Installing my SharePoint Server 2013 Farm – Part 1/6

Creating the Farm virtual machines

This tutorial is part of a series to be published progressively and that i’ve called « Installing my SharePoint Server 2013 Farm »

The purpose of these 6-parts tutorial series is to install sharepoint 2013 server farm following the best practices.

The series will be as follows:

In all these tutorials i’ll use a « Lenovo ThinkCenter » desktop which has the following configuration :

  • 500 GB HDD
  • 16 GB RAM DDR 3
  • Core I5 CPU @ 3.2 Ghz

Lets start with the first Tutorial which is : « Installing Hyper-V Server and creating virtual machines ».

Prerequisites :

–          Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition.

At the End we’ll get :

–          A Windows 2012 Host Machine with Hyper-V Role installed and running 3 Child Machines

The Hyper-V Virtualization in Windows Server 2012 uses a  type 1 Virtualization in which the hypervisor interacts with the machine’s hardware. The Host machine OS and the Child Os runs at the same level with a difference ; the Host machine is running the Hypervisor stack to be able to create and manage child virtual machines.

Hyper-V Role is only available in « Standard » and « Datacenter » Editions of Windows Server 2012.

Before Installing the Hyper-V Role make sure that your computer meets the following requirements
X64 Processor that supports Hardware virtualization such as (Intel VT or AMD-V)
The machine BIOS Supports Hardware virtualization and make sure you enable it
Enable the Execute Disable bit (XD bit on Intel) or  Enable the no execution bit (NX bit on AMD)

Installing Hyper-V Role

To install the Hyper-V Role just follow the steps bellow :

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  •     Click on Server Management Icon at the bottom of the screen

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  • Click on « Manage » then « Add Roles and features »

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  • Click « Next » in the first Screen
  • Select  « Role based or featured-based  installation »

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  • Select your server from the server pool

In windows Server 2012 you can install role and feature on an offline Windows Server 2012 VHD.  In this tutorial we will select the server from the server pool.

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  • Select the « Hyper-V » from the server roles list

You will be asked to install additionnel features that are required to manage the Hyper-V role. Click on « Add Features »  and then click next to open the selection features list

  •  In the « Create Virtual Switches» page, select the network card you want to use.  Click next.
  • The « Virtual Machine migration » page opens, click next.
  • The default store page opens. You can specify where you want to store your virtual disks and the machines configuration files.
  • Click « Install » to start installation of the Hyper-V Role. Now you have to restart the machine.

Once Hyper-V role is installed, we can start creating our virtual machines. We have to create 3 VM for our SharePoint Server Farm.

  • 1 VM : Domain Controller
  •  1 VM : SQL Server 2012
  •  1 VM : SharePoint 2013

Creating virtual machines

We can now start creating the Domain Controller Machine.

To create a new Virtual machine open the Hyper-V manager console

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On the « Action » pane in the Hyper-V manager console click on

  • New -> Virtual Machine

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The virtual machine creation wizard opens, follow the steps bellow to create the first machine

  • Click « Next » in the first screen of the wizard
  • A new screen shows up to specify the name of the virtual machine

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Once you specify the name, click next.

  • The memory assignation screen appears. In this screen you have to specify whether the memory is static or dynamic, the memory amount that you want to use for it based on the physical machine memory. After creating the virtual machine you are also able to change the amount of assigned memory.

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Choosing dynamic memory will let the hypervisor decide of the amount of memory assigned to the machine depending of the machines demands and the memory available in the shared memory pool. The startup Memory is the memory allocated for the machine when it starts. If you use a dynamic memory allocation , you can set the value of the startup memory equals to the minimum memory allocation. We will choose the « Use Dynamic Memory for this virtual machine ».  After you create the virtual machine you can open the machines’s settings interface  and change the « Minimum Ram » and the « Maximum Ram ».  The maximum Ram cannot be greater than 64 Gb.

We will not use Dynamic Memory for SharePoint Server 2013 since it is not supported in all SharePoint features. (see Technet)

  • Click « Next » to go the Network configuration screen
  • In the Network configuration screen you can choose which network card you will use in the virtual machine. Select a network card and then click « Next »

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  •  The Hard disk creation/selection interface appears. In this screen you can
    • Create a new virtual disk with dynamic space allocation « vhdx »
    • Attach an existing virtual hard disk
    • Attach a virtual hard disk later

You can also choose to use a pass-through disk which is a virtual disk that points to a  physical machine disk. This disk should be taken offline in order to use it.

We will choose to create a virtual hard disk having the size of 60 GB for this domain controller machine.

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  • Click  «Next » to select an installation options.
  • If the Windows Server 2012 DVD is in the physical machine optical drive, select the drive letter from the list « Physical CD/DVD drive » and if you have an iso file you can browse for it when selecting « Image File (.iso) » option.

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  • Click « Next » and then « Finish » to close the wizard

Now repeat the same operations for the 2 remaining machines (SQL and SharePoint).  When you finish you will have the following VMs

Machine Name           Startup Ram       Minimum Ram        Maximum Ram     Disk space

AD-VM-SV01                 800 Mo                   800 Mo                       2500 Mo                 60 GB

SQL-VM-SV01               2500 M0                 2500 M0                    8000 M0                127 GB

SP-VM-SV01                  8000 M0                                                                                            127  GB

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