Installing and Configuring SharePoint 2013 : Creating the Farm (part 1)

10/1/2013 3:27:11 AM

Now that SharePoint is installed you need to create a SharePoint farm. If you are going to have only one SharePoint server in your farm, then simply follow the steps in this section. If you are going to have several SharePoint servers in your farm, then you need to follow these steps on one server to create the farm, and then all the other servers will follow a slightly different process to join the farm. The server on which you run these steps will be the server that hosts Central Admin by default, so determine which lucky server will have that role and then solider on:

1. Make sure you are still logged into the SharePoint server as your install account — Contoso\sp_install in this example.

2. Open the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

3. When the window opens you will see an error message at the top: “The local farm is not accessible. Cmdlets with FeatureDependencyId are not registered.” This is expected, as you have not yet created the farm. Although you can ignore this error for now, keep in mind that it should not appear after you create the farm.

4. At the prompt, run the following PowerShell command and press Enter. You need to change the DatabaseServer parameter value to your server’s name. In this example, the SQL server is named sql, so that is what is used. You can also use Figure 1 to check your work.


New-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseName SharePoint_Config -DatabaseServer sql
-AdministrationContentDatabaseName SharePoint_Admin_Content


You will be using the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell constantly throughout your SharePoint career, so here is a trick to make your life easier: Pin the Management Shell shortcut to the taskbar. To do so, right-click the file in the Start menu and select Pin to Taskbar. After doing that, you need to set the shortcut to always run as administrator. You will never do anything with the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell that doesn’t require you to run as an administrator. After it is pinned, hold down the Shift key and right-click it to expose the properties option. When the properties panel opens, click Advanced. Now you have the option to always have the program run as administrator.

5. A dialog will appear in which you enter your Windows PowerShell credentials. A common mistake is entering the wrong account here. It doesn’t want your username and password; it wants your farm account’s username and password. This needs to be a dedicated account, as it is the most fragile in the farm. Use Contoso\SP_farm. This account needs to be created in AD, and at this point it only needs to be a domain user. Enter the domain\username and password and then click OK.

6. Now you are returned to the Management Shell to enter the farm passphrase. This passphrase is used to allow servers to join and leave this SharePoint farm. In order to qualify as a secure passphrase, it must meet the following guidelines:
  • It must contain at least 8 characters.
  • It must contain at least 3 of the following 4 character groups:
    • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
    • English lowercase characters (a through z)
    • Numerals (0 through 9)
    • Non-alphabetic characters: “! “ # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , - . / : ; < = > ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { | } ~
Type in your passphrase and press Enter. Be sure to make note of it, as you will need it later if you add more servers.
Now would be a good time to take a break. This will run for a while, as it is doing a lot of heavy lifting behind the scenes, such as creating your configuration database and the Central Admin database.
7. When the commands are done running, your Management Shell will return to the slow blinking cursor and in typical PowerShell fashion you will not see any messages, which is a good thing. Open the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard from the Start menu.

8. At the Welcome to SharePoint Products dialog, click Next.

9. A pop-up will appear warning you that some services will be stopped or restarted. That’s fine; just click Yes.

10. In the Modify server farm Settings dialog, leave the default of “Do not disconnect from this server farm,” and click Next. Seeing any other screen at this point is a bad thing and means something went wrong in steps 1-6.

Most likely the farm failed to create and you got an error message. You will need to go back and work through that error message. If any databases were created when you got the error message, you will probably need to delete those from the SQL server on your own.

11. In the Configure SharePoint Central Administration Web Application dialog, click Specify port number and enter any number you can remember.

12. Under Configure Security Settings, use the default of NTLM. Keep in mind that this is asking if you want Central Administration to use NTLM or Kerberos. It is not asking if you want Kerberos anywhere in your farm. You always want NTLM for Central Administration. Confirm your settings using Figure 2 as an example. If everything looks good, click Next.



13. On this screen quickly double-check all of your settings and then click Next to finish creating this fabulous farm. You might notice the progress bar goes straight to step 4 of 9. This is because you did the earlier steps using PowerShell.

14. After a couple of quick minutes you should get a Configuration Successful screen. Click Finish.

After a few moments Internet Explorer will open and the Central Administration website will load. Don’t get trigger-happy and start pressing buttons. You’ll explore how to configure your new farm after a brief message about multi-server farms.

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