In an ideal world I’d have a development/ sandbox environment at home capable of running SharePoint 2010 – and who knows, one day… In the meantime though I’ve looked to the cloud to be able to meet my requirements. Having first looked at BPOS (of course) and deciding that this didn’t quite fit my needs I took some advice and had a look at Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Service. After a fairly short period of time I now have a SharePoint 2010 environment up and running!
Take a look at the screenshot and it’s just a standard SharePoint Team Site. Taking a look closer though, and what’s cool is that I’m actually using a remote desktop connection to my EC2 server from my Mac – saving myself an expensive new purchase!
The steps I followed to get here were:
- Sign-up to EC2 and get an environment up and running – I chose a ‘large’ Windows Server 2008 system
- Install Active Directory
- Install SQL
- Go through the SharePoint pre-requisite and server installs
- Get started with SharePoint!
As a non-IT Pro if I can get this far then I’m sure that must give everyone confidence! However, I had a lot of great help from Brendan Newell – who I’m trying to persuade to write up a much more detailed blog post on how to go about this. Brendan has also done some in-depth research into the whole EC2 scenario and early indications seem to point that running a server like this for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week would come in at around the £75 per month mark – which I hope to verify.
Note: I’ve not followed anything like best practice in the actual install of SharePoint; the goal here was just to get up and running quickly as a POC.