SharePoint Farm Prerequisites

This is Step 2 in my SharePoint 2013 Setup Guide

Before attempting the SharePoint 2013 software installation on any servers, complete the prerequisites listed in the following sections on each server to prepare the environment.

Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements

All servers, including the SQL Server, in a SharePoint farm require 64-bit processors and a 64-bit operating system. The minimum operating system that SharePoint supports is Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 or above. SharePoint also supports Windows Server 2012. The minimum database server that SharePoint supports is SQL Server 2008 R2. SharePoint also supports SQL Server 2012.

SharePoint is a memory intensive application more than anything else. Hence, the officially Microsoft supported minimum hardware requirements for a SharePoint server is a server with 8GB of RAM. However, Microsoft’s recommended minimum is 12GB of RAM. SharePoint also depends heavily on the server’s processor and requires a minimum of 4 CPUs.

Microsoft recommends a minimum of 80GB of disk space for the system drive (C:). I recommend adding a data drive (D:) that you will use to store the SharePoint log files as well as any SharePoint index files for search. These files can quickly grow and consume significant disk space, and as such, I prefer to separate them to avoid starving the system drive of available space and affecting system availability.

Microsoft does not support SharePoint farms with servers distributed across multiple data centres. Every SharePoint server and SQL Server that belongs to the same SharePoint farm must be located in the same data centre. This is due to the amount of intra-farm communications between servers and the supported network latency.

Note: For details on the minimum supported requirements, please see this TechNet article:

SharePoint Server Prerequisites

Before you can install SharePoint 2013, there are a number of prerequisite updates and server configurations you will need to complete in order to prepare the server to host SharePoint. For the majority of the prerequisites, Microsoft has provided a tool and they have included it with the SharePoint 2013 installation media on the DVD image.

Add the SharePoint farm service account to the local administrator group on the server. This account will require local administrator access to administer select services for the SharePoint farm, most notably the SharePoint User Profile Synchronization service application.

Before you run the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool, check for server updates on Microsoft Update and install any available updates to ensure the server is up-to-date.

Once you have finished applying the available updates and patches to the server, you are ready to run the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool. This tool will install and configure the following:

  • Web Server (IIS) role
  • Application Server role
  • Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client
  • Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
  • Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client (MSIPC)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Windows Management Framework 3.0 which includes Windows PowerShell 3.0
  • Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) 1.0 and Microsoft Identity Extensions (previously named WIF 1.1)
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • Cumulative Update Package 1 for Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server (KB 2671763)

To run the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool and install the prerequisites, run the prerequisiteinstaller.exe program included with the SharePoint 2013 setup media.

Important: The Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool will require internet access.

After you complete the Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool, you must also install the following Microsoft updates:

After applying all the prerequisites, you can check for updates on Microsoft Update once more to ensure you patch the newly added prerequisite components with any available updates.

Note: For more information on the SharePoint 2013 prerequisites, please see this TechNet article:

SQL Server Prerequisites

SharePoint does not require any special SQL Server setup. A SharePoint farm consumes its database services from a SQL Server using standard data connection strings and SQL stored procedures.

The only permissions that SharePoint will need a DBA to explicitly set are the SQL Server DB Creator and Security Admin server permissions for the SharePoint Farm account. SharePoint will use these permissions to provision each of its databases and it will assign the SharePoint Farm account as the DBO for those databases. For all other accounts, SharePoint will assign any database permissions they require using the least privilege principle.

Note: For more information on configuring SQL Server security for SharePoint 2013, please see this TechNet article:

Next, you are ready to begin installing SharePoint on your servers.