Extending Virtual Servers

Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services uses virtual servers (virtual server: A virtual computer that resides on an HTTP server but appears to the user as a separate HTTP server. Several virtual servers can reside on one computer. Each virtual server can have its own domain name and IP address.) to host Web sites on your server. The process of applying Windows SharePoint Services to a virtual server is called extending. You must extend a virtual server with Windows SharePoint Services before you can create a Web site based on Windows SharePoint Services. When you install Windows SharePoint Services on a single server by using the Typical option, your default virtual server is extended automatically and a Web site is created. If you are installing Windows SharePoint Services in a more complex environment (for example, hosting multiple sites on a single server, or many sites in a server farm (server farm: A centralized grouping of network servers maintained by an enterprise or, often, an Internet service provider (ISP). A server farm provides a network with load balancing, scalability, and fault tolerance.)), you must extend each virtual server individually. To extend a new virtual server, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Create the virtual server in Internet Information Services (IIS) (Internet Information Services (IIS): Software services from Microsoft that support Web site creation, configuration, and management, along with other Internet functions.).
  2. If necessary, connect to the configuration database (configuration database: The Microsoft SQL Server or MSDE database that contains the configuration information that applies across all servers in a deployment of Windows SharePoint Services, such as virtual server information.) for the server farm.
  3. Extend the virtual server using HTML Administration pages or the command line.

 Note   To complete this procedure, you must be logged on as a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must be logged on using an account that is both a member of the SharePoint administrators group and that has been granted permissions to administer IIS.

How Does Extending a Virtual Server Interact with the Databases?

Windows SharePoint Services relies on databases to store all data for a virtual server, including both configuration settings and site content. When you extend a virtual server and configure a site, you interact with two different databases:

  • Configuration database

The configuration database maintains connections between servers and content databases, stores server settings, and identifies which content is to be provided by which virtual servers. There is one configuration database per stand-alone server or per server farm. For more information about the configuration database, see Managing the Configuration Database.

  • Content database

Content databases store data from the sites: both site management data, such as user names and permissions, and content, such as list data and documents from document libraries. You can create as many content databases as you need to support the Web sites on your servers. For a departmental server, you may need only one content database. For a server farm, you may need thousands. For a Web site that is available to members both behind and outside of a firewall (firewall: A security system that uses a proxy server outside of an organization's network to protect the network against external threats, such as malicious users or corrupt files.) (an extranet (extranet: An external Web site for an organization; usually secured so that only authorized users can gain access to it.)), you may have one content database linked to two virtual servers, each with a very different Uniform Resource Locator (URL) (Uniform Resource Locator (URL): An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet. Example: http://www.microsoft.com/.). For more information about content databases, see Managing Content Databases.

Before you extend the first virtual server on a server computer, you must create or connect to a configuration database; subsequent virtual servers do not have to be separately registered with the configuration database. When you extend a virtual server, you choose whether to create a new content database or map to an existing virtual server.

Creating a New Virtual Server in Internet Information Services (IIS)

If you are adding a new virtual server to an existing server, you must create the virtual server first. This means creating a folder on your hard disk (usually under the \Inetpub folder) to store the virtual server's files, and then adding the virtual server in Internet Information Services (IIS).

Create a virtual server
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. Click the plus sign (+) next to the server name you want to add a virtual server to.
  3. Right-click the Web Sites folder, point to New, and then click Web site.
  4. In the Web Site Creation Wizard, click Next.
  5. In the Description box, type the description of your virtual server, and then click Next.
  6. In the Enter the IP address to use for this Web site drop-down list, select All Unassigned or select the IP address you want to use for this virtual server.

 Notes 

  • Windows SharePoint Services SP2 adds the ability to create IP-bound virtual servers using static IP addresses.
  • You can create multiple virtual servers by using IIS Host Headers with All Unassigned.
  1. In the TCP port this Web site should use (Default: 80) box, type the port number to assign to the virtual server.

You do not need to assign a host header, because the hosting is being handled through Windows SharePoint Services.

  1. Click Next.
  2. In the Path box, type or browse to the path on your hard disk where the site content will go.
  3. If you do not want to allow anonymous access to your virtual server, clear the Allow anonymous access to this Web site check box.
  4. Click Next.
  5. On the Web Site Access Permissions screen, select the permissions to use, and then click Next.

The default permissions, Read and Run Scripts (such as ASP), are recommended. The Execute (such as ISAPI applications or CGI) permission will be added automatically to the appropriate folders by Windows SharePoint Services.

  1. Click Finish.

For more information about creating new Web sites on servers running the Windows Server 2003 family, see the Adding Sites topic in the Help system for Internet Information Services.

Connecting to a Configuration Database (Server Farm Only)

If you are adding a server to a server farm, and provisioning the first virtual server for that server, you must connect to the configuration database for your server farm before you can extend the virtual server. To connect to a configuration database, use the Set Configuration Database Server page. For more information, see Managing the Configuration Database. After you have connected to the configuration database, you can extend the virtual server.

Extending a Virtual Server that is Already Running Microsoft FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions

If you have an existing virtual server running FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions that you would like to upgrade to Windows SharePoint Services, you must uninstall FrontPage Server Extensions and then extend the virtual server. If you wish to preserve the content from your FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions-based site, use the smigrate.exe tool to migrate the content to your new Windows SharePoint Services-based site before uninstalling. For information on smigrate, see "Migrating and Upgrading Web Sites" in the Windows SharePoint Services Administrator's Guide.

Remove FrontPage Server Extensions (if installed)

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Run window, type cmd and then click OK.
  3. Change to the directory where FrontPage Server Extensions are installed. For example:

cd ..\..\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\50\bin

  1. Type the owsadm.exe command to uninstall FrontPage Server Extensions:

owsadm.exe -o fulluninstall -p <port number>

Where "<port number>" represents the port number used by the virtual server running FrontPage Server Extensions.

Extending a Virtual Server

Generally, you extend a virtual server because you need to add more capacity to your server, whether that server is a departmental server or one of many in your server farm. More capacity can mean either more space for Web site content or more connections to existing Web sites. For example, if you have a site with a lot of visitors, you can have several virtual servers hosting the same content to increase the number of concurrent users you can support and balance the load for your servers. You can extend a virtual server to do one of the following:

  • Contain new content

If you need to provide space for users to create new Web sites, you can extend a new virtual server to contain new content. Note that you can also add space for users by adding more site collections (site collection: A set of Web sites on a virtual server that have the same owner and share administration settings. Each site collection contains a top-level Web site and can contain one or more subsites.) or new content databases to an existing virtual server. For more information about creating site collections, see Creating Sites and Subsites. For more information about content databases, see Managing Content Databases.

  • Map to existing content

If you want your new virtual server to point to a Web site that is already in use, either to allow for more connections to a site or to allow more than one URL to point to a site, you can map your new virtual server to an existing virtual server. The new virtual server connects to the same content databases as the existing virtual server, and they both host the same content. You can choose from the list of all virtual servers that currently exist on the server (in a single-server setting), or in the server farm. This list is generated by querying the configuration database, which is why you must be connected to the configuration database before you can extend a virtual server.

When you extend and map to an existing virtual server, all of the configuration data about the existing virtual server is applied to the new virtual server. Any managed paths are also applied. This means that if you have virtual server A that contains the paths /teams, /sites, and /users, when you extend virtual server B and map to virtual server A, virtual server B now also has the /teams, /sites, and /users paths. A user can be directed to either virtual server A or B and see the same content. For more information about URLs in Windows SharePoint Services, see Windows SharePoint Services Architecture.

When you extend a virtual server, you must supply the following information:

 Notes 

  • In earlier versions (prior to Service Pack 2) installing Windows SharePoint Services would change the authentication method to NTLM for all virtual servers. This meant that existing sites which relied on Kerberos authentication would no longer work after Windows SharePoint Services was installed. Windows SharePoint Services Service Pack 2 no longer changes the default authentication method to NTLM; rather, Kerberos is used by default. For additional information, see Installation Considerations for Windows SharePoint Services.
  • Using a domain user account as the application pool identity for the virtual server might require additional steps to add a Service Principal Name (SPN) to the account. Information about adding a Service Principal Name (SPN) to a domain user account is available in Using Integrated Windows Authentication with Windows SharePoint Services and the Microsoft Knowledge base article 832769: How to configure a Windows SharePoint Services virtual server to use Kerberos authentication.

After you extend the virtual server, you can specify default settings for top-level Web sites created under that virtual server. For more information, see Configuring Virtual Servers.

The following sections show you how to extend a virtual server using HTML Administration pages or the command line. You can use either method to extend a virtual server and map to an existing virtual server or create a content database.

 Note   You can also extend a virtual server by using a script during a quiet installation (quiet installation: An installation run by using the /q command-line option that runs without generating any user prompts.Also known as unattended installation.). For more information, see Performing a Quiet Installation.

Extending a Virtual Server by Using HTML Administration Pages

If you are adding a new virtual server on a stand-alone server, or the first virtual server for a server farm, you need to create a place to store the content your Web site users will create. This means that when you extend your virtual server, you need to create a content database.

Extend and create a content database by using HTML Administration pages
  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and click SharePoint Central Administration.
  2. On the SharePoint Central Administration page, click Extend or upgrade virtual server.
  3. On the Virtual Server List page, click the name of the virtual server to extend.
  4. On the Extend Virtual Server page, in the Provisioning Options section, select Extend and create a content database.
  5. In the Application Pool section, select either Use an existing application pool or Create a new application pool.

 Notes 

  1. If you selected Use an existing application pool, select the application pool to use. If you selected Create a new application pool, enter the new application pool name.
  2. In the security account section, choose either predefined or configurable.

If you choose configurable, you must supply a DOMAIN\account and password.

  1. In the Site Owner section, in the User name box, type the user name for the site owner (in the format DOMAIN\username if the username is part of a Windows domain group).
  2. In the E-mail box, type the e-mail address that corresponds to the account.
  3. In the Database Information section, enter the following database connection information or select the Use default content database server check box:
    • In the Database server box, type the NETBIOS name of your server computer.
    • In the Database name box, type the name to use for your content database.
    • In the Security Configuration section choose either NTLM or Kerberos authentication.

Using a domain user account as the application pool identity for the virtual server might require additional steps to add a Service Principal Name (SPN) to the account. Information about adding a Service Principal Name (SPN) to a domain user account is available in Using Integrated Windows Authentication with Windows SharePoint Services and the Microsoft Knowledge base article 832769: How to configure a Windows SharePoint Services virtual server to use Kerberos authentication.

  1. If you want to specify a path for the URL, in the Custom URL path box, type the path to use.
  2. If you are using quotas, select a template in the Select a quota template box of the Quota Settings section.
  3. In the Site Language section, select the language to use.
  4. Click OK.

After a short time, the virtual server is extended and the browser displays a confirmation page that the virtual server was successfully extended. This confirmation page displays the URL for the SharePoint site. You can click the URL and start working with the new Windows SharePoint Services site or click OK to navigate to the the Virtual Server Settings page, where you can configure default settings for new top-level Web sites.

When you map to an existing virtual server, you do not need to create a top-level Web site. After you extend the virtual server, the virtual server hosts the existing sites in the database.

Extend and map to an existing virtual server by using HTML Administration pages
  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint Central Administration.
  2. Click Extend or upgrade virtual server.
  3. On the Virtual Server List page, click the virtual server you want to extend.
  4. On the Extend Virtual Server page, in the Provisioning Options section, click Extend and map to another virtual server.
  5. On the Extend and Map to Another Virtual Server page, in the Server Mapping section, select the name of the host or virtual server that you want to use from the Host name or IIS virtual server name drop-down list.
  6. In the Application Pool section, select Use an existing application pool and select the application pool to use from the drop-down list.

 Notes 

  • If the same application pool used to extend the first virtual server in the farm is not used when extending and mapping to an existing virtual server, additional steps are required to manually add permissions in SQL Server 2000.
  • When using Windows SharePoint Services with Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, re-use the MSSharePointPortalServerAppPool application pool created by Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. This application pool can be managed by clicking Configure Server Farm Account Settings in SharePoint Portal Server Central Administration.
  • In most other installations, it is recommended that you create a new application pool for each virtual server, so that they run in separate processes. This application pool should use a domain account (which may require setting the Service Principal Name (SPN), if using Kerberos authentication), but it does not need to have database creation rights (rights: File-level and folder-level permissions that allow access to a Web site.) in SQL Server computer (SQL Server computer: A computer running Microsoft SQL Server with a configured database.) because the administration virtual server account creates any databases required.
  1. In the Security Configuration section, choose either NTLM or Kerberos authentication.

 Note   When you map one virtual server to another virtual server, the security configuration is separate for each virtual server, regardless of whether the application pool identities are the same or different for the two virtual servers. Put another way, you do not need to use the same authentication type for this virtual server as used for the virtual server being mapped to.

  1. Click OK.

The virtual server is extended and can now provide the same content as the other virtual server. You can add a new top-level Web site to your new virtual server if you need to, and it will also be hosted by the virtual server that you mapped to.

Extending a Virtual Server from the Command Line

You can extend virtual servers from the command line by using the extendvs operation. The extendvs operation allows you to extend a virtual server and either map to an existing virtual server or create a new content database, specify the language for the top-level Web site, and specify a template to use for the top-level Web site. The extendvs operation takes the following required parameters: url, ownerlogin, owneremail and the following optional parameters: ownername, databaseserver (ds), databaseuser (du), databasepassword (dp), databasename (dn), lcid, sitetemplate, donotcreatesite, apcreatenew, apidname, apidtype, apidlogin, apidpwd, and exclusivelyusentlm.

The lcid parameter allows you to specify a language to use for the default top-level Web site. For example, to specify U.S. English as the language to use, you would type -lcid 1033 on the command line. If you do not specify a locale ID (LCID) (locale ID (LCID): A 32-bit value defined by Microsoft Windows that identifies a particular language. The LCID consists of a language ID, a sort ID, and reserved bits. For example, the LCID for U.S. English is 1033, and the LCID for Japanese is 1041.) using the lcid parameter, the language of the server is used for the default top-level Web site.

The donotcreatesite parameter allows you to extend a virtual server and create a content database without a top-level Web site. Use this parameter when you are setting up a server farm and hosting sites with URLs like http://server_name/site1, http://server_name/site2, and so on. (To use this site naming scheme, you must create a wildcard inclusion for the path under which you create the sites. For more information about inclusions, see Managing Paths.)

The sitetemplate parameter allows you to extend a virtual server, create a top-level Web site, and apply a site template to the top-level Web site during site creation. If you do not use the sitetemplate parameter, the site owner can choose a site template when he or she first browses to the site.

To extend a virtual server and use the default content database server and default application pool, use the following syntax:

Stsadm -o extendvs -url <url> -ownerlogin DOMAIN\username -owneremail 
 someone@example.com [-ownername <full name>] [-exclusivelyusentlm]

To extend a virtual server, specify a content database name and server, and create a new application pool, use the following syntax:

stsadm -o extendvs -url <url> -ownerlogin DOMAIN\user -owneremail 
 someone@example.com [-exclusivelyusentlm] [-ownername <full name>] -ds <database server name> 
 [-du <database user name> -dp <password>] [-dn <database name>] 
 [-lcid <lcid>] [-sitetemplate sts] [-apcreatenew] [-apidname <application pool name>] 
 [-apidtype <configurableid/NetworkService/LocalService/LocalSystem>] 
 [-apidlogin <DOMAIN\name>] [-apidpwd <application pool password>]

Note that the -du and -dp parameters are not needed if you are using Windows authentication to connect to the SQL Server databases.

If you are in a server farm environment, you can use the extendvsinwebfarm operation. The extendvsinwebfarm operation uses the following syntax:

stsadm -o extendvsinwebfarm -url <url> -vsname <virtualservername>
 [-apcreatenew] [-apidname <application pool id>]
 [-apidtype <configurableid/NetworkService/LocalService/LocalSystem>]
 [-apidlogin <app pool user account>]
 [-apidpwd <app pool password>] [-exclusivelyusentlm]

Related Topics

For more information about the extendvs and extendvsinwebfarm operations, see Command-Line Operations.

After you have extended a virtual server, you can configure settings for the virtual server. For more information, see Configuring Virtual Servers.

As your organization's use of Windows SharePoint Services grows, you may find that you need additional database capacity for your site content. You can create additional content databases to store site data. For more information, see Managing Content Databases.