Planning to install SharePoint 2010

SharePoint isn’t something you can just download and install without a bit of planning.  You need to take many things into consideration, such as server configuration, disk space and user accounts.

Server configuration

The server configuration will depend on requirements.  If I choose to install a standalone server with SQL Express (included as part of the installer) I need to bear in mind that the database will be limited to 10GB.

If I need a database that can hold more than 10GB I need to install the full version of SQL Server 2008 and create a SharePoint server farm.  For a large site that requires high availability I would require access to a SQL cluster.

There is a comparison of the different SQL server 2008 editions here

User accounts

Before I begin the installation I need to create user accounts in Active Directory with least privilege (basic domain accounts with no admin rights).

Setup user account
This is the account I’ll use to log on to the server in order to install SharePoint and will need to be added a a local Administrator on each server in the farm.  During installation this account will become the “owner” of the SharePoint farm.  I’ll call it SharePoint_Admin.

SQL service account (only required if setting up a server farm)
This is the account for running the SQL service.  It will be assigned the privileges it requires during the SQL Server installation.  I’ll call it SharePoint_SQL_Serv

Farm Administrator account (only required if setting up a server farm)
This is the account also known as the Database Access Account, but does a great deal more than that and will become the owner of the configuration database and be used to run services such as the SharePoint Timer Service. It will need to be added as a local Administrator on each server in the farm prior to installation.  I’ll call it SharePoint_Farm_Serv.

I’ll also be setting the email address of this account to something like “” so that all notifications go to a centrally managed mailbox (and not my own account).

Disk space

The SQL database used by SharePoint can grow rather rapidly (especially if quotas are not enforced and the recycle bin is enabled) so it’s important to ensure the server won’t run out of disk.  Microsoft recommend an 80GB system drive (minimum) with at least twice as much free space as the amount of RAM in the server.

SharePoint comes fully equipped with a Health Analyzer that will monitor the server and notify administrators of any issues.  This is very useful and can help diagnose problems.

Full hardware and software requirements can be found here:
SharePoint Foundation
SharePoint Server

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 is available to download here and is only 170MB.

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