SharePoint on AWS Video Series — Step 1 of 6: Introduction


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This video is the first in a series that will show you how to deploy a SharePoint server farm on Amazon Web Services. Whether you’re an AWS veteran looking to deploy SharePoint, or a SharePoint developer interested in exploring the AWS cloud this series is for you. As our example, we’ll spin up a public-facing web site using CloudFormation templates to create Elastic Compute Cloud instances and other AWS resources. We’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of how to do it step-by-step. The companion document for this series provides detailed instructions and links to all the resources you’ll need. This introduction to the series will begin with a quick overview of SharePoint on Amazon Web Services. Then we’ll make sure you have the prerequisites in place so you’re ready to start. Finally we’ll briefly preview the process of launching the sample SharePoint web site. So why run Microsoft SharePoint Server on Amazon Web Services? Whether you’re deploying a single-server SharePoint Foundation solution, or rolling out a full-featured SharePoint web application AWS offers you a cloud infrastructure that’s flexible, reliable, scalable and cost-effective. And we provide a complete set of services and tools for deploying these solutions. Before you begin, you’ll need an AWS account. If you don’t already have one, go to the AWS home page,, and click the Sign Up button. You’ll also need to create an AWS public/private key pair to use in the process. You can do this in the EC2 console by clicking Key Pairs under Network & Security, then clicking the Create Key Pair button. To deploy a SharePoint farm on AWS, you launch four different stacks in this order: network and Active Directory, database server, application server and web front end server. To launch each stack, you use a CloudFormation template. The AWS CloudFormation service enables you to create a collection of related resources, and provision it repeatedly and predictably. The templates are plain text files containing JavaScript Object Notation code or JaSON. AWS provides four sample JSON templates, one for each stack. For the database server and application server stacks you’ll also have to create custom Amazon Machine Images of those servers for CloudFormation to run against. When the stacks are complete, you can configure your SharePoint farm to create a sample site for proof of concept or demonstration. Finally, you can estimate the monthly costs of running this site over three years. AWS provides a Simple Monthly Calculator where you can input your capacity requirements and estimate your costs. We’ve done a sample calculation for this SharePoint deployment. When you’re done, you will have deployed: a Virtual Private Cloud spanning 2 Availability Zones 2 Windows Server instances serving as Active Directory and DNS Servers 1 SQL Server instance running the database tier 1 Windows Server instance serving as Application Server hosting SharePoint Central Administration and SharePoint Services 2 Windows Server instances serving as Web Front End servers 2 Windows Server instances serving as Remote Desktop Gateway servers 2 Network Address Translation instances an Elastic Load Balancer and an Internet Gateway. To customize these steps, you can download the CloudFormation templates and adapt them to your particular requirements. The Advanced Implementation Guide tells you how. You can also use CloudFormation to deploy SharePoint on AWS for a different scenario: an inward-facing intranet site rather than a public-facing Internet site. The Reference Architecture white paper explains this use case. The rest of the videos in this series walk you through each step of the process. Or if you’re ready to jump in and begin immediately, you can log onto and open the companion document.

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