Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Final post (post #14)

This post is #14 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup
Post #8 – Configuring Password policy
Post #9 – Installing System Center Endpoint Protection
Post #10 – Installing SQL Server
Post #11 – Installing SharePoint Server
Post #12 – Installing PowerPivot for SharePoint
Post #13 – Configuring PowerPivot for SharePoint

Wow. This has been a long and wild ride. But you and I made it together. We now have the full recipe to automatically configure a Microsoft BI demo machine with PowerShell. Of course there is more to be done, such as configuring other Service Accounts and deploying demo content; this script however saves me a lot of time every time I need to stand up a new demo machine.

You can download the script here. Please note (again) that the code is provided as-is and you should use it at your own risk. It is probably still buggy but should give you a good starting point to adapt it to your needs.

I enjoyed the ride with you; hope I made your life a bit easier of the course of this series. Enjoy!

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Configuring PowerPivot (post #13)

This post is #13 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup
Post #8 – Configuring Password policy
Post #9 – Installing System Center Endpoint Protection
Post #10 – Installing SQL Server
Post #11 – Installing SharePoint Server
Post #12 – Installing PowerPivot for SharePoint

Now that PowerPivot for SharePoint has been installed, we need to configure it. I split the configuration into two parts since we need a reboot in between and used MSDN for reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh230903.aspx.

Step A: configuring SharePoint and deploying PowerPivot features

In Post #11 we talked about installing SharePoint, but the actual SharePoint provisioning was not done then. We will do it here in one go with installing PowerPivot features.

 

Step B: updating farm credentials and starting service applications

After the PowerPivot features have been deployed we need to configure Service Applications to get PowerPivot to work.

 

Now we have seen all the steps required to build a Microsoft BI demo machine! The next post will serve as a wrap up and present a download for the full script.

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Installing PowerPivot for SharePoint (post #12)

This post is #12 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup
Post #8 – Configuring Password policy
Post #9 – Installing System Center Endpoint Protection
Post #10 – Installing SQL Server
Post #11 – Installing SharePoint Server

Ok, now that both SQL Server and SharePoint Server are installed, we just need to set up PowerPivot for SharePoint and configure it. Easy huh? Well, it turns out it is pretty difficult to get it right. Installation is not difficult (this post) but the configuration is harder (the next post). Here is how to install PowerPivot. I used MSDN for the info: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee210645.aspx.

Installing PowerPivot involves mounting the SQL Server Installation Media and calling the setup with the right parameters.

Next time: configuring PowerPivot.

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Installing SharePoint (post #11)

This post is #11 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup
Post #8 – Configuring Password policy
Post #9 – Installing System Center Endpoint Protection
Post #10 – Installing SQL Server

Wow, so the last post was pretty intense, wasn’t it? I think we are ready for the next one: installing SharePoint. To build this script I used the following sources: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14582.sharepoint-2013-install-prerequisites-offline-or-manually-on-windows-server-2012-a-comprehensive-guide.aspx#Installing_the_Roles_and_Features_for_SharePoint_2013_on_Windows_Server_2012_Offline_with_PowerShell and http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uksharepoint/archive/2013/03/18/scripted-installation-of-sharepoint-2013-and-office-web-apps-server-from-the-field-part-2.aspx.

Since this is again a quite lengthly script we will split it up in steps.

Step A: enabling IIS and other features

This step enables a whole load of features on Windows that are required by SharePoint, including IIS. If a restart is required, the script will reboot after the setup of the features. Some times your machine might reboot more than once to complete the setup of all these features.

 

Step B: Installing SharePoint Prerequisites

SharePoint itself has a number of prerequisites; in this still we will install them all.

 

Step C: Installing SharePoint

SharePoint is installed in this step from the ISO that the script mounts.

 

Step D: Cleaning up

This step simply unmounts the SharePoint installation media.

 

Pff, are we done yet? No! Next up: Installing PowerPivot for SharePoint.

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Installing SQL Server (post #10)

This post is #10 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup
Post #8 – Configuring Password policy
Post #9 – Installing System Center Endpoint Protection

In this tenth post we will get to the heart of it: installing SQL Server. After this script completes we will have SQL Agent, SQL Database, Analysis Services (multidimensional and tabular), Integration Services, Data Quality Services, Master Data Services, FullText search, Filestreaming, Development and Management tools and Reporting Services (both native and SharePoint integrated mode) installed. This script will be lengthier than earlier scripts simply because there is a lot more to do. Info I used to create this script: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms144259.aspx. Here we go.

Step A: creating new service accounts

In this step we first remove any service account that starts with ‘SQL Server’ and then create new serviceaccounts using the configured password.

 

Step B: making sure required features are installed

In this step we make sure .NET 3.5 feature is enabled in Windows.

 

Step C: Mounting the ISO and set up the parameters

We can now mount the SQL Server installation ISO and set up parameters for the setup to run with. We will do two phases (passes) since we cannot install both SSRS Native and SharePoint integrated mode and SSAS Multidimensional and Tabular mode in one go.

 

Step D: do the actual installations

Now we execute SQL Server setup with the right argument list. This configures instance names, service accounts and passwords and the features to install. The install will be silent.

 

Step E: wrapping up

In this step we unmount the SQL Server installation media and write to the log.

 

 

Next step: installing SharePoint

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Installing System Center Endpoint Protection (post #9)

This post is #9 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup
Post #8 – Configuring Password policy

Although in the last step we configured a very permissive password policy we need a bit of security, so that is why I opted to install System Center Endpoint Protection. Now, in Azure you can also have extensions for security (both with Microsoft and 3rd party security products) so probably you will never install System Center Endpoint protection yourself, but for the sake of reference, here is how to install it using PowerShell.

Next step: installing SQL Server

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Password policy (post #8)

This post is #8 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
Post #7 – Active Directory setup

In this step we will configure a very permissive password policy. This of course requires that the previous step (setting up Active Directory) has successfully completed. The password policy set using this script is only suitable for demo environments since it is very, very (did I say very?) permissive; it sets a minimal password length of 0, does not record any history of passwords (you can re-use your password again and again), passwords never expire and do not have to follow complexity rules. So, even an empty password is allowed (although not recommended since your Windows services will then not start). However, having ‘1234’ as password would work perfectly under this policy (and no, this is not the password I use for my demo machines).

 

Next step: installing System Center Endpoint protection

Power BI and Cortana integration explored

With the big news of the Power BI and Cortana integration I could not wait until next week to publish this short video of me demo-ing this cool technology! In the video I ask Cortana a couple of questions on stats from my a part of my blog that I record using Google Analytics. How cool is that? This shows the unique ability of Microsoft to integrate a BI technology such as Power BI with Windows to make it very easy for users to get the information they need when they need it where they need it. Do you speak BI? Great stuff don’t you think?

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Active Directory Setup (post #7)

This post is #7 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script
Post #6 – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration

In this step we will set up Active Directory. This script has been inspired on http://blogs.technet.com/b/ashleymcglone/archive/2013/04/18/touch-free-powershell-dcpromo-in-windows-server-2012.aspx.

 

Next step: configuring a very permissive password policy.

Automatically building a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (post #6)

This post is #6 in the series to automatically build a Microsoft BI machine using PowerShell – see the start of series.

In this series so far:

Start of series – introduction and layout of subjects
Post #2 – Preparation: install files using Azure disk
Post #3 – Preparation: install files using Azure File Service
Post #4 –Preparation: logging infrastructure
Post #5 – Master script

In this step we will disable the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. In general IEESC is a great idea, but on demo machines it is not very useful and makes the demo less usable. This script comes from http://itproctology.blogspot.nl/2013/09/powershell-to-disable-ie-enhanced.html:

Next step: set up Active Directory.