Wednesday 24 September 2008

How to Create a stand-alone "small farm" MOSS 2007 VPC without a domain controller

Here's my quick and dirty guide to setting up a stand-alone "small farm" MOSS VPC without a domain controller. In this example I'm using Windows Server 2008 with SQL Server 2008, .NET 3.5, and MOSS 2007; I've been through this process on both x86 and x64 platforms--it's the same in both cases. Presumably this is pretty much the same on Windows 2003.

Note this is not a comprehensive guide to VPC building: I make no assumptions about your virtualisation software (I used the free VMware Server product for x64 guest support in this case but I regularly use MS Virtual PC 2007). You may also want to consider differencing disks, memory allocation, physical disk performance, CPU allocations, and so on.

Install Windows Server 2008
  • Don't add it to a domain but changing the machine name from the default is usually helpful.
Configure the Web Server role
  • Add the ASP.NET service
  • Add HTTP Redirection service (somewhat arbitrary)
  • Add Windows Authentication service
  • Add IIS Management Scripts and Tools
  • Add the .NET Framework 3.0 Feature (excluding XPS Viewer)
Update .NET
  • Download and install .NET 3.5 with SP1 (although you can skip this step if you like and let the SQL Server 2008 install handle it)

Install SQL Server 2008 (RTM)

  • Yes to the prompt to install an updated Windows Installer version (and optionally the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1)

  • Select the stand alone installation option

Choose to install the following at a minimum:
  • Database Engine Service
  • Management Tools - Basic
  • Management Tools - Complete

Configure the SQL Server instance as follows

  • Use the default instance name
  • Use the Network Service account for all services. The database engine service should be set to start automatically.
  • Select Windows authentication mode and add your local administrators group
Note: If you don't want to install SQL Server, you can do a "Basic" MOSS install and the MOSS installer will add SQL Serve Express to your system. This is not considered a MOSS farm deployment and there is no upgrade path from this stand-alone configuration to even a small MOSS farm.

Create Local Accounts

Create moss_farm and moss_web local Windows accounts and set a password. Don't add either account to any specific Windows group or SQL Server. MOSS will take care of creating logins for these accounts in SQL Server and assigning them to the appropriate roles.

Install MOSS 2007 SP1

MOSS SP1 is required to install on SQL Server 2008. SP1 can be slipstreamed into the RTM build although Microsoft supplies a ready-to-go MOSS 2007 with SP1 installer.
  • Select the Advanced option
  • This is a small farm installation, so select the Complete option (not the Stand-alone option unless you're not using SQL Server 2008)
  • Leave all defaults as they are
  • Install any post-SP1 updates before running the configuration wizard.

Note there's no requirement to install Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 when installing MOSS 2007.

Configure MOSS
  • Run the configuration wizard
  • Select to create a new farm
  • Point MOSS to localhost as the database instance
  • Leave the configuration database name as SharePoint_Config or change it if you like
  • Provide credentials for your moss_farm account
  • Create the Central Administration site on any free port
  • Extend the server's path variable to include C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\12\BIN (for easy access to stsadm)

Enable Ping (always helpful)

  • netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8
    (to disable ping: netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8 disable)

Clean Up
  • Disable visual enhancements
  • Turn off the Windows page file
  • Delete installer and windows update files (all the junk under %windir%)
  • Defrag, compress, backup, etc

Create a Test Site
  • Create a site using your moss_web account.
  • Set up SSPs, etc, etc.

[Update: Since I wrote this post I've come Justin Devine's very extensive and well-illustrated post on configuring a small farm, with AD and SQL Server 2005, on Windows 2003. Well worth reading and there are some detailed walkthroughs on POP3 and SSP setup. Awesome work Justin! Also worth checking out this link]

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