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Server setup advice - Sharepoint / AD / Exchange

chrisuk01

Active Member
I'm wanmting to learn / test some software.

Would it be possible to install the following all on 1 pc -

Windows Server 2008 (64 bit)
sharepoint server 2010
ms exchange server 2010. (64 bit)
(If any further software would be needed please advise)

There may be a few addiotions but the major things are above.

There would only be a handful of users for testing purposes connecting to this server, via their own laptops / PCs.

The rough specs of the PC would be a i5 or i7 (3.4ghz ish)
8gb ram motherboard will support upto 16gb Ram.

I understand that in a business environment seperate servers would usally be used, however this is solely for testing the functions of sharepoint and integrating with AD / Email etc.

If the above could run on lower specs please advise where.

Any help / advice would be appreciated.
 
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ncmoody

Active Member
Yes they should all work together.

You could, however, simulate an office environment by putting them all in Virtual Machines.

The Free VMWare server either running on Windows or Linux would be able to run each server as an independent machine.

This wpuld prevent any interoperability problems hosting them all on one machine and you could also investigate the interconnectivity required in a working environment.
 

chrisuk01

Active Member
Cheerrs for that.

Obviously if they can work together without installing seperately as a VM would be easier.

My main concern is, will the hardware cope with installing them all on 1 machine, whether that be creating VMs on the machine or installing all under the one OS?

8GB RAM correct? or overkill?
same with CPU?

i HAVE SEEN ANOTHER THREAD IN THE COMPUTER SECTION LINKING TO THE HP PROLIANT MICROSERVER, WOULD THIS DO THE JOB?

If it all works as expected / hoped I may use the machine at home and keep sharepoint etc n there and maybe make it into a NAS / home theatre.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
From my experience it is disk I/O that is the biggest problem when putting it all on one machine.

It will be slow, but it will work.
 

chrisuk01

Active Member
users would probably be 5 max.

if the I/O of the HDD would be a problem, would a RAID configuration help enough to solve the problem?

The system is really for a testing and also to help me learn without it being on a live business system, though would still like it to run relatively smoothly if possible.

Though if all works, would like to keep it with the stuff installed and then add on the home streaming part?
 

ncmoody

Active Member
With 10 users I really do not think you will have a problem whichever route you choose with the hardware outlines.

If you are concerned about speed you could put each datastore on a diferent spindle. For max I/O then use SATA drives attached by a PCI-E card, instead of using the SATA connections on the Motherboard.
 

chrisuk01

Active Member
Isolated Network

Do you know of any good links for information on this?

By Isolated I am assuming you mean not viewabl;e to the outside world, though how would exchange pick up external emails? Or would you have to configure to allow certain services?

sorry for all the questions, am sure once have the hardware the jigsaw will start to become more clearer and with the help of google will hopefully get along fine

edit - Just had a think, the exchange part won't work for external emails without signing/paying for a domain host as far as I can tell? think would be better then to just use it for internal emails between users (would this work) and use hotmail for external emails etc
 
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Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Isolated Network

Do you know of any good links for information on this?

By Isolated I am assuming you mean not viewabl;e to the outside world, though how would exchange pick up external emails? Or would you have to configure to allow certain services?

sorry for all the questions, am sure once have the hardware the jigsaw will start to become more clearer and with the help of google will hopefully get along fine

edit - Just had a think, the exchange part won't work for external emails without signing/paying for a domain host as far as I can tell? think would be better then to just use it for internal emails between users (would this work) and use hotmail for external emails etc
By isolated network I mean that you shouldn't setup the server alongside other equipment as it will interfere. For example, if you setup DHCP then other PCs will start picking up IP addresses and DNS information from the server.

Regarding domains; I'd just use the internal domain name such as chrisuk.local.

If you have never done this before you a have a lot to learn. You need to setup the server as a domain controller first, then add Exchange and Sharepoint.

If you want to make life easier you could use Small Business Server instead as these roles are setup automatically.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I agree that SBS would be the best place to start. I have just migrated a domain from an old SBS 2003 to a new server running SBS 2011 and the migration was very easy - you learn an awful lot by diving in and getting your hands dirty.
SBS 2008 requires 4Gb RAM, but SBS 2011 requires 8GB RAM and the only change AFAIK is that MS have upgraded Exchange. So if you want to install the latest versions then 8Gb RAM is required and not overkill. Any dual or quad core processor of 1.3Ghz or above should run the OS, so no need to go to a full blown i7 system just for testing & learning with.

edit: Exchange will work fine without buying a Domain name. It can be setup to work with standard POP3 mail or just on the internal network.

Mark.
 

ncmoody

Active Member
SBS 2008 requires 4Gb RAM, but SBS 2011 requires 8GB RAM and the only change AFAIK is that MS have upgraded Exchange.

Will SBS 2011 install with less than 8GB or is it a hard wired pre-requisite?

I want to run it in a VM and will only have a few users and may not even activate exchange. Problem is my VM server only has 8GB, which so far has been sufficient.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
TBH I don't know. I did all my homework before ordering the server and so upgraded it to 10Gb before attempting to install anything. But the MS specs do state 8Gb required, 10Gb recommended so it could well refuse to install with less than 8Gb.

I think SBS 2011 has been out since about November 2010 and the HP Proliant server I bought comes with an 'easy install' CD to preload drivers etc. But that didn't recognise the software so all RAID drivers etc had to be manually installed. Even the HP tech support had no ideas about SBS 2011 :rolleyes:

Mark.
 

ncmoody

Active Member
TBH I don't know. I did all my homework before ordering the server and so upgraded it to 10Gb before attempting to install anything. But the MS specs do state 8Gb required, 10Gb recommended so it could well refuse to install with less than 8Gb.

I think SBS 2011 has been out since about November 2010 and the HP Proliant server I bought comes with an 'easy install' CD to preload drivers etc. But that didn't recognise the software so all RAID drivers etc had to be manually installed. Even the HP tech support had no ideas about SBS 2011 :rolleyes:

Mark.

Thanks for that, I will speak nicely to one of my 'Corporate' friends and see if I can get an 'Evaluation Copy'

Regarding HP, that does not surprise me, I have been round that loop a few times when I was working in IT. Going back a long way had a similar problem with the changeover from NT 3.51 to NT4 and a Dell server.
 

chrisuk01

Active Member
By isolated network I mean that you shouldn't setup the server alongside other equipment as it will interfere. For example, if you setup DHCP then other PCs will start picking up IP addresses and DNS information from the server.

Regarding domains; I'd just use the internal domain name such as chrisuk.local.

If you have never done this before you a have a lot to learn. You need to setup the server as a domain controller first, then add Exchange and Sharepoint.

If you want to make life easier you could use Small Business Server instead as these roles are setup automatically.

If it is installed alongside my exisiting PC, then yes i would expect my pc to be assigned an IP from the DHCP. This is what I am expecting to do? sorry if I am mis-understanding.

I realise I have a lot of learning, to do this, hence why I am doing it within my home. I do have IT experience, as a 2nd line analyst, albeit it only a couple of months. Time is on my site, and I have alot of patience!! Personally I just think its good to learn by "jumping in the deep end" as I expect to have issues and it is the issues that you have, that help you get a better understaning, and help with potential problems in the future.

I have researched all the setup guides for windows server etc, and think I should be able to do this to a basic working model. It is the tweaking / security etc that will take more time to understand.

In fairness it is actually something I am quite looking forward to doing! :)
 

ncmoody

Active Member
I have been in It for 25 years (not a couple of months) and assure you that most people embarking on such a system would do it virtually.

It is a lot easier and faster to build a VM, test it, trash it and rebuild than to do it with hardware. You also have the ability to make copies and snapshots so you do not have to repeat all the steps to recover from a disaster.

You can also use trial software for most of the early phase as reactivating the software will become a pain if you have to rebuild an activated version. Otherwise you could spend a lot of moey on licences.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
I agree that if I were doing it I'd do it virtually (I too have 25 years experience!).

I'd install Server 2008 R2 and do it all under Hyper-V. The only downsides to this are the overhead that the host OS imposes, and the OP having to learn about virtualisation too!

I'm sure people might recommend other virtualisation methods; VMware, VirtualBox etc. but I think Hyper-V would be easiest for a novice, and the OP obviously has access to 'not for resale' Microsoft software!
 

chrisuk01

Active Member
definately hasve some things to ponder. I was leaning towards physical hardware as I was also going to use it as a SAN to store movies etc, and then stream to the tvs in the house.
 

ncmoody

Active Member
I'm sure people might recommend other virtualisation methods; VMware, VirtualBox etc. but I think Hyper-V would be easiest for a novice, and the OP obviously has access to 'not for resale' Microsoft software!

I only have experience of VMWare as my customers who used Virtualisation went with that, ESX for production and Workstation for evaluation.

As for the hardware I found that the load placed on it by VMs was quite small when installing and evaluating and only had any real effect when stress or capacity testing and that should really be done on the same hardware as intended for production.

chrisuk01 said:
definitely hasve some things to ponder. I was leaning towards physical hardware as I was also going to use it as a SAN to store movies etc, and then stream to the tvs in the house.

I strongly suggest you keep your development network well away from your home network, at the very least use 2 servers one for dev and one for home.
 

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