So now that we have the servers all built and configured it is time to install SharePoint across all the instances.  As in previous posts, I will be using Brian Lala’s AutoSPInstaller.  The great thing about this tool is that if configured properly (like we did previously) it will perform the installation for all servers from one server.  This means you won’t have to install on one, and then install the other ones separately.  It can all be done from a single server.

This is a multi-part series.  You can see what is coming and review other posts in the series by clicking one of the following links:

Preparing AutoSPInstaller

  • Download the latest version of AutoSPInstaller from https://github.com/brianlala/AutoSPInstaller.
  • Extract it into your servers (for the purpose of this post I have saved it to C:\SPInstall.
  • Next, copy the 2019 and Automation folder from AutoSPInstaller extract into the SPInstall folder.
  • Copy the SharePoint folder from the AutoSPBuilder setup into the 2019 folder.
  • Once that is done copy the Updates folder (if you downloaded CU patches) into the 2019\Updates folder.
  • Copy the AutoSPInstallerInput script you created from the previous post to Automations folder.
  • Either delete or rename the original AutoSPInstallerInput.xml file.
  • When this is all done copy the C:\SPInstall folder from your App server to your WFE server.
  • On the WFE server rename the config file to the name of your WFE server (AutoSPInstallerInput-drevAzureSP-WFE.xml).
  • Repeat this last 3 steps for all of the other servers in your farm.

Backup the Farm Servers

Just in case something goes wrong during the install I would suggest you backup your VMs.  Unlike Hyper-V or another VM Manager, you don’t simply right click on the VM and create a snapshot.  You need to use Azure Backup.  Now Azure Backup does incur a cost.  This step is only as a precaution and you don’t have to do it.  Also, once SP is up and running you can delete the backups to save storage costs.

Create a Storage Vault

Note: you only need to do this step if you haven’t already created recovery services within your environment.

  1. Click on All Services
  2. Type in Recovery in the search box
  3. Click on Recovery Services Vault

Microsoft Azure - Installing SharePoint 2019 - Start Vault Creation

  1. Click on “+Add”
  2. Select the SharePoint Resource Group
  3. Enter a name for the vault
  4. Click Review + Complete
  5. Click Create.
  6. Wait for the vault to be created.

As this is for a dev environment I want to reduce costs by changing the backup configuration.

  1. In the vault configuration click on Properties
  2. Click on Update under Backup Configuration
  3. Click on Locally-redundant under Storage replication type
  4. Click Save

Microsoft Azure - Installing SharePoint 2019 - Configure Backup Configuration

Backup VMs

Ensure the servers are shut down and back up the VMs.

  1. From the Backup Vault click on +Backup
  2. Click on Configure under Step: Configure Backup
  3. If you don’t have any policies or items build you will get a screen to create one.
    1. Change the backup policy to Create New
    2. Give the policy a meaningful name.
    3. Change the backup frequency to Weekly
    4. Update “Retain instant recovery snapshot(s) for” to 5 days
    5. Leave everything as default
    6. Click Ok.

Microsoft Azure - Installing SharePoint 2019 - Create Backup Policy

  1. Select each server to backup.
  2. Click Ok.
  3. Click Enable Backup
  4. Once the Backup configuration has been deployed go back to the Vault landing page and click on Backup Items
  5. Click on Azure Virtual Machine
  6. For each server listed click on the ellipsis and select Backup now
  7. Set the date you wish to retain the backup till.
  8. Click Ok.

Microsoft Azure – Installing SharePoint 2019

Once everything is backed up it is finally time to install SharePoint 2019 on all of the servers in the farm.  In previous versions of AutoSPInstaller and SharePoint, you had to use a UNC path to launch.  I couldn’t find any confirmation if this was still required or not, but I figured the time required to launch this way wasn’t a big deal.  I shared the SharePoint folders to everyone and launched AutoSPInstaller by running the following command:

This will start the AutoSPInstaller process.  For the most part, everything is completely hands-off and will run with no interaction from you.

Full Disclosure: The process did fail a couple of times for me when rolling out User Profile Services and Managed Metadata Service, but rerunning the process it didn’t have any issues and the systems are running fine.

Once the first server is installed and the farm configured AutoSPInstaller will install the other servers and join them to the farm.

The completed and functional farm:

Microsoft Azure - Installing SharePoint 2019 - SharePoint 2019 Deployed to Azure

Thanks for reading!