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Installing MOSS on Windows Server 2008 RTM

At my most recent engagement my client, a forward thinker, wanted to deploy MOSS to Windows Server 2008. Obviously there is much to be said about Server 08: higher security, better performance, and built for the web. This is also the first exposure to IIS 7 on the server edition to Windows. Even still being a pioneer will definitely take time and patience to get there. Here are a few notes from my experience.

First, I had rebuild my standard MOSS Build Doc for Server 2008. It needed some updating anyway. I really enjoy the concept of installing features and roles. Picking only necessary features or sub features is great direction for the OS. Also, I love that .Net 3.0 is included in the standard role. When installing IIS make sure you don’t forget to install IIS Redirect (if needed) and don’t forget any authentication methods you will need for your SharePoint install. This process only takes minutes, it is definitely improved over Server 2003.

Next, when installing MOSS on Server 08 you need to install MOSS with Service Pack 1 prepackage. At the time the only way to install MOSS with SP1 was to slipstream the installation, Martin Kearn has a blog about accomplishing this. Today you don’t have to go through the process of slipstreaming you can download MOSS with SP1 directly from Microsoft. Thanks Microsoft!

Now that you have the bits you need to deploy them. There are a couple of points I will bring up right away, during the install and configuration you are probably going to want to turn off User Account Control (UAC) on your account.During the setup and configuration only since I believe that this is a useful and important tool just not when you are messing with configuration. UAC can get in the way and even present you unexpected results. I already have a blog on UAC and copying files to the GAC. I also had intermittent errors when deploying the query and index server roles when UAC was turned on. That’s why I will make a blanket statement and say just disable it now and then re-enable it when your system goes live.

Next thing was the Windows Firewall. Yes, the firewall was in Windows Server 2003 but it always seemed to be off. With Server 08 it is turned on my default. Again with the query service I had problems adding one of my Web Front Ends to the farm. It turned out that I had to add the port number to the Central Admin Site to the exception list of that server’s Windows Firewall. Once completed I was able to get my server online and talking with the other servers in the farm.

Last note is IIS7. Once everything is configured check out IIS. Get familiar with the interface. I consider IIS 7 like the Office Ribbon, yes it is frustrating that everything is in a different place but once you find your way, it will all make sense. Personally I think it is phenomenal what you can do with all the screen real estate. In IIS 6 you were almost always limited to that little window. The only thing (so far) that I don’t like is that I can no longer browse sites directly from IIS. When you click the browse link IIS pops open an IE session. I guess it is a trivial thing but I still miss that function.

I will be following up with a few more blogs on troubleshooting and errors. If you have any questions about installing please do not hesitate to ask. Best of luck!

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