Hello and welcome to the second part in the series on developing a SharePoint 2013 farm.

In the last part, we looked keenly at very interesting thoughts to have in the preparing stage, such as the scenario under which your deployment could be based on, and the resources available to you. We also saw the files we’d need, known as prerequisites, and they involved ISO images and executables that should be downloaded from the Microsoft website. We made a few arguments about the reason behind our decision to use three virtual machines to host domain services and email, database services with SharePoint, and finally the client machine to use in connecting to the farm to consume the resources it offers.

MCSE Training – Resources (Intense)

In this part, we will commence immediately with creating our virtual machines, allocating resources such as RAM and hard drive spaces, determining the network or LAN segment to connect to, and booting the boxes up with installation media. If you are as ready as I am, let’s delve into it.

The table below details our resource allocation.

IMPORTANT NOTE AND BEST PRACTICE

In every server operating system you setup, always separate the drive which has your operating system from the drive which has your critical business software application programs installed, and equally separate these from where you store your data. Finally, your log files should reside in another drive, especially where your application may have huge logs overhead. What this means is you need an average of between 2 to 4 drives at basic, if striping or mirroring is not involved, known as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks).

Server Box Server Role No. of Drives Drive Letters
DCEX-1
  • Domain Controller
  • Exchange Server
4 C:\
– Operating System (40GB)
D:\
– Program Files (30GB)
E:\
– Data (30GB)
F:\
– Log (30GB)
SPS-SQLDB
  • SharePoint Server
  • SQL Server
4 C:\
– Operating System (40GB)
D:\
– Program Files (30GB)
E:\
– Data (50GB)
F:\
– Log (50GB)
CLIENT1
  • Client Machine
2 C:\
– Operating System & Program Files (30GB)
D:\
– Data (50GB)
CREATE YOUR DOMAIN CONTROLLER MACHINE

Launch the VMware application as shown:

Select Create a New Virtual Machine:

Select Typical (recommended).

Click Next:

You are presented with 3 options at this phase for the operating system to be installed:

  • * Installer Disc: This means you have a physical DVD in the DVD drive to install from.
  • * Installer Disc Image File (ISO): This means you have downloaded the ISO image as we discussed in part 1 of the series. Or, if you are knowledgeable in creating ISO images from the physical DVD using specialized software, you have that ISO image ready.
  • * I Will Install The Operating System Later: This means exactly what it says. No specialized interpretation.

Select the 3rd and last option I Will Install The Operating System Later.

Selecting this option is good for a number of reasons, namely, you don’t have to jump ahead of me and circumvent what I want to show you next.

Select Microsoft Windows:

In the Version section you can see all the versions we can choose from.

Note that this page is only to name your virtual machine and to assign hardware specification by default, a specification which you can change later. It doesn’t install the operating system, as you still need the ISO file or DVD media for that.

Observe that we are selecting Windows Server 2008 R2 x64.

Also note that I selected Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 and not just Windows Server 2008 x64. One has “R2” in the name, the other does not. The one with “R2” is the most up-to-date release in servers.

IMPORTANT NOTE

It is important to differentiate here that you don’t necessarily have to use an x64 version of Windows Server for your domain controller. Your domain controller can be an x32 version, in which case the suffix “x32” will not be written. It will appear as shown below:

This same principle will apply later when we choose the client operating system Windows 8.

What critical factor will determine what bit version you have to install? The software requirement of what you want to do, as well as the version of the software you have downloaded.

For our case, below is a table of our decision matrix as regards the bit version of software.

Server Box

Server Role

Bit version

Software

DCEX-1
  • Domain Controller
  • Exchange Server
64bit64bit
  • Windows Server 2008 64bit
  • Exchange Server 2010 64bit
SPS-SQLDB-1
  • SharePoint Server
  • Database Server
64bit64bit
  • Office Server 2010 64bit
  • SQL Server 2008 64bit
CLIENT-1
  • Windows 8
32bit
  • Microsoft Office 32bit

Note that the domain controller can be a 32bit, your database server can be 32bit, and your client can be 64bit.

Mixing both 32bit with 64bit would require that you download or procure both 32bits and 64bits of requisite software. In this case however, we are going 64bit all the way.

Having said all that, let’s continue with our setup of this VM. In the next screen, change the default name of Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 to DCEX-1 as shown below in the two screenshots beside each other.


This next page below is a very important page for us.

In this setup, our domain controller based on the table at the beginning of this series is going to be made up of four hard drives and/or one huge hard drive partitioned into four drives. For ease, in this scenario, and to save effort for the future of this series, let’s use the first option of having four virtual hard drives.

Let’s reference that table once again, this time focusing on this domain controller box.

Server Box Server Role No. of Drives Drive Letters
DCEX-1
  • Domain Controller
  • Exchange Server
4 C:\
– Operating System (40GB)
D:\
– Program Files (30GB)
E:\
– Data (30GB)
F:\
– Log (30GB)

Let’s create our C:\ drive of 40GB by typing 40 in the Maximum Disk Size (GB) section.

Accept the other default options and click Next.

On the last page which is the summary page, accept the defaults shown and click Finish.

We will customize after, not immediately. Observe that Memory is set at 2GB (2048MB). Much later we will adjust this to 1GB (1024MB).

This is what our virtual machine looks like now.

At this time, we need to make the following configuration changes to this virtual machine:

Add three more hard drives of sizes shown in the table:

Server Box Server Role No. of Drives Drive Letters
DCEX-1
  • Domain Controller
  • Exchange Server
4 C:\
– Operating System (40GB)
D:\
– Program Files (30GB)
E:\
– Data (30GB)
F:\
– Log (30GB)

To do this, click Edit Virtual Machine Settings.

This option is beneath the DCEX-1 display name of the server as shown here:


This brings up the dialog box shown below. At the bottom is an Add button and a Remove button.

This page is used to add new pieces of hardware to your virtual machine, similar to going into the computer hardware stores physically to buy hardware to add to your physical machine. Here you don’t pay any money. I like that. You can add more RAM, processors (which is really super cool), hard drives, disc drives, network adapters and so on.

Click Add.

In the Add Hardware Wizard page, select Hard Disk.

Click Next.

Accept the default option, which is SCSI (Small Computer System Interface), pronounced as “scurzzy.”

If you are wondering what that is, I will have to explain another day. But suffice to say that it is particularly a RAID-type and specifically server-centric.

Click Next.

On the next page shown below, accept the default option which is Create a New Virtual Disk.

The other options such as Use An Existing Virtual Disk is similar to taking a physical drive from one machine and going to open another physical machine and install it in there, which we call “slaving” back in the old days, and it’s still called that today as well. So it means that you can take a virtual disk from another VM and slave it into another VM. Or as the case may be, you may also be “mastering” it, which means booting from it.

The 3rd option Use A Physical Disk (for Advanced Users) is a method of making the virtual machine access the physical hard drive of the host machine, or just one of the partitions of that host.

So, let’s select Create a New Virtual Disk.

Doing this presents you with the place to specify size. Based on our table, type “30″ in the box to specify 30GB which is our drive for “Program Files.”

DO NOT check the box marked Allocate All Disk Space Now. Doing that will keep you waiting for a few more minutes as the application system will go into your machine right away and begin allocating that 30GB space now. To me that is a bad idea without a reasonable cause.

So, you may be wondering, what happens if I don’t check that box? A good thing happens. The file known as this hard drive on your physical machine will be provisioned for 30GB maximum, but it will start small and begin growing based on usage, till that 30GB is reached. This is good because it means your virtual machine is not hogging resources it isn’t even using yet. And this allows your physical machine to still have access to store all your MP3 and movies and games and whatever else you keep in there.

On the next page you will see the name of the virtual hard disk we just created. This file can always be found along with other similar virtual files in your Documents à Virtual Machine à DCEX-1 folder.

Click Finish.

Your new 30GB hard disk is now on the list.

Now, all you need to do to add the remaining two disks is to repeat this process again of adding hard drives and specifying 30GB two more times, and voila, our domain controller is hard disk drive ready.

The completed view is shown below.

After these have been completed, two more configurations need to be done and we are ready to roll with our domain controller:

  1. Add this domain controller to a virtual LAN segment.
  2. Add an ISO image into the virtual DVD drive.
ADD VIRTUAL NETWORK

A virtual network is the equivalent of a Local Area Network (LAN) in real life. In physical hardware, that would mean we have these boxes connected to a switch by RJ-45 cables or wirelessly, as the case may be. The equivalent of this in virtual reality is virtual networks. So, to add our DCEX-1 to a LAN, let’s do this.

Click Network Adapter. Observe that it is set to NAT: Used To Share The Host’s IP Address.

Other Options we can see are:

  • Bridged: Connected Directly To The Physical Network
  • Host-Only: A Private Network Shared With The Host
  • Custom: Specific Virtual Network
  • LAN Segment.

For our case, we will select Custom: Specific Virtual Network. And in the drop down available for this option, we will choose VMnet0, as shown below.

ADD AN ISO IMAGE

To do this, select CD/DVD (SATA).

On the right hand side observe that Use Physical Drive is the default. If you have physical media, simply place that DVD disc into your machine’s drive and power on the VM, and your installation begins.

However, if it is an ISO image that you have downloaded, then select Use ISO Image File.

Click the Browse button and navigate to your Windows Server ISO image file on your system to select it and open.

Click OK.

And now your first server box which is your domain controller is ready to roll.

FINAL CONFIGURATIONS

Repeat all these steps from when we started creating this Domain Controller and Exchange Server box called DCEX-1 (Domain Controller Exchange 1), and use it to create the remaining server SPS-SQLDB (SharePoint Server SQL Database), and CLIENT1 using the table specified at the beginning, shown below again for reference:

Server Box Server Role No. of Drives Drive Letters
DCEX-1
  • Domain Controller
  • Exchange Server
4 C:\
– Operating System (40GB)
D:\
– Program Files (30GB)
E:\
– Data (30GB)
F:\
– Log (30GB)
SPS-SQLDB
  • SharePoint Server
  • SQL Server
4 C:\
– Operating System (40GB)
D:\
– Program Files (30GB)
E:\
– Data (50GB)
F:\
– Log (50GB)
CLIENT1
  • Client Machine
2 C:\
– Operating System & Program Files (30GB)
D:\
– Data (50GB)

When all is complete, you should have a screen similar to mine, shown below:

This is where we conclude Part 2 – Preparing Your Virtual Machine.

In the next part, we will continue installing Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 on two more virtual server boxes, and we will install Windows 8 on CLIENT1 as well.

After the installation, we will go through the motions of assigning an IP address, promoting DCEX-1 to a domain controller using DCPROMO command from the RUN dialog box. We will configure DNS and DHCP, and install Exchange Server 2010.

When that is concluded, we will move over to SPS-SQLDB and install the SQL server database system and SharePoint Office server, and configure all services needed. And yes if white space permits, we will install CLIENT1 and join it to the domain.

Cheerio!!