Written by Chris Tao, Microsoft Premier Field Engineer.
Deploying a large scale Microsoft SharePoint 2010 farm is typically a challenge for Enterprise IT administrators. Not only does the default PSConfig GUI wizard require administrators to manually finish each step, it doesn’t provide the administrator with the ability to customize some of the underlying parameters, such as defining SharePoint database names or disabling some specific SharePoint Service Applications during setup.
To resolve this challenge, IT administrators can leverage the SharePoint built-in PowerShell library to customize the deployment process. However, this may sometimes create more issues if the administrator is not familiar with the SharePoint SDK and PowerShell. In this situation, an automated and easy-to-use SharePoint setup script will be necessary to address these challenges.
AutoSPInstaller is a CodePlex open source project that was created to solve the above challenges. Using AutoSPInstaller, IT administrators can easily customize the SharePoint 2010 deployment process by just changing some basic parameters.
The scripted process covers all of the SharePoint deployment phases – all the way from installing prerequisites to setting up portal applications and services. You can get the detailed installation steps here.
Using AutoSPInstaller to set up a typical SharePoint 2010 farm
Now let’s look at how to leverage AutoSPInstaller to setup a typical SharePoint 2010 farm. Here are the recommended steps to follow when using AutoSPInstaller (formal script documentation is also available):
1. Verify that all of the necessary security accounts are already in the Server Operating System (OS) Administrators Group.
2. Prepare the SharePoint 2010 Installation media files and extract them to the C:\SP2010 folder (note that this location is not mandatory but is typically recommended).
3. Download AutoSPInstaller from CodePlex and extract the files into the C:\SP2010 folder.
4. If necessary, download the RTM language packs you want to install and add these into the folder at C:\SP2010\LanguagePacks\. Remember to rename the files to make sure the locale settings can be reflected by the filename (for example, ServerLanguagePack_sv-se.exe).
5. If necessary, download the service packs/updates and extract the files into the folder at C:\SP2010\Updates\.
6. Update the script parameters. In order to do this, locate the file at C:\SP2010\AutoSPInstaller\AutoSPInstallerInput.xml.
7. The XML file should look like the illustration below. Make sure to input or update all the required parameters based on your real environment settings.
8. Use the script from the CodePlex Download Site to download all of the required prerequisites for SharePoint 2010. Specify the destination folder at C:\SP2010\Prerequisites\ and then run the script to download the required files.
9. Open the Command Console by right clicking the command shortcut, and select “Run As Administrator”, then type the command to run the deployment script: c:\SP2010\AutoSPInstaller\AutoSPInstallerLaunch.bat
10. At this point, you can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee. The script will automatically complete the rest of the deployment process without requiring any more input from you. The screen should display the installation progress as depicted below:
11. When finished, a setup log document will automatically pop up to show the detailed installation progress info. You can then use this document for troubleshooting if any issues occurred during the deployment.
Although most of the script features will run automatically, there are things to consider before running it:
Taking Care With Language Packs
Be careful when using this script for an RTM+RTM Language Pack+SP1+SP1 Language Pack update scenario, as the slipstream technology only supports updates and language updates and doesn’t cover the RTM language pack installation. Although the script supports both slipstream and language pack installation, it’s very important for IT administrators to understand the right installation order.
For more details, please check these 2 articles:
- Slipstream SharePoint 2010 SP1 and Language Packs SP1 into RTM Builds
- Be Careful When You Use Slipstreamed SharePoint Installation Files
Overall, the AutoSPIntaller is a powerful script to help IT administrators simplify and standardize the SharePoint deployment process, which should save a lot of time and effort. For more information about this script, please visit the AutoSPIntaller Codeplex site.