Pre-installation – Planning farm

In this series of articles I will share with you step-by-step installation of the SharePoint 2013 farm on Hyper-V environment. This article will be split into several parts describing each step to do before moving to the next one.

Pre-installation – Planning farm
Step 1 – Installing OS
Step 2 – Installing Domain controller
Step 3 – Installing SQL Server
Step 4 – Installing SharePoint Server

Installing SharePoint 2013 Farm – Pre-installation (Planning farm)

Before starting to install SharePoint farm there should be planning steps done.
Here are point that should be planned before moving on:

  • Plan FARM configuration
  • Plan virtual machine configuration
  • Plan Active Directory configuration
  • Plan SQL server configuration

Plan FARM configuration

FARM topology

Before starting installation process or creating virtual machines there should be decision taken how farm will be installed. There are 3 main types of topology of farm:

  • Standalone installation
  • Two-tier farm
  • Tree-tier farm

Fist two topologies are out of scope in this article. You can find out more about these types of installation searching the web.

A three-tier farm configuration topology lets you more flexibility and performance when extend or running your farm. This will let you easily separate database from your front-ends and application server. When extend farm is required there is only server to install and preconfigure and add this one to farm.

In this article we’ll be creating tree-tier farm with four servers running:

  • Domain controller server
  • SQL server
  • Front-end server
  • Applications server
Note, that this configuration cannot be exact reference to any production environment. Meanwhile this can be used as reference when plan and/or install your production farm. In our article we’ll create this farm to host DEV environment.

FARM accounts

Once we have chosen farm topology we should decide which accounts should be created to manage farm.

Account Account name Description
SQL_Service SQL Server Service account This account is used by SQL server service.  Set up automatically when specified as a user for MSSQL and SQLAgent.
SP_Setup SharePoint Setup account This account is used to set up each server in your farm by running the SharePoint Configuration Wizard, the initial Farm Creation Wizard, and Windows PowerShell. In this article we will no create this account as this one can be optional when creating farm.
SP_Farm SharePoint Farm account The server farm account, which is also referred to as the database access account, is used as the application pool identity for Central Administration and as the process account for the SharePoint Foundation 2013 Timer service.
SP_WebApps SharePoint Web Applications account The application pool account is used for application pool identity.
SP_ServiceApps SharePoint Service Applications account This account is used by application services.
SP_Search SharePoint Search account This account is used by search service.
SP_SuperUser SharePoint Super User account The default content access account is used within a specific service application to crawl content, unless a different authentication method is specified by a crawl rule for a URL or URL pattern.
SP_SuperReader SharePoint Super Reader account Content access accounts are configured to access content by using the Search administration crawl rules feature.
My_SP_WebApps SharePoint My Web Applications account The application pool account is used for application pool identity of my sites.

Plan virtual machine configuration

When decided and planned farm configuration we will move on and plan how virtual machines will be configured. Here are some point that you should take into account when planned you virtual environment:

Checkbox   VM title

Checkbox   Administrator user name

Checkbox   Administrator user password

Checkbox   RAM used by VM

Checkbox   VM disk size

Checkbox   IP of each VM

Checkbox   PC name

Checkbox   VM name

Checkbox   VHD name

Plan Active Directory configuration

Before installing domain controller some configuration settings should be planned. Here are some of them:

Checkbox   FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name)
Checkbox   Functional level of the forest created
Checkbox   Forest Password
Checkbox   Domain name

FQDN – specifies domain exact location in the tree hierarchy of the Domain System.
Domain name – this will be used by your accounts (e.g. FARM-SP\Administrator).

Plan SQL server configuration

Before installing SQL server you should plan some settings:

Checkbox   SQL Server alias
Checkbox   SQL port

Andrew Adamich

Pre-installation – Planning farm
Step 1 – Installing OS
Step 2 – Installing Domain controller
Step 3 – Installing SQL Server
Step 4 – Installing SharePoint Server

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