Video Series: Installing MOSS in a VPC

Video Series: Installing MOSS in a VPC

In an effort to end the year on a good note, I’ve taken on a huge challenge. About a year ago I sat down to video capture an entire installation of a Virtual PC image of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Although the video took me several days to complete, once I finished the installation I never went back to the video. Now, a year later I’ve been telling my colleagues and clients “Oh, I have a video that shows you how to install MOSS” but alas, there was no video. So I finally put the finishing touches and actually published it. The challenge was to complete the video, segment the video, and document the installation. Whew! A much bigger project than I originally thought, and a good reason for my lack of blogs in the month of December. Hopefully this will make up for it.

The video is broken down into six different steps. You can view the entire video (1:15 total time) or each section as needed.
Step 1 – Installing and Configuring the Base Image
Step 2 – Configuring Email
Step 3 – Installing the .NET Framework
Step 4 – Installing & Configuring SQL Server – coming soon!Step 4 – Installing & Configure SQL Server
Step 5 – Installing & Configuring MOSS
Step 6a – Configuring the SSP
Step 6b – Tweaking your image for performance

In addition to the video, I have step by step instructions on the installation I performed (62 pages, 3.5MB). I will give several disclosures however. First, this is not intended as a production installation. It is intended as a playground or development machine in which to explore SharePoint. Second, it is in a Virtual PC environment. Now that Windows Server 2008 is released it might be a better option to install in Hyper-V. Third, there are a few things I’ve learned since I originally produced the video, or simply a few things I neglected to emphasize during the installation, which I will share with you now.

1. Database names should not be set to the default values during installation. You should specify all database names.
2. Service Accounts should be created prior to the installation and configuration of SharePoint. See my blog on configuring Service Accounts for SharePoint (as well as my blog on what not to do with Service Accounts).
3. Even if you are not going to utilize MySites, you should still create a separate Web Application to host the MySites.
4. Do not use the Administrator account to install and configure SharePoint. Use specific Service Accounts (see #2).
5. Use MOSS templates as your top level site collection templates. Even when using Team Sites you might consider using the Site Directory as the top level site and add the Team Sites as sub sites. This provides full MOSS capabilities within the entire site collection.
6. You really need to have an understanding of the different servers in the farm. You will have your IIS Server, SQL Server, Application Servers (SSPs), and Web Front Ends (WFEs). This (topology) is an important foundation to working with SharePoint.
7. You really need to have an understanding of Web Applications, Site Collections, and Sites. This (taxonomy) is an important foundation to working with SharePoint.
8. There are many, many, many more tweaks that you can do to your VPC image. I would be happy to have additional contributors add to what I started.
9. You might also want to check out this Web cast.
I hope you find this helpful and good luck!

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