Setting up a Virtualized SharePoint 2010 learning environment

Why?

As I was setting up this blog I might have been a bit too enthusiastic. I started posting without thinking. That doesn’t mean that I’m not behind that which I posted, it’s more that I should have put some more thought into it, especially the structure. If I want to take people along on a learning and/or discovering tour of SharePoint 2010 I should have thought of the fact that most people don’t necessarily have a SharePoint 2010 environment ready to test and/or try out with. That’s what this post is all about. Setting up an environment in which we can test an try out. As I realize that people also might not have funds for setting up a state of the art environment I’ll try to keep the tools we use “as free as possible”. Of course you can also download the 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine, this setup will not run on a desktop or notebook. Another reason to follow this blog post is that although it is far from a complete multitier installatio, it will still give you some insight into the installation of SharePoint. 

Purpose of this setup:

This will not the ideal best practices setup with different server roles, an active directory and a database setup in raid etc etc. This setup will be as easy as possible, with least amount of effort while still giving you an environment to test with. I do plan to go more in depth with articles about best setup, different server roles, scalability and also development examples. This setup is not suited for that.

Hardware:

As far as the hardware goes, I am running this setup on an Asus N53J

Processor:                             Intel Core i5-460M

Processor clock speed:      2.53GHz

Memory:                                  8.00GB (upgraded from 4.00 GB)

Further specs here: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/laptops/1281541/asus-n53j/specifications

The upgrade to 8 GB was what did it for me, the system is as fast as any fast live environment I’ve seen.

Software:

So lets get installing already!

So being the organized person everyone knows me to be (cough, cough), I advise you to first download everything you need and neatly place it all together in a single, easy to find folder. Well ok, here we go then:

Step 1 Install VirtualBox:

I already installed VirtualBox and don’t have a system ready to do it again and make screenshots, it’s no biggy, basically just a plain old  next, next finish. But details can be found here: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch02.html#installation_windows

Step 2 Setting up VirtualBox for Windows

  1. Start up VirtualBox and click “New”, the wizard will start.
  2. Skip the intro screen by pressing next.
  3. VM Name and OS Type, in this window, type an appropriate name, for OS type, with OS choose “Microsoft Windows” for version choose “Windows 2008 64 bit” and press next.
    VirtualBox New Image installing windows 2008 R2 SP1

    Choose an OS for the new image

  4. Memory, choose the base memory size, if you have 6Gb or more on your host, choose 4Gb for the virtual environment, if you only have 4Gb on your host go for 2Gb for you virtual environment. Press next.
    VirtualBox Setting Memory

    VirtualBox Setting Memory

     

  5.  Virtual Hard Disk, I recommend 40Gb, 20Gb is the default, but better save than sorry. I haven’t found a way to increase the size, of course you can always add a second virtual hard disk, but once the first one is full you’ll be sorry, because updates and patches will need to be installed on the primary hard disk and when it’s full it is really full, so no more room for patches and/or updates. Choose a new harddisk. Click next.
    Startup Harddisk New Harddisk

    Choose a new Startup Harddisk

    Choose the type/format of the new disk, I chose VDI, you could e.g. consider VMDK if you also use VMWare. Click next.

    Choose the type of Virtual hard disk

    Choose the type of Virtual hard disk

    Fixed or Dynamical, I chose fixed, this will perform a bit better as the system will not need to increase size when you need it because it is already available. It will on the other hand take a bit longer to create. Click next.

    Virtual Hard disk Fixed or Dynamical

    Virtual Hard disk Fixed or Dynamical

    Location and size, I chose the default location and a size of 40Gb (like I said above). Click next.

    Virtual Hard Disk Location and Size

    Virtual Hard Disk Location and Size

    Finally check the summary. Click Create.

    Virtual hard disk settings summary

    Virtual hard disk settings summary

    And now we wait.

    Creating the virtual hard disk

    Creating the virtual hard disk

Step 3 Installing Windows

  1. Mount the Windows ISO that you’ve downloaded with the mounting software, with Virtual Clone drive you can right click the ISO and assign a driveletter to it (in my case drive letter F:).
  2. In VirtualBox double click your newly created image. The first run wizard will start. The wizard will ask you which drive letter holds the installation media, pick the drive letter used in step 1. Click next.
    Installation media drive letter

    Choose the installation media drive letter

  3.  The wizard will restart VirtualBox and if all has gone well the Windows Installer will take over, from here on some screenshots showing you the choices I’ve made.
    Installing Windows Step 1

    Installing Windows Step 1

    Installing Windows Step 2

    Installing Windows Step 2

    Installing Windows Step 3

    Installing Windows Step 3

    Installing Windows Step 4

    Installing Windows Step 4

    Installing Windows Step 5

    Installing Windows Step 5

Ok, now after the system restarted, we’re asked to create a new password, check and install critical updates after that  we’re done with Windows for now.

Step 4 Installing the Guest Additions to share the install files

Now we need the other software and it’s not in ISO format, no worries, if we install the VirtualBox guest additions we can add folders from our host operating system and share them as network shares.

To install the guest additions, click the devices menu in the top grey bar of your running virtual image.

VirtualBox guest additions

VirtualBox guest additions

Now the autoplay feature will start:

Guest Additions autoplay

Guest Additions autoplay

Choose “Install or run program from your media”, then choose next, next, install and then reboot.

When done, in the same “Devices” menu, choose “Shared Folders”.

Add Shared Folders

Add Shared Folders

Click the little folder with the plus, on the right side of the screen, it will open the “share folder” dialog.

Add Share

Add Share

If you want to make sure that shares are permanent and don’t disappear after a system shutdown, check “Make Permanent”.

For “folder path” choose the folder into which you put all the downloaded files (SharePoint, SQL /Server 2008 etc.) and click ok.

The install files can now be found by choosing Network in the Start menu. Click on the yellow bar in the top of the window to turn Network Sharing and Discovery on. When that’s done, have some patience, the share VBoxSvr will appear, it contains the downloaded software.

Step 5 Renaming the Server

Before we install anything it might be a good idea to rename our server. Go to start, right click computer, choose properties, somewhere in the center of the screen, choose “change settings”. In the popup choose “change”, in the popup that now appears you can change the computer name, I changed it to “SPTest”. To make these changes final, reboot the virtual image.

Step 6 Activating the domain controller role

  1. From Start -> Administrative Tools, open “Server Manager”, in the treeview on the left, right click Roles. In the center screen click “Add Roles”. Click next.
    Add A Role

    Add A Role

  2. Now we select the Active Directory Domain Services role. Check the box and click “Next”. Click “Next” again and click “Install”.
    Select Server Roles

    Select Server Roles

  3. Click “Close”, we’re almost done, now we run DCPromo. In Start, in the search box type “DCPromo and press return.
  4. Click next until you reach a screen that lets you choose a deployment configuration, we choose “a new domain in a new forest”. Click “Next”.
    AD Deployment Configuration

    AD Deployment Configuration

  5. In the next step we need to choose a fully qualified name, I chose “domain.local”. Click “Next”.
    Choosing a fully qualified name

    Choosing a fully qualified name

  6. Now we have to choose a functional level, I chose “Windows Server 2008 R2”, it has the most features but does not integrate with lower versioned domain controllers, I chose this because I don’t know what I want to do in the future while testing and trying out. As I am not planning to integrate with other domain controllers there are no downsides to this choice. Click “Next”.
    Domain Controller Functional Level

    Domain Controller Functional Level

  7. Now we have to choose additional domain controller options, DNS is default for a new forest and a new domain controller. So click “Next” ignore the warning by clicking “Yes” for the popup.
    Additional Domain Controller Options

    Additional Domain Controller Options

  8. In the next screen, keep the default settings. Click “Next”.
    Domain Controller Files Locations

    Domain Controller Files Locations

  9. Now we have to choose an Restore Mode Administrator account password, the instructions say it has to be different than the standard administrator account, as this is a test setup I’m going for the same as I used for the server, just to keep it simple and not having to keep track of all kinds of different passwords. Fill in the password and click “Next”.
    Restore Mode Administrator Account

    Restore Mode Administrator Account

  10. Now we get a summary screen, check you settings and if satisfied, click “Next”.
  11. Now the Installation will start and when finished we have to restart.

Step 7 Installing SQL Server 2008 R2

  1. From the VBoxSvr share, rightclick “SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe” and choose “run as administrator” it will extract some installation file. The .Net Core role needs to be enabled so click ok.
    DotNet Core Role

    .Net Core Role

    Be patient, the installation screen of SQL 2008 will pop up in a short while.

  2.  Choose “New installation or add features to an existing installation.”
    Installation Screen SQL 2008

    Installation Screen SQL 2008

    Accept the terms and click next.

  3. From here on some screens of the choices I made
    Installing SQL 2008 Step 1

    Installing SQL 2008 Step 1

    SQL2008 Step 2

    Installing SQL 2008 Step 2

    Installing SQL 2008 Step 3

    Installing SQL 2008 Step 3

    SQL 2008 Step 4

    Installing SQL 2008 Step 4

    SQL 2008 Installation finished

    SQL 2008 Installation finished

  4. When finished it might be a good idea to check for updates. Install any updates found.

Step 8 Installing SharePoint Foundation

  1. From the share we created earlier, start SharePointFoundation.exe, the Install screen will appear, choose “Install software prerequisites”It will install and configure these:
    • Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Native Client.
    • Windows Identity Foundation.
    • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 (x64).
    • Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.
    • Microsoft Filter Pack 2.0.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services ADOMD.NET.
    • Microsoft Server Speech Platform Runtime (x64).
    • Microsoft Server Speech Recognition Language – TELE(en-US).
    • SQL 2008 R2 Reporting Services SharePoint 2010 Add-in.
  2. Check for updates again. Little note on the updates, some may take a while and by a while I mean you might be wondering if things are still running. Again be patient, feel free to do something else while waiting, e.g. watch an episode of the Big Bang Theory while updating. Another note, be aware of any pop up windows that don’t pop up, they might need some attention for the updates to continue.
  3. After updating the final steps, start the SharePointFoundation.exe from the share again. Now we choose “Install SharePoint Foundation” Accept the license agreement.
  4. In the next screen we are going for a farm installation and not a stand alone installation, I am doing this for educationla purposes, the difference I found on the web:
    Standalone Installation :
    ·         SQL Server 2008 Express Edition is the database type automatically installed (instead of Windows Internal Database/SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition used in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0).
    ·         This is almost a “one-click” installation, no questions are asked during setup or during Post Setup Configuration Wizard (PSConfig)
    ·         A Web application and team site collection are automatically created in the newly created farm. The search service is started automatically.
    ·         Cannot add servers to join a farm.
    ·         When the installation is complete, the browser opens taking you to a newly created site collection.
    ·         Installer is not prompted for farm passphrase, it is automatically generated.
    Server
    ·         SQL Server 2005 SP2/SQL Server 2008 is the database type, not installed by setup.
    ·         Administrator can pick whether or not to create a site and the site template to use.

    ·         Prompted for farm passphrase during PSConfig phase of installation.

    Click “Server Farm”

    Stand Alone Farm installation

    We choose a farm installation

  5. In the next step we choose “Complete” for educational purposes. I chose not to change the location. Click “Install Now”. Here we go!!
    Choosing a Server type

    Choosing a Server type

  6. Once we’re done installing we continue with the configuration, Keep the “Run the SharePoint Products configuration wizard now” box checked and click “Close”.
    Run Configuration Wizard

    Run Configuration Wizard

  7. For the next steps be sure to have the SQL Server name ready, you’ll also need the admin account, but that’s the account you’re currently logged into (if you followed the steps during the SQL installation. Click “Next” and then “Yes”.
    The Configuration Wizard

    The Configuration Wizard

  8. Connect to a server farm: choose “Create a new server farm” click “Next”.
    Connect To A Server Farm

    Connect To A Server Farm

  9. Now we have to specify the database configuration: Server name: SQLExpress, Login and password: same as you log on to the server with. Which is Domain\administrator since we installed the domain controller. (if you have any problems, make sure SQL server is up and running using the Click “Next”.
    Specify Database Configuration

    Specify Database Configuration

  10. Create a passphrase, I used the same as I did for the server, again, this is not best practice but in this situation very practical. Click “Next”.
  11. Configure the Central Admin web application, keep the default settings and click “Next”.
    Configure Central Admin web application

    Configure Central Admin web application

  12. Next step is completing the installation, take notion of this summary, it gives you important information like what the name is of the SharePoint site and the Central admin site. Click “Next”.
    Completing the wizard SharePoint Foundation

    Completing the wizard SharePoint Foundation

  13. And we’re done!! Take note of the information in the window, and click “Finish”.
    Finished SharePoint Foundation Installation

    Finished SharePoint Foundation Installation

Step 8 The final step, configuring the server

  1. Creating a managed account, I chose the same account as with earlier steps, just to keep it simple. Click “Next”.
    Create a managed account

    Create a managed account

  2. Creating a top level site, click “Next”.
    Creating a top level website

    Creating a top level website

  3. The wizard summary, click “Finish”.
    Wizard summary

    Wizard summary

And we’re finally done. Here is what we all did it for: