Hey readers, I hope you had a great time at MMS 2013 (if you were able to make it!).  If you did make it, you may have seen this service template featured on the big stage during Brad Anderson’s keynote.  Pretty cool!  Before we continue on to Part 3, review Parts 1 and 2 for background if you haven’t already.

Introduction material on what we’ll be covering in this series at a high level.

Getting started with the basics such as downloading the required content and staging this content inpreparation of importing, configuring, and deploying your SharePoint service template.

What’s Next?  Let’s Prepare the Images!

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So now that you have all the content downloaded and staged, you need to move to the next step and prepare the base VHDs leveraged by this solution.  These break down in “two flavors”

  1. SQL Tier Base VHD: This is a Windows Server 2012 virtual hard disk that has been prepared with SQL Server 2012 SP1 and sysprepped
  2. Web and APP Tier Base VHD: This is a Windows Server 2012 virtual hard disk that has been been prepared by running the SharePoint base installation (no configuration wizard) and sysprepped.  The app and web tiers for the SharePoint service template are virtually identical so one is sufficient and can be leveraged for both tiers.

Preparing the SQL Tier Base VHD

This three tier service template leverages SQL 2012 SP1 for the database backend for SharePoint 2013.  In order to properly install SharePoint and add it to the farm during deployment of this service template, a sysprepped SQL image is leveraged and required.

Start with Setting up the Base Operating System (Server 2012)

To prepare the base virtual hard disk (VHD)

  1. Create a new virtual machine in VMM: Created within VMs and Services section of the VMM console
  2. Install the operating system: Install the OS with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter GUI install (pointing to an ISO or DVD/CD media)
    image
  3. Get a tasty beverage and watch the install (or play some XBOX) Mug, Xbox
  4. Customize and login to your new server OS
  5. Patch your server and get ready for the installation of SQL 2012 SP1.
  6. Lastly, remove the DVD mapping for the Windows OS ISO (if you used one)
    image

For more information about how to create a virtual machine on a blank VHD, see How to Create and Deploy a Virtual Machine from a Blank VHD.

Note   Do not use SysPrep on the operating system at this point! SysPrep happens later.

Next, Let’s Install SQL Server 2012 SP1 on the Prepared OS

Use the following information to install SQL Server 2012 SP1 onto your base VHD image you just created above.

  1. Install SQL Server 2012 on Base VHD: Start by selecting Advanced and then the option for Image preparation of a stand-alone…
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    By the way, you can use the SQL source you shared on the network (in our previous post) or you can certainly copy the SQL source to this OS locally and install from there.  This gives you the option of sourcing local and using the SYSTEM account (instead of a domain account) if you wish to install SQL.  Modifications will need to be done within the SQL section of the service template configuration however so keep track of what you are doing in this step of the process if you decide to stray from how this is documented as assumed defaults.
  2. Follow the prompts to install setup files
  3. When prompted with the wizard, kick off the feature installation.  The Database Engine Services is really all that is required but knock yourself out if you want to add more.  Be advised however that SQL Management Studio will not be available on a sysprepped version of SQL and will require post install scripts or manual installation to “light up” and be available. 
    image
  4. This next step, very important.  When prompted, make sure you are typing in the following for the Instance information.
    image

    A peak under the hood at the service template properties (you’ll configure later), you can see how they are related to one another.  If you change the above, you’ll need to change the below.  Keep it simple and user “MSSQLSERVER” for your first run through and then get crazy after that Open-mouthed smile.
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  5. Next – “Next, Next, Next, Next, Done!” you get the idea.  Grab another tasty beverage because this could take a bit of time.  Once you see all successes, you are done with this step, hit Close and then close out of the install wizard.

For more information see Install SQL Server 2012 Using SysPrep. Follow the instructions under the Prepare Image section. 

Note   Do not use SysPrep on the operating system at this point. SysPrep is coming next, I promise Smile.

Now Let’s Finalize the VHD and Copy It to the Virtual Machine Library to be Used Later

We’re going to use SysPrep to finalize the VHD, and then manually copy it to the library so that it can be used by the service template for SharePoint 2013

To use SysPrep to finalize the VHD

  1. Ensure that you have completed all of the previous substeps in this section.
  2. Access SysPrep in the following directory on your virtual machine: %windir%\system32\SysPrep, and then at an elevated command prompt, execute the following example command.

    Example: C:\windows\system32\SysPrep\SysPrep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown
    image
  3. After the virtual machine fully shuts down, navigate to the location of your VHD on your Hyper-V host, and then copy the VHD to the subdirectory where you store your virtual machine templates in your VMM library.

Example: \\SCVMMServer\MSSCVMMLibrary\VHDs\

Note   Location of VHD should be in the settings of your virtual machine.

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Preparing the Web and App Tier Base VHD

This service template leverages another base VHD image for the Web and App tiers.  These tiers are identical on configuration / setup so we can do both in this step with one image!

Start with Preparing the Base VHD Operating System

TIP: This is exactly the same process as above until you reach the installation of SQL – we’ll switch to installing SharePoint on this one instead.  Look above for the fancy pictures

To prepare the base virtual hard disk (VHD)

  1. Create a new virtual machine in VMM: Created within VMs and Services section of the VMM console
  2. Install the operating system: Install the OS with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter GUI install (pointing to an ISO or DVD/CD media)
  3. Get a tasty beverage and watch the install (or play some XBOX) Mug, Xbox
  4. Customize and login to your new server OS
  5. Patch your server and get ready for the installation of SQL 2012 SP1.
  6. Lastly, remove the DVD mapping for the Windows OS ISO (if you used one)

For more information about how to create a virtual machine on a blank VHD, see How to Create and Deploy a Virtual Machine from a Blank VHD.

Note   Do not use SysPrep on the operating system at this point! SysPrep happens later.

Next, We’ll Install SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise on the OS You Just Prepared

Use the following resources to install SharePoint Server 2013 (we’re going to just do the base install with no configuration)

To install SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise

  1. Navigate to your SharePoint source you already staged on your network share and fire up the splash wrapper.  If you are following along, you should find it in a path similar to the below
    image
  2. Run the prerequisite checker for SharePoint Server 2013 that is referenced on the Splash Wizard and enable any server roles or download and apply any updates required for SharePoint.  Expect some reboots.
  3. Install SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise on the virtual machine.  Install only, don’t customize.  Ensure you are selecting Complete Install
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    VERY IMPORTANT Note Ensure to only install SharePoint and not configure it. Configuration happens during the service template deployment process using the AutoSPInstaller script and configuration XMLAt the end of the installation, ensure you deselect the configuration wizard option.
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Time to Finalize the VHD and Copy it to the VMM Library (Just Like Before)

  1. Ensure that you have completed all of the previous substeps in this section.
  2. Access SysPrep in the following directory on your virtual machine: %windir%\system32\SysPrep, and then at an elevated command prompt, execute the following example command.

    Example: C:\windows\system32\SysPrep\SysPrep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown
  3. After the virtual machine fully shuts down, navigate to the location of your VHD on your Hyper-V host, and then copy the VHD to the subdirectory where you store your virtual machine templates in your VMM library.

Example: \\SCVMMServer\MSSCVMMLibrary\VHDs\

In Summary

So to wrap things up in this post, at this point you should have both VHDx files created (SQL sysprepped on one and SharePoint sysprepped for the other) and copied into your VMM library.  This gets you set up for the next configuration steps in the end to end process.  In the next post I’ll talk about how to properly update the AutoSPInstaller XML configuration file to ensure it matches your environment requirements.

Part4: Application Management-Example-Deploying a Service to Your Private Cloud

 

Till next time,

Happy Service Template’ing! Winking smile


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