This guide shows you how to install SharePoint 2013 on Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 including the configuration of Windows Server, Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint 2013 prerequisites and SharePoint 2013.
What is your role?
Install as Administrator Install as Developer Install as Other
Here are some information and experiences you might find useful for your own installation process...
SharePoint Server 2013
All steps in this guide apply to the installation of SharePoint Server 2013 but can also be used to install SharePoint Foundation 2013.
SharePoint Foundation 2013
It doesn't matter if you want to install SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Foundation 2013: All hardware and software requirements apply. Both versions have the same requirements regarding Windows Server and SQL Server. If you plan to scale out your environments you will add additional servers to your SharePoint 2013 environment.
Source: System requirements for SharePoint 2013
SharePoint Server 2013 is based on Foundation so they share the same underlying technology. The SharePoint installation steps are exactly the same and each applies to your installation process.
The big question is if Best Practices apply to your own or your customers requirements when you have to install SharePoint 2013: Sometimes they apply to 99 of 100 people but may not be your solution.
Anyway there are non-technical best practices I highly recommend since it helps you so much.
Meet all Hardware requirements
Often I hear "SharePoint 2013 can't have such high requirements..." or "We won't need all features and there's no need to scale...". Don't try to mess with hardware and software requirements and don't try to run a SharePoint 2013 server at the most minimal requirements. Of course it costs money and it doesn't matter if it's their hardware or your time: It has to be paid. But believe me if you need to change things later it takes way more time and resources than you would invest at the beginning.
Get enough Time
Installing SharePoint 2013 (Server or Foundation) can't be compared to installing a tool or application. It includes way more effort than a Windows Server or SQL Server since it's based on different types of servers and a working infrastructure. Usually you will get challenges if you put a system on top combining different servers and services.
Take your time and schedule resources in time. Installing SharePoint can be done in some hours or days... it all depends on how well you and your team are prepared or not.
Prepare your Install Packages
This should be just a small thing but believe it happens more often than you think and eats up your precious time really fast. Make sure that you prepare your own packages and that your customer has everything in place. It’s a waste of time if you need to wait when you are ready to install SharePoint 2013. I met a lot of customers where time and resources were limited but the preparation wasn’t done.
Documentation is everything and often it's not done. It doesn't matter if you give the project to someone else who needs to get into it. Usually there is more than one environment to install: staging, production or a recovery environment. There are hundreds of steps included and since nobody remembers all the steps which were done it’s important to write them down (and to take screenshots). This way the installation process can be done by different people or at different times.
The installation process from a technical point of view isn’t really a problem. You'll get great results with a great preparation and the following tips:
- Meet the requirements
- Try to get resources in time
- Take your time and do it properly
- Verify if you prepared everything for yourself and if your customer has done it too
- Document everything