On my list of thing to try with the Imperfect Lab was deploying a SharePoint Farm from the new portal since there is this nifty wizard that just does all the work of building the servers for you. Just a few clicks and boom, SharePoint!
But alas, it was not quite to be. While the portal does do what it claims, produces a test/dev scenario of SharePoint, it’s completely isolated. And completely isolated isn’t exactly what I wanted. When you use the portal configuration “wizard” you are prompted for several bits of information that you can’t get around.
- You are prompted to give a domain name for a new FOREST domain.
- You must create a NEW virtual network.
Because I wanted to create a little Imperfect Lab “team site” and experiment a bit with SharePoint 2013, I wanted to use my existing domain and my existing network. But that isn’t an option allowed via the portal “journey”, to get what I want, I’ll have to build it out the old-fashioned way, one server at a time.
Had I know this before I started this project, I might have considered creating the SharePoint farm first, then using that domain and network as the basis for the rest of my lab projects. Oh well, that’s why we experiment in the first place right? Live and learn. I guess I’ll swing back around to this SharePoint project a bit later.
Meanwhile, if a completely isolated SharePoint playground is something you need, by all means check out the new Azure portal and give it go. And if you need more than what the test environment provides, you might find the complete Planning for SharePoint 2013 on Azure Infrastructure Services guide useful.