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Determine hardware and software requirements (Search Server 2008)

Updated: January 16, 2012

Applies To: Microsoft Search Server 2008

Updated: 2012-01-16

NoteNote:

Unless otherwise noted, the information in this article applies to both Microsoft Search Server 2008 and Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express.

A Microsoft Search Server 2008 or Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express configuration can range from a Basic installation (a stand-alone deployment on a single server) to an Advanced installation that uses multiple servers. This article describes minimum and recommended hardware and software requirements for the Basic and Advanced installation options. The hardware and software requirements described in this article apply to both x86 (32-bit–based) and x64 (64-bit–based) systems. Search Server does not support Itanium-based systems.

NoteNote:

Beyond the minimum requirements described in this article, your hardware needs depend on your planning for availability, capacity, and performance. This article does not provide guidance on designing a farm topology or selecting hardware based on extended architectural requirements. For information about designing a solution to meet your requirements, see Planning and architecture for Search Server 2008.

In this article:

Software requirements

This section describes the following software requirements:

  • Operating system and Windows component requirements

  • Levels of browser support

Operating system and Windows component requirements

We recommend that you install Search Server on a computer that has a new installation of either of the following:

  • Any of the following Windows Server 2003 operating systems (32-bit or 64-bit versions) with the most recent service packs or their R2 counterparts:

    • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition operating system

    • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system

    • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition operating system

    • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition operating system

Any of the following Windows Server 2008 operating systems (32-bit or 64-bit versions) with the most recent service packs:

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard operating system

  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise operating system

  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter operating system

  • Windows Web Server 2008 operating system

When you run the Search Server Preparation Tool from the installation Start screen, the tool downloads, installs, and enables the following elements as necessary and appropriate to satisfy Search Server requirements:

  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 (Windows Server 2003 operating systems only)

  • Either of the following:

    • Windows Workflow Foundation Runtime Components and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0

  • Application server role (IIS, ASP.NET)

  • IIS, ASP.NET Web service extensions

Levels of browser support

Web browser support is divided into two levels: level 1 and level 2. Although administrative tasks on SharePoint sites are optimized for level 1 browsers, Search Server 2008 also provides support for other browsers that are commonly used. To ensure that you have complete access to all the functionality, we recommend that you use a level 1 browser for administrative tasks.

Level 1 Web browsers

Level 1 Web browsers take advantage of advanced features provided by ActiveX controls and provide the most complete user experience. Level 1 browsers offer full functionality on all SharePoint sites, including the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.

Level 1 Web browsers for Search Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) are as follows:

  • Windows Internet Explorer 7.x (32-bit)

  • Windows Internet Explorer 8.x (32-bit) (includes running in compatibility mode)

  • Internet Explorer 6.x (32-bit)

Level 1 Web browsers for Search Server 2008 are as follows:

  • Internet Explorer 6.x (32-bit)

  • Internet Explorer 7.x (32-bit)

NoteNote:

Level 1 browser support is only available for computers that are running the Windows operating system.

Level 2 Web browsers

Level 2 Web browsers provide basic functionality so that users can both read and write in SharePoint sites and perform site administration. However, ActiveX controls are supported only in level 1 browsers. In addition, there are functionality differences between different browsers. As a result, there might be a user experience that is different from that in level 1 browsers.

Level 2 Web browsers for Search Server 2008 with SP2 are listed in the following table.

Browser Windows Linux/Unix Macintosh OSX Leopard

Internet Explorer 7.x (64-bit)

X

Internet Explorer 8.x (64-bit)

X

Firefox 3.x

X

X

Safari 3.x

X

If a browser is not listed in either level 1 or level 2, it is not supported. For example, older browsers — such as Internet Explorer 5.01, Internet Explorer 5.5x, Internet Explorer 6.x, Internet Explorer for Macintosh, and versions of third-party Web browsers that are earlier than the ones listed as level 2 browsers — are not supported.

Basic installation (single-server deployment) requirements

You use the Search Server Basic installation option to create a stand-alone configuration on a single computer. A Basic installation automatically installs and uses Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition for data storage.

Hardware requirements (Basic installation)

The following table shows minimum and recommended hardware requirements for deploying Search Server and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition in a Basic (single server) installation.

Component Minimum Recommended

Processor

2.5 gigahertz (GHz)

Dual processors that are each 3 GHz or faster

RAM

2 gigabytes (GB)

4 GB

Disk

NTFS file system–formatted partition with a minimum of 3 GB of free space

NTFS file system–formatted partition with 3 GB of free space, plus adequate free space for your SharePoint sites

Network connections:

Client to server

56 kilobits per second (Kbps)

56 kilobits per second (Kbps)

Drive

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server installation CD

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server installation CD

Display monitor

1024 × 768 or higher resolution

1024 × 768 or higher resolution

Database requirements (Basic installation)

If you are using Windows Server 2003 Web Edition in a single-server environment, you can install Search Server using the Basic (stand-alone) installation option only. This is because an Advanced installation requires an existing SQL Server database, but SQL Server cannot be installed on Windows Server 2003 Web Edition due to Windows licensing restrictions.

Advanced installation (multiple-server deployment) requirements

The primary difference between single-server and multiple-server deployments is that in the latter case you can use one or more computers to host each of the following server roles:

  • Application server

  • Web front-end server

  • Database server

This section describes minimum and recommended system requirements for a computer that hosts the application server role and Web front-end server role side by side. If you install more than one role on a single computer, ensure that the computer meets the minimum requirements for each installed role.

NoteNote:

Search Server 2008 Express can be installed in a configuration that contains no more than one application server. (The application server role is used for serving search queries and crawling content.) There is no limit to the number of Web front-end servers that can be used with a Search Server 2008 Express application server.

Application server hardware requirements (Advanced installation)

The following table shows minimum and recommended hardware requirements for deploying a Search Server application server.

Component Minimum Recommended

Processor

2.5 GHz

Dual processors that are each 3 GHz or faster

RAM

2 GB

4 GB for application server and SQL Server host computers

Disk

NTFS–formatted partition with 3 GB of free space

NTFS-formatted partition with 3 GB of free space, plus adequate free space for data storage

Network connections:

Client to server

56 Kbps

56 Kbps or faster

Network connections:

Server to server

100 megabits per second (Mbps)

1 gigabit per second

Drive

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server installation CD

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server installation CD

Display monitor

1024 × 768 or higher resolution

1024 × 768 or higher resolution

Web front-end server hardware requirements (Advanced installation)

The following table shows minimum and recommended hardware requirements for deploying a Search Server Web front-end server.

Component Minimum Recommended

Processor

2.5 GHz

Dual processors that are each 3 GHz or faster

RAM

2 GB

More than 2 GB

Disk

NTFS–formatted partition with a minimum of 3 GB of free space

NTFS–formatted partition with 3 GB of free space, plus adequate free space for data storage

Network connections

  • 56 Kbps connection between client computers and server

  • 100 Mbps connection between computers in a server farm

  • 56 Kbps or faster connection between client computers and server

  • 1 gigabit per second connection between computers in a server farm

Drive

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server installation CD

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server installation CD

Display monitor

1024 × 768 or higher resolution

1024 × 768 or higher resolution

Web front-end server software requirements (Advanced installation)

The role of a Web front-end server is a subset of the application server role; all features on a Web front-end server are available on an application server. Software requirements for the Web front-end server are the same as those for an application server before you add resources to satisfy your capacity demands.

Database server software requirements (Advanced installation)

The database server must have SQL Server 2000 with at least SP3a or Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with at least SP2. Some advanced features require SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services with at least SP2. The following table lists the requirements for SQL Server 2008.

To support this SQL Server version Search Server 2008 or Search Server 2008 Express requires this

SQL Server 2008

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 plus 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 1

SQL Server 2008 R2

Window SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 2 plus 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 2

For information about hardware and software requirements for deploying a database server running SQL Server 2005, see SQL Server 2005 System Requirements.

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