Hosting the SharePoint Server 2013 Three-Tier Test Lab with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

Hosting the SharePoint Server 2013 Three-Tier Test Lab with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

The SharePoint Server 2013 three-tier test lab consists of five separate computers on the Corpnet subnet:

  • DC1: The domain controller, DNS server, certification authority, and DHCP server
  • WFE1: The front-end web server of the SharePoint Server 2013 three-tier farm
  • APP1: The application server of the three-tier farm
  • SQL1: The SQL database server of the three-tier farm
  • CLIENT1: The web client computer

All computers are members of the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain.

The following figure shows the SharePoint Server 2013 three-tier test lab.


This figure shows the computers and their connections using a hub or switch. You can implement this configuration using physical computers and a switch, virtual computers and a switch, or a combination of physical and virtual components.

If you are using Windows Server 2012 and the Hyper-V server role for your virtualization solution, you can configure the SharePoint three-tier farm test lab in Hyper-V on a single server as shown in the following figure (click on it for a larger version):


The key elements of this configuration are the following:

  • All five computers (DC1, WFE1, APP1, SQL1, and CLIENT1) are virtual machines running on the Hyper-V server.
  • The Corpnet subnet is implemented as the Corpnet virtual switch and all five computers are connected to it.
  • The Hyper-V server has at least one physical network adapter that connects to your organization intranet and the Internet. You can use this connection to connect a computer to the real Internet to install software or updates. For more information, see How do I get my base configuration computers on the Internet?

See the following for a short overview of the configuration process.

To build out the SharePoint Server 2013 three-tier farm in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, do the following:

  1. Create a private virtual switch named Corpnet. For the steps to do this, see Creating a new virtual switch.
  2. Create a new virtual machine named DC1 that is connected to the Corpnet virtual switch. For the steps to do this, see Creating a new virtual machine.
  3. Create a new virtual machines named WFE1, APP1, SQL1, and CLIENT1 and connect them to the Corpnet virtual switch.
  4. Follow the instructions in the Test Lab Guide: Configure SharePoint Server 2013 in a Three-Tier Farm.
    • Step 1 installs and configures DC1, APP1, and CLIENT1. To install Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, or Windows 7 on a virtual machine, see Installing an operating system on a new virtual machine.
    • Steps 2 and 3 configure SQL1 and install SQL Server on it.
    • Step 4  installs SharePoint Server 2013 on APP1, creating a new farm that uses SQL1 as its database server.
    • Steps 5 and 6 configure WFE1 and install SharePoint Server 2013, joining the farm created on APP1.
Windows PowerShell commands
The following Windows PowerShell cmdlet or cmdlets perform the same function as steps 1-3 of the preceding procedure. You must supply values for the –MemoryStartupBytes and -NewVHDSizeBytes parameters for each virtual machine. Enter each cmdlet on a single line, even though they may appear word-wrapped across several lines here because of formatting constraints.

New-VmSwitch -Name Corpnet -SwitchType Private
New-VM –Name DC1 –MemoryStartupBytes <MemorySize> -NewVHDSizeBytes <DiskSize> –SwitchName Corpnet
New-VM –Name WFE1 –MemoryStartupBytes <MemorySize> -NewVHDSizeBytes <DiskSize> –SwitchName Corpnet
New-VM –Name APP1 –MemoryStartupBytes <MemorySize> -NewVHDSizeBytes <DiskSize> –SwitchName Corpnet
New-VM –Name SQL1 –MemoryStartupBytes <MemorySize> -NewVHDSizeBytes <DiskSize> –SwitchName Corpnet
New-VM –Name CLIENT1 –MemoryStartupBytes <MemorySize> -NewVHDSizeBytes <DiskSize> –SwitchName Corpnet

For additional information about configuring test labs with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, see Hosting Test Lab Guide environments in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

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  • Is there a reason that you have the WFE installed on Windows 2008 R2 instead of 2012?

  • Hi Dean, This is mostly for legacy reasons. Windows Server 2008 R2 was the prevalent server OS when the TLG was originally published. You can use Windows Server 2012 on WFE1, you will just have to translate some procedures to the new UI. We are in the process of updating the SharePoint TLGs to include either OS. Joe

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