposes.  See below for proper link.

SharePoint Prerequisites  
Server Roles  
Web Server (IIS) role  
Application Server role  
Software Components Link
Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5 SP1 http://go.spdan.com/dotnet35sp1
Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5 SP1 Update http://go.spdan.com/dotnet35sp1u
Update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (KB967190) http://go.spdan.com/wutng
Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 (x64) (English) http://go.spdan.com/yaxrr
Microsoft Sync Framework v1.0 (if other than English) http://go.spdan.com/phusl
Microsoft Filter Pack 2.0 http://go.spdan.com/dmegl
Microsoft Chart Controls for the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 http://go.spdan.com/mvknw
Windows PowerShell 2.0 http://go.spdan.com/fjsbq
SQL Server 2008 Native Client http://go.spdan.com/jvdsx
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services ADOMD.NET http://go.spdan.com/ryziu
ADO.NET Data Services Update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (Server 2008 SP2) http://go.spdan.com/mjrni
ADO.NET Data Services Update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (Server 2008 R2 / 7) http://go.spdan.com/nllmd
A hotfix for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 that provides a method to support token authentication without transport security or message encryption in WCF. (Server 2008 SP2) http://go.spdan.com/ndubn
A hotfix for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 that provides a method to support token authentication without transport security or message encryption in WCF. (Server 2008 R2) http://go.spdan.com/fgpvy
Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) (Server 2008 SP2) http://go.spdan.com/tiqfd
Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) (Server 2008 R2) http://go.spdan.com/zweak
Categories
Administration Infrastructure

SharePoint Server 2007 – December 2009 CU

Microsoft has released the SharePoint 2007 December 2009 Cumulative Update as of 29 January 2010. The cumulative update like all other updates includes all hotfixes since the most recent Service Pack, in this case SP2.

Information pertaining to this cumulative update is available at from the Update Resource Center at:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sharepointserver/bb735839.aspx

The WSS v3 December 2009 CU infopage is available at:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977027

The MOSS 2007 December 2009 CU infopage is available at:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977026

When requesting the appropriate CUs, if you’re downloading from an x86 client machine and your environment is x64 or vice versa, please note the “Show hotfixes for all platforms and languages” text next to “Number 1”.

Some insight from Joerg Sinemus regarding the December 2009 CU:

http://blogs.msdn.com/joerg_sinemus/archive/2009/12/16/wss-and-moss-december-2009-cu.aspx

Last but not least… please remember to test all service packs, cumulative updates and hotfixes in a staging or development environment prior to implementing in your system’s production environment.

Categories
Architecture Comics Infrastructure

AAM – The Bain of search problems…

Alternate Access Mappings

Recently, I rain into an issue where WSS v3 search results weren’t working properly. It ended up being a pretty simple fix in that the web application authentication setup (basic versus integrated windows authentication) with the alternate access mappings weren’t configured properly.  After a little bit of modification to the settings, wallah, things worked magnificently.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with AAM, definitely a topic that you should be familiar with to ensure that you architect your solutions properly in the first place so that search problems, among others don’t come back to bite you or your developers in the long run.

Configuring AAM (TechNet) – http://go.spdan.com/configureaam
Planning AAM (TechNet) – http://go.spdan.com/planaam
AAM in SP (21Apps) – http://go.spdan.com/ytsrf
Using AAM (To the SharePoint) – http://go.spdan.com/jkany
What every Admin needs to know about AAM (SP Blog) – http://go.spdan.com/wdykn
Advanced Admin Architecture, Deployment, Operations (TechEd 08) – http://go.spdan.com/snmfp

Categories
Architecture Events Infrastructure SmartCard

SharePoint Saturday – DC

This past weekend, SharePoint Saturday visited the local Northern Virginia region with SharePoint Saturday DC, hosted at the Microsoft Technology Center in Reston, VA. It was a great time with 28 sessions led by SharePoint professionals and MVPs from all around the country. Props to Dux Sy for his coordination of the volunteers and sponsors! Over 200 people attended the event which meant that it was standing room only for some of the sessions.

Joel Ward and I presented on the topic of SmartCard Authentication: Considerations, Options and Pitfalls with SharePoint during the final session of the day.  It was a lively discussion surrounding security, SmartCards, IA, infrastructure, membership providers and how it all fits in with the SharePoint architecture.

View the slides on SlideShare below, or download the PowerPoint files (PPT or PPTX) which includes the slides plus notes and resource links.

Categories
Administration Configuration How To... Infrastructure Planning

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:

Categories
Infrastructure

Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta available on MSDN

Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta is now available over on MSDN for download if you have an MSDN subscription.  Much like Windows 7 Beta, expect that if you don’t hop to it now that it will be a slow download with everyone else hammering the servers for it.

Currently only the x64 edition seems to be available for download though if you read through the resources guide on the Windows Server 2008 System Requirements page, it states that an x86 processor can be used.  Perhaps it’s not ready for release yet.

Now Playing: The Goo Goo Dolls – Let Love In – We’ll Be Here (When You’re Gone)

Categories
Infrastructure Virtualization

EC2 Tips for Windows users…

So I won’t claim to be an MCSE or someone that develops custom driver code when for some reason a newly installed components unsigned driver apparently doesn’t work and without it I won’t be able to experience true gigabit Ethernet throughput… but I do know a thing or two about scripting and API hacking.

Tip #1 – Download ElasticFox plugin for Mozilla Firefox

Tip #2 – Read through the ElasticFox Getting Started Guide

Tip #3 – Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

Tip #4 – Re-read Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

So as for me, I hit a road block until I realized that the API tools actually needed to be run from the host client that I was working from to make calls to the EC2 Cloud to perform any actions on the actual VM sitting in the cloud.

Essentially, what that means is that the API tools available here, are installed on your local machine. The path statements are set on your local machine and then the API tools can be used for simple things such as creating EBS or any other functionality of ElasticFox, but from the command line.

You are now free to roam the clouds… 🙂

Now Playing: Rory Stewart – The Places in Between (Unabridged)

Categories
Infrastructure Virtualization

More impressions on EC2

So what more could I ask for than to continue to experiment with the Windows virtual machines available from Amazon Web Services elastic computer cloud?

I could ask for more flexibility and ease of use… though I suppose it’s more just getting used to the way that Elasticfox works and how to connect machines together appropriately.

What is most amazing to me is the Elastic Block Storage capability – the ability to quickly spawn a hard drive for your virtual machine to consume as an additional physical device.  What’s better is the ability to take this hard drive, detach it and reattach it to the next machine – great for holding your ISOs that you’re using for your machines or if you need additional SQL database space, just spawn another disk.

Overall, I’m still working on getting things tweaked for my own personal development environment that I can turn on and off when away from my desk.  Initial impressions are fairly positive.

Now Playing: Rory Stewart – The Places in Between (Unabridged)

Categories
Infrastructure Technology

Sun xVM VirtualBox – Small Footprint, Speedy

So I came across an article earlier today making mention of Sun’s xVM standards compliant Virtual Sandbox software and I figured, "It’s free and it looks halfway decent, plus it’s standards compliant."

So a quick visit over to Virtual Boxes web site (http://www.virtualbox.org) and a little download magic and I was off and running setting up my first Virtual Machine using Sun’s software.

win2k8-sunVirtualBox Needless to say, my first impression is that while it may not have all the fancy features that VMWare Workstation has or Microsoft Virtual PC, its small footprint makes up for it as it blazes ahead.

Additionally, it’s cross platform nature allows you to quickly and easily take a virtual machine from one platform (Mac OS-X) over to another quickly (Windows XP) without the need for exporting a machine or going through a laborious process to bring it across.

I’m sure that I’ll find some bugs in it over the next few days, but I thought it would be interesting nonetheless to try it out for the sake of being vendor neutral in the realm of virtualization.

Categories
Certification Infrastructure SharePoint

TechEd 2008 – Day 1

Day 1 of TechEd 2008 was a long first day to open up the conference.  Starting off with breakfast at 7:30, heading to the keynote at 8:30 and then onward to breakout sessions, hands on labs and interactive sessions through 6:30 in the evening was quite a lot to digest – but the day didn’t end there as we headed over to the MCP/MCT/MVP Gathering in the evening and then over to the City Walk for the TechEd Groove.  Nevertheless, the core personal highlights included:

  • a better understanding of Dynamics CRM 4.0 and how it integrates with other products (Microsoft and other)
  • tips and tricks using PowerShell for web content management and the SharePoint object model
  • an understanding of the certification path for Windows Server 2008
  • hands on lab for advanced SharePoint administration – how I’ve missed working with the CLI
  • how records management is improving in MOSS 2007

All in all, a great first day at TechEd 2008.