Before inserting the installation media and choosing Next, take the time to understand the different options available to you in the setup wizard. If you make the wrong selection during setup, it could mean a complete uninstall and reinstall of the binaries. In addition, making good choices in the beginning will make it considerably easier to scale SharePoint products. The following decisions must be made before installing SharePoint products:
Choose a SQL Server type During installation you will have the option either to install all components (including SQL Server Express Edition) on a single computer or to choose a dedicated SQL Server installation for the databases. Choose the SQL Server Express Edition option only when you are sure that you will not scale to a server farm in the future. Although scaling to a server farm is technically possible, migrating SharePoint products from SQL Server 2005 Express Edition to SQL Server Enterprise or Standard is a tedious task.
Use either host headers or assigned IP addresses Host headers ease installation and reduce administrative overhead, but assigning IP addresses strengthens your overall security posture. Assigning an individual IP address for every Web application simplifies your logs and allows for separate firewall rules.
Process security isolation Depending on the level of security your organization requires, you may choose to install with one or several accounts for Internet Information Services (IIS) application pools and database access. It is much easier to install with separate accounts in the beginning than it is to change and isolate application pools later.
Assign administrators You must define the administrative roles and separation of duties. If you wish to granularly define administrative roles, pay close attention to the details of service accounts and groups. If you are in a small organization, consider using a dedicated farm account for all administrative tasks.
Create a site template for the Web application root When creating your first Web application (other than a Shared Services Provider or My Sites dedicated Web application), it is wise to create a site collection in the root. This site can be modified, but the site definition cannot be changed, so give careful consideration to the template type. Many SharePoint Server 2007 implementations use Portal templates when creating the root site collection.
This chapter covers Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and SharePoint Server 2007 deployments, whether using Internet Information Services (IIS) host headers or assigned IP addresses. When neither Windows SharePoint Services nor SharePoint Server is stated, the material applies to both software products.