Server Farms and MOSS Configuration

A server farm is a group or cluster of interconnected computers (servers) created to provide processing capabilities beyond the capabilities of a single computer server.The primary configurations of a server farm are commonly of three types: a highavailability (HAC) cluster, a high-performance cluster (HPC), a load-balancing cluster (LBC), or some combination of all three. An HAC server farm is configured so each primary computer server, dedicated to a single task, application,

After you’ve completed your planning for your Microsoft Office 2007 SharePoint

Server (MOSS) implementation , you are ready to begin the installation of the MOSS environment. However, depending on the type ofinstallation you’re creating, some preliminary actions are necessary to ensure MOSS has the supporting system and application software it needs to support your requirements. Now we look at the preliminary steps needed in each of the two basic types of MOSS installations. MOSS can be installed on a single standalone (nonclustered) server or into a clustered server farm. In each case, Windows Server 2003 must be installed along with different levels of SQL Server and other services and applications.

SERVER FARM VS. STANDALONE

An enterprise typically installs network-wide servers and common services in a cluster of computers, commonly referred to as a server farm. A server farm is two or more networked computers in a single location that host server software or shared network services. Server farms distribute the processing of client requests and server workload between the clustered computers in the farm using load-balancing techniques to more efficiently provide services across a client/server environment.

At the enterprise level, MOSS is installed on a server farm to better process user client requests to and from other servers, which could also be clustered into the server farm (more on this in the next section). However, MOSS can also be installed on a single, standalone computer—meaning, a single server application. It can be installed on a single desktop computer, too, but much of its benefits would be lost. However, as we discuss a bit later in the chapter, SharePoint can provide some benefits on a peer-to-peer network. Overall though, MOSS and the collaborative features built into Microsoft Office 2007 would be best in an enterprise installation.

Server Farms

A server farm is a group or cluster of interconnected computers (servers) created to provide processing capabilities beyond the capabilities of a single computer server. The primary configurations of a server farm are commonly of three types: a highavailability (HAC) cluster, a high-performance cluster (HPC), a load-balancing cluster (LBC), or some combination of all three.

An HAC server farm is configured so each primary computer server, dedicated to a single task, application, or activity, has a backup computer server also dedicated to the same functions. This arrangement allows the server support to continue without interruption should the primary server fail while the backup server is being activated in place of the primary (an action called failover). This is commonly used in situations where system availability is of extreme importance.

An HPC server farm divides a computational workload across several processor nodes in the cluster. This type of cluster is most commonly used in scientific and complex engineering situations.

An LBC server farm is what is most commonly referred to as a server farm. Each of the computer servers in the cluster has one or more specific functions it fulfills to support client requests to the server farm. The workload in this arrangement is distributed using a front-end load-balancer appliance or specialized server software. This is the type of server farm and clustering best suited to an MOSS installation.

MOSS SERVER FARM CONFIGURATION

Depending on the size and scope of the MOSS environment you are creating, the components that make up your server farm will vary somewhat. While there are no hard and fast rules or metrics to gauge the size of the server farm needed, recommended configurations exist for MOSS server farms in small, medium, and large environments: 

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A small MOSS server farm commonly includes the following:---------

Front-end web and application servers to provide web content and MOSS

services, such as search and indexing

A database server running Microsoft SQL Server (optional)

A server supporting IIS and MOSS

A medium MOSS server farm consists of the following:

An MOSS application server

One or more front-end servers to provide IIS and MOSS services, such as

indexing and Excel calculation

A front-end web server

A database server running Microsoft SQL Server (optional)

A large MOSS server farm consists of the following:

Multiple load-balanced front-end web servers providing IIS and MOSS

services

Multiple applications servers supporting specific MOSS applications or

services

At least two clustered database servers running Microsoft SQL Server MOSS requires that each of the web servers in the server farm have the same MOSS services and applications installed, regardless of the primary purpose of the server.

This means that a standalone server cannot be added to the server farm to support a single Microsoft Office 2007 application. For example, a Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 server cannot be added to the server cluster and hope to integrate the Project 2007 data into the MOSS environment. The new server must also have MOSS installed—to the same level as any other web or application servers in the server farm—to function properly. However, on a particular application or web server, specific functions and services can be disabled as a security measure.

Configure a Server as a Web Server

Whether you are installing MOSS in a server farm configuration or as a standalone server, a few preinstallation steps must be taken before installing MOSS. The environment needs to be established by installing and configuring the following systems or services:

Internet Information Services 6.0 This allows your server to perform as a web server, something essential to MOSS operations.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 and ASP.NET 2.0 These services are required to support Web Parts and Web Parts pages.

Install and Configure IIS

When Windows Server 2003 is installed, IIS is not installed nor enabled automatically. Therefore, you must install and activate IIS yourself prior to installing MOSS so your standalone server is enabled to function as a web server. To install and configure IIS on a Windows Server 2003 server, perform the following

STEPS:

1. Open the Administrative Tools menu on the Start Menu and choose the Configure Your Web Server option.

2. Click Next on the Welcome To The Configure Your Server Wizard page.

3. Read the information on the page and if all is well—meaning your network is set up appropriately - click Next to continue.

4. The Server Role page. If the Application server (IIS, ASP.NET) option is set to No, select this option and click the Next button. If the Configured column indicates Yes, you can exit this process because IIS is already enabled. Otherwise, continue with the configuration.

5. The Application Server Options page display. Click the checkbox for Enable ASP.NET and then click Next.

6. The Summary Of Selections page displays.  Read through the items included in the list in the Summary box. If anything is missing from the list, use the Back button to return to a previous page to make the correct selections. The list should include, at a minimum:

Install IIS

Enable COM+ for remote transactions

Enable Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) for remote access

Enable ASP.NET

7. Click the Next button on the Summary Of Selections page.

8. The system then begins the installation and configuration of the IIS and ASP.NET services. If these services were not included in the initial installation of Windows Server 2003, you will need your installation CD for Windows Server 2003  in order to complete the installation and configuration process.

9. When the installation and configuration of IIS and ASP.NET completes, the completion page displays. Click Finish to complete this action and display the Manage Your Server page, which you can close.

Once the preceding process completes, you may have one more step to perform. If the server on which you will be installing MOSS has been recently upgraded from Windows Server 2000 and was running IIS 5.0, you must perform one additional series of steps. If you need to do this, perform the following steps to complete the process:

1. From the Administrative Tools menu, choose the Internet Information Services Manager selection.

2. On the IIS Manager page, click the plus sign (+) next to the server name and then right-click the Web Sites folder. Lastly, select the Properties option

3. In the Web Sites Properties dialog box, choose the Service tab

4. In the Isolation mode area, unselect (clear) the checkbox for the Run WWW

Service In IIS 5.0 Isolation Mode option, if needed, and click OK.


Install the .NET Framework

The Microsoft .NET Framework provides a significant portion of the common programming solutions and also controls programs written for the .NET framework while they are running. Like virtually all new applications created for the Windows and Vista platforms, the .NET Framework is one of the foundation software components for MOSS.

The pop-up menu for the server’s Web Sites folder on the IIS Manager page.

As a part of the pre-installation process of a new MOSS environment, both the .NET Framework 2.0 (also known as DotNetFX) and the .NET Framework 3.0 (also known as WinFX) should be installed. The .NET Framework 2.0 is needed by Microsoft SQL Server

2005 and Visual Student .NET 2005. Although .NET 2.0 is included on the Server 2003 release 2 media, it is not installed by default and must be installed separately. The .NET Framework 3.0 includes a number of application programming interfaces (APIs) that extend its effectiveness into both the Vista and the future Windows Server 2008 releases. However, it also contains software components that support SharePoint Web Parts and an update to the Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF).

TIP Separate versions of each of the .NET Framework releases for x86 and x64 processor-based computers are available.

Install .NET 2.0 Framework The first step in installing the .NET 2.0 Framework is to download the .NET 2.0 Framework Redistributable Package installation file (dotnetfx.exe) from the Microsoft download center (www.microsoft.com/downloads). Once you have downloaded this file and saved it to your system, you can launch the installation by double-clicking the file to start it. From that point, the Microsoft Setup Wizard takes you through the installation step-by-step. You may need to close some running applications during the installation, but you will be advised which applications should be stopped, such as Outlook and IIS. 

The Web Site Properties dialog box’s Service tab.

Install .NET 3.0 Framework To install the .NET 3.0 Framework, first download the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Redistributable Package file (dotnetfx3setup.exe) from the Microsoft Download Center. Once you have saved the downloaded file on your system, doubleclick the file and follow the Setup Wizard’s instructions to complete the installation. Activate ASP.NET 2.0 ASP.NET 2.0 must be enabled on all MOSS servers. This process is performed through the IIS Manager, as follows:

1. Open the Administrative Tools menu on the Start Menu and click the IIS Manager selection.

2. In the IIS Manager tree, expand the server name node by clicking the plus sign (+).

3. Click the Web Service Extensions folder to display the detail pane.

4. Find the ASP.NET v2.0.50727 (or an entry very similar—the version and build numbers may be different) and then click the Allow button.

Microsoft SQL Server Configuration

If your server farm and MOSS environment will include a database server running SQL Server, SQL Server should be installed and configured prior to configuring MOSS. Assuming you have Microsoft SQL Server 2005 installed on a server farm database server, you should perform of the following steps to ensure the database server is properly configured:

-  Set the surface area configuration in SQL Server 2005.

-  Configure the database owner accounts and their collation.

-  Configure the SQL Server login accounts to be used by MOSS.

-  Create any databases required for the MOSS environment.

It is not absolutely necessary you have a database server in your MOSS environment or install SQL Server on your standalone system. For this reason, we have chosen to not go into detail in this area. Should you decide you need to install a database server, or one already exists in your server farm, you should follow the configuration guidelines for SQL Server in an MOSS environment, which can be found on the following web site:

http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office.

STANDALONE SERVER PREINSTALLATION

In situations where you wish to only evaluate MOSS 2007 or where you wish to publish only a small number of MOSS-based web sites, it may be more useful and certainly more administratively efficient to install MOSS on a standalone (meaning, not in a server farm) server. Installation of MOSS, is greatly reduced. In fact, installing MOSS on a single server using the default configuration settings—assuming that Windows 2003 Server is the installed operating system on that server—is largely taken care of by MOSS itself.

As a part of the standalone MOSS installation process, several system elements are installed automatically.

-  Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Used during installation to create the configuration and content databases.

- Shared Service Provider (SSP) Created during installation by the Setup utility.

-  SharePoint site collection and default site These elements are created during installation along with the SharePoint Central Administration web site.

TIP
Remember that while some processes can be used to migrate a standalone server into a server farm using backup and restore processes, the MOSS portion of the migration cannot be directly upgraded from a single-server installation to a server farm installation. So for at least the MOSS portion of the installation, if you decide to move the installation into a server farm, you’ll essentially need to reinstall the MOSS environment.

Configure Server as a Web Server

A few preinstallation steps must be carried out before installing MOSS on a standalone server. As shown in the server farm preinstallation steps covered in the preceding sections, the environment must be established through the installation and configuration of the following systems or services:

Internet Information Services 6.0 This allows your server to perform as aweb server, something essential to MOSS operations.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 and ASP.NET 2.0 These services are required to support Web Parts and Web Parts pages.

Install and Configure IIS

When Windows Server 2003 is installed, IIS is not installed nor enabled automatically. Therefore, you must install and activate IIS yourself prior to installing MOSS so your standalone server is enabled to function as a web server. Use the same steps detailed earlier in the “Install and Configure IIS” section. This part of the process is the same for a standalone server or a server farm server.

Install and Configure the .NET Framework and ASP.NET

Just as the MOSS servers in a server farm should be configured with the .NET 3.0 Framework and ASP.NET 2.0, so should a standalone MOSS server.

By Raman Katwal   Popularity  (7709 Views)