In this next sequence of lessons we’re going to install and configure a single-server SharePoint/SQL Server 2012 BI environment. This is what we’ll commonly do to have a VM that we’re using for Proof-of- concept (POC), demonstrations and to test out ideas.
Some of the things we’ll do in this environment won’t be best practice for production, but will be done for expediency in getting a POC server up and running quickly.
At the end of this sequence we’ll have all of these components installed, configured and ready-to-use (PowerPivot, Power View, PerformancePoint, Reporting Services SharePoint Mode).
The VM itself is going to combine SharePoint and SQL Server Services. The SharePoint web front-end and SQL Back-end for SharePoint as well as the Analysis Services components will all run on this single VM. Cleary this isn’t something we want to do if we were to support many users, but it’s a good approach for testing and non-production use.
The service account setup is very simplified too. We’ll create one domain service account for everything. This also isn’t something you’d do in a production deployment farm.
Again, this configuration isn’t suitable for production, so please don’t configure this type of a server for production use!
For the POC VM, I’d recommend at least two CPUs, and ideally four CPUs. 8GB RAM is minimum, and 12GB is a working optimal configuration.
We’ll also have a second VM in the environment that’s the Active Directory controller. If you’re deploying the POC VM in an environment that already has AD controllers, you don’t need this VM. Just use your existing Active Directory.
If you are setting up a completely sandboxed environment, some will try to install the AD service with the POC VM. I recommend against doing this. It’s not something the overall software was designed for, so you’re hacking when you do this. If you think about it, the POC VM will need to be bigger to support AD, so you’re not gaining that much by combining these two VMs into one. If you can setup your environment with two VMs, please do so.
The basic load sequence we’ll go through is to create an AD service account in AD. When we create the account, it won’t need any privileges. Anything it needs will be granted during the software installation sequence. Then we’ll install SharePoint on the application server, but we won’t run the farm configuration at this point.
Then we’ll install the PowerPivot for SharePoint software using the SQL 2012 DVD. Then afterwards we’ll run the PowerPivot configuration tool to create the SharePoint farm and configure PowerPivot (including creating SharePoint services like Secure Store, Excel Services, etc.).
For a POC this is a great tool to use because it does everything for you, and it’s pretty quick to use.
After that’s all done, we’ll add Reporting Services to the environment, which will also give us Power View at the same time.
The next step is optional. If you’d like to test Multidimensional Analysis Services, then you may want to add a second SSAS instance for this.
You can also install other SQL and SharePoint services (DQS, MDS, etc.), just keep in mind every additional service requires more RAM and CPU, so be sure to allocate enough resources for all the services you’ll use.
The last thing to do, if you wish, is to apply updates to the SQL 2012 components, either using a cumulative update or a service pack. If you do this, make sure to do it last, so the service pack or CU can update all SQL instances at the same time.