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SAP ERP6 EHP6 IDES Installation and configuration

First of all, SAP installation is not a trivial process. There are a lot of places where everything can go wrong... That's why I have decided to start from scratch, i.e. not from the SAP Installation procedure, but from the Windows Server installation and configuration.

The instruments we need to have in order to succeed in this enterprise are next:
- VMWare Workstation;
- SQL Server 2008 R2 (iso image) and SP2;
- Windows Server 2008 R2 (iso image) and SP1;
- UltraISO or DaemonTools (whatever you like);
- SAP IDES Installation packages...
Second of all... I hope that your system configuration has at least 500Gb of free space (on a different disk drives), as we need 400Gb of free space for the main image and the rest (100Gb) for the DB logs; You have to have at least 10Gb of RAM (allocated only for this VM). Guest OS doesn't matter. A number of CPU cores should not be less that 4 for the comfortable work (will explain later in the text).
Of course, you can argue that it would be better to use RAID array for such purposes... Well, if you have a possibility to do so, you can proceed with this option.
Chapter I
Actually simplest part...
Create a new virtual machine within VMWare Workstation. I hope there is no necessity to start from VMWare installation :)
- Choose "Custom (advanced)" radio button;
- On the next step specify your Windows Server image file;
- On the next screen you have to enter a product key, server type (Enterprise or Standard) and user name:

(let's keep a user name as 'SAPUSER' and password as 'sapbasis' for all the systems in sake of simplicity and... of course you can change it).
- On the next step, give a name to your VM and specify a location for the VM image (I hope you have already prepared a hard drive with 400Gb of free space ^^);
- Next... number of processors and cores. It's a bit tricky question. The majority of non-server MB's supports only one processor, so, I guess you'll keep the first value as 1. The number of cores I have is 4 (Intel i7 with four cores, where each core have 2 streams), so I can put there 8 (ie maximum value). Don't worry about whole system performance... SAP doesn't eat much, so give it the maximum number of cores available.
- The next step is amount of RAM for the VM. Like I said before, it is highly desirable if you can allot at least 8Gb (10Gb is better)... and you can always expand that value through VM settings. 
- Next... select 'Use bridged networking' radio button and 'LSI logic SAS' (ie default value).
- Disc type 'SCSI' (I hope you don't have any doubts about this option).
- Next screen - 'Create a new virtual disc'.
- Select size and other options as below (don't allocate all the space right now as it's a long procedure and moreover, you can save some free space):

- Store 'vmdk' file in the same place you have specified for your VM on the previous steps.
- We are done here... relax for a while and wait until Windows Server installs.
- As soon as installation completes, we can add a second hard drive to our VM:

- As we agreed earlier, this virtual drive has to be located on the separate hard disk (for the better performance) and the amount of free space should vary from 50 to 100Gb. It is important due to avoid any unpleasant consequences in the future, as we will place Sql Server TEMPDB and SAP DB logs on this drive.
- Right! We are ready now to start Windows Server configuration...
Chapter II
(Windows Server 2008 R2 configuration)
- First, Initialize both hard drives through windows 'Disk management' console:

- Then, we can configure the amount of virtual memory... The notes on Microsoft website says: 
"As a best practice, you need to set a page file '1.5 times' the RAM or memory available on the Windows Server machine"... Literally, it means that as I have 10Gb of RAM dedicated to this VM, the minimal size of page file has to be 25Gb:

(Right click om 'My computer' -> Properties -> Advanced system setting -> 'Advanced' tab, Performance ('Settings' button) -> 'Advanced' tab -> 'Change' -> Remove check box 'Automatically manage paging file' and put your values).
- I have implemented a number of different 'amenities' for the windows system, such as 'auto logon' (through gpedit.msc utility), removed complexity requirements for windows passwords, removed the requirement to enter Ctrl+Alt+Del each time I reboot the system and disabled 'Shut down event tracker' (as it's a bit annoying). Note: you can do the same, but only in the systems for personal usage... PROD and even training systems have to follow the highest security requirements.
- Install DaemonTools or UltraISO, or whatever you like...
- It is recommended to disable windows firewall. In case you need to comply security requirements, please add the necessary exceptions in the firewall:
Read this KB article (for SQL Server 2008 firewall ports) and
This one (for SAP ports).
- Apply the latest patches and service packs (actually there is only one of them: SP1)
- Now... we are ready to install SQL Server.
Chapter III
(SQL Server 2008 R2 installation and configuration)
- Run the SQL Server ISO image by your favourite iso-reader (like UltraISO), and click 'Setup.exe';
- There is nothing complicated, just follow the 'wizard' steps... but you have to remember a few important poins:
a) You are free to choose whether to install default or named SQL Server instance;
b) There are no necessity to install 'Analysis services', 'Integration services', 'Reporting services' or 'SharePoint', so, you can freely uncheck these tools from the installation list;
c) It is recommended to install SQL Server in mixed mode (ie with Windows and SQL Server authorizations);
d) Don't miss drop-down list where you need to select SQL Server collation. It is important, as SAP only works with SQL_Latin1_General_CP850_BIN2
e) Don't worry if you miss or forgot to select a proper collation, as you can always fix it after SQL Server installation with command line expression:
Bear in mind that size of TEMPDB log must be greater than 60Mb and for the better performance you have to place it on a separate disk.
- That's it! I hope your SQL Server instance is up and running, so we can proceed further...