Microsoft Search Server 2008 hardware and software requirements

Important: 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 configuration can range from a Basic installation (a stand-alone configuration on a single server) to an Advanced installation that uses multiple servers (a server farm). 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 2008 does not support Itanium-based systems.

Note: Beyond the minimum requirements described in this article, your hardware needs depend on your plans 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

Basic installation (single server) requirements

Advanced installation (server farm) requirements

Software requirements

Operating system and Windows component requirements

Operating system and Windows component requirements

We recommend that you install Search Server 2008 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 2008 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

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Web browser requirements

Search Server 2008 Web browser requirements are as follows:

Use for Web browser

Host operating system

Web browser

Windows SharePoint Services client operations, such as viewing a SharePoint site

Any of the following:

  • Windows 98 operating system

  • Windows Millennium Edition operating system

  • Windows 2000 Professional operating system

  • Windows XP operating system

  • Windows Server 2003 operating system

  • Windows Vista operating system

  • Windows Server 2008 operating system

Any of the following:

  • Internet Explorer 6 or later with the most recent service packs

  • Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or later

  • Netscape 8.1 or later

Internet access, Windows SharePoint Services site administration, or form filing

Any of the following:

  • Windows 98 operating system

  • Windows Millennium Edition operating system

  • Windows 2000 Professional operating system

  • Windows XP operating system

  • Windows Server 2003 operating system

  • Windows Vista operating system

  • Windows Server 2008 operating system

Any of the following:

  • Internet Explorer 6 or later with the most recent service packs

  • Firefox 1.5 or later

  • Netscape 8.1 or later

UNIX/Linux

Either of the following:

  • Firefox 1.5 or later

  • Netscape 7.2 or later

Mac OS-X

Either of the following:

  • Firefox 1.5 or later

  • Safari 2.0 or later

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Basic installation (single server) requirements

You use the Search Server 2008 Basic installation option to create a stand-alone configuration on a single computer. A Basic installation automatically installs and uses 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 2008 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 gigabyte (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

56 kilobits per second (Kbps) connection between client computers and server

Drive

DVD drive, or a local or network-accessible drive to which you can copy the entire contents of the Search Server 2008 installation CD

Display monitor

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 2008 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 because of Windows licensing restrictions.

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Advanced installation (server farm) requirements

The primary difference between a single server installation and a server-farm topology 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 the application server role and Web front-end server role. If you install more than one role on a single computer, ensure that the computer meets the minimum requirements for each installed role.

Note: Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express can be installed in a configuration that contains no more than one application server. (The application server 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 2008 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

Client-to-server: 56 Kbps or faster

Server-to-server: 100 megabits per second (Mbps)

Server-to-server: 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 2008 installation CD

Display monitor

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 2008 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

  • For connections between computers in a server farm, 100 Mbps

  • 56 Kbps or faster connection between client computers and server

  • For connections between computers in a server farm, 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 2008 installation CD

Display monitor

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 SP3a or later or SQL Server 2005 SP2 or later. Some advanced features require SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services SP2 or later. 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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