SharePoint 2010 farm public template

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is a web application platform designed to facilitate enterprise content management and collaboration amongst teams within an organization. The most common uses include running a company intranet portal; managing public websites; and storing and tracking documentation.

The Skytap SharePoint 2010 farm public template contains a pre-configured SharePoint farm, a complex SharePoint environment that distributes SharePoint resources across multiple VMs in a classic 3 tier architecture: the web tier, the application tier and the database tier. This complete SharePoint environment can be leveraged directly to provide SharePoint services to your organization, or can be used as a dev/test platform. Details on the contents, use cases, and startup steps can be found below.

Note that Skytap only provides support for the environment and VMs that makes up the template, not SharePoint itself. For SharePoint specific questions please contact your Microsoft support representative.

Template location

Overview

  • Complete SharePoint farm in a self-contained four-machine environment that can be instantiated within seconds.
  • SharePoint Administrative Site and a sample team site are instantly accessible as soon as the environment is run.
  • Skytap automatic networking capability creates virtual network for the environment, allowing the SharePoint VMs to exchange information and share resources.

Template contents

  • One (1) – SharePoint Web Tier, running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and SharePoint Foundation Server 2010. This VM is configured as a web server that generates web pages and handles user requests. Accessing it provides a sample web site that features a shared file library, calendar, and discussion section.
  • One (1) – SharePoint App Tier, running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and SharePoint Foundation Server 2010. This VM is configured as a dedicated server for the SharePoint Central Administration web site; accessing it will allow you to manage your SharePoint farm.
  • One (1) – Domain Controller running Window Server 2008 R2 SP1. This server handles security authentication requests within the domain.
  • One (1) – SQL server running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express. This functions as the farm’s database server, and contains the Central Administration configuration and content database.

Use cases

  • Use the SharePoint Farm as your team’s central SharePoint platform, using it to create sites, collaborate on documents and files, and share information.
  • Use the SharePoint Farm as a development and test stack. You can practice customizing SharePoint websites, use the environment to test integration of enterprise application software, or build custom web parts and deploy them to the farm. You can also stamp out multiple copies and test in parallel using automatic or manual testing.
  • Use the SharePoint farm as a demo/training environment to deploy your SharePoint products, like custom sites or WebParts, and demo it and/or train your customers on your product.

Getting started

The SharePoint Farm is ready to run as soon as it’s created from a template, so the startup steps are minimal:

  1. Run all four VMs in the environment. They should take less than a minute to start up.
  2. Access the Web Tier or App Tier using the Secure Remote Access (SRA) browser client. A browser window opens, showing a SharePoint sample page (in the Web Tier) or the SharePoint Central Administration suite (in the App Tier).

Next steps

Create additional sites – You can create additional websites on the Web tier to replace the Skytap sample site. For information on how to create web sites, web apps, or site collections, see this video.

Customize the environment and save as template – For better performance, you can power down the App and Web Tiers and increase their CPUs and RAM via the Hardware tab of the VM Settings page. You can also change the environment’s settings and resources via the SharePoint Central Administration site. After modifying this environment, you can save it as your own customized SharePoint template.

Migrate to an existing SharePoint database – You can migrate an existing SharePoint database server to be used in this environment. The uses for such a migration are:

  • Migrating your on-premise SharePoint farm to Skytap without any loss of data, and
  • Upgrading the database (SQL) server in this template from SQL Express to a full version of Microsoft SQL Server. This is useful if you have been using the Skytap SharePoint farm for some time and need databases larger than 10 GB, which is the maximum size of a SQL Express database. With this migration you can use a full version for Microsoft SQL Server without losing the work you have done in the farm to date. For information on how to perform this migration, see this article.

Link SharePoint to Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server – You can link this environment together with machines running Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server to create a full, continuous integration environment for developing and testing SharePoint customizations.

SharePoint guides

Support – SharePoint documentation can be found at here. You can contact Microsoft for SharePoint support here.

Licensing – This Environment runs SharePoint Foundation 2010, a freely licensed version of SharePoint. If you’d like to upgrade to an enterprise version of SharePoint, you can acquire and input your own license. Additionally, it is recommended that you input your own Windows Server licenses in all the VMs in this environment.