SharePoint 2013 Farm Setup Guide

This setup guide walks you through the steps to install and configure a SharePoint 2013 farm and an Office Web Apps 2013 farm.

I have included a range of topics from preparing for the farm deployment through the deployment itself, including the following topics:

  • A checklist I use to help organize and prepare for the farm build
  • All the implementation details I like to decide on before the build
  • The prerequisites to prepare for a SharePoint farm build
  • The install and configuration steps for SharePoint
  • The Windows Firewall rules to enable intra-farm communication
  • The install and configuration for Office Web Apps
  • A checklist I use to guide next steps once the farm is deployed

I usually use the contents of this guide to produce documentation for my clients when I am engaged to build a SharePoint farm, starting with giving them the preflight checklist to get everything ready for me before I arrive, and ending with the next steps checklist to give them direction on what to do next. I like leaving this information with my clients because it provides them with answers and direction. You’re welcome to do the same.

Preparation/Preflight Checklist

  • Order SSL certificate for URL domain(s)
  • Procure and configure hardware load balancing (if load balancing)
  • Provision virtual servers – Windows 2012 (preferred) or Windows 2008 R2 SP1+
  • Install and configure Forefront UAG
  • Install SSL certificate on servers
  • Create DNS entries for domains to resolve to Forefront/load balancer
  • Copy setup media to servers
    • Copy SharePoint 2013 setup files to SharePoint servers
    • Copy SharePoint 2013 Language Packs to SharePoint servers
    • Copy KB2554876, KB2708075, KB2759112, KB2765317 to SharePoint servers
    • Copy Office Web Apps 2013 setup files to Office Web Apps servers
    • Copy Office Web Apps Language Packs to Office Web Apps servers
  • Provision SQL Server 2012 (preferred) or SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Provision service accounts in Active Directory and grant permissions
    • Grant SP Farm service account local Administrator on SharePoint servers
    • Grant SP Farm “Replicate Directory Changes” AD permissions (see note)
    • Grant SP Farm SQL Server permissions – DB Creator and Security Admin
  • Identify SharePoint 2013 and Office Web Apps 2013 product keys
  • Identify outbound e-mail server details
    • An SMTP address for SharePoint outbound email (for alerts, etc.)
    • An e-mail address for the “From” or “Reply To” address in system e-mails

Note: Please see this TechNet article for the steps on how to grant AD permissions:

Farm Implementation Details and Prerequisites

Install and Configure

Next Steps Checklist

  • SQL DBA to configure database backup schedule
  • Networking/Infrastructure resource configure routing and load-balancing rules
  • System Center administrator to configure system monitoring
  • Operations team to plan for regular patching and maintenance
  • Build an FAQ community support SharePoint site to log common end-user questions
  • Document SharePoint support information and resources