Friday, February 1, 2013

Run SQL Server 2012/SharePoint BI for evaluation in VMware

Here's the steps I use to create a fully-loaded Microsoft BI virtual machine for demos and testing using VMware. VMware Player is free for Windows and Linux PCs. For Mac OS X, go out and buy VMware Fusion to get this running.

First thing is to download VMware player and the Microsft BI image. Here are some of the few features I love about this VM:
  • SQL Server 2012 (DB engine, PowerPivot, Multidimensional and Tabular SSAS instances)
  • SharePoint 2010 (PowerView, Performance Point, Excel Services)
  • MDS/DQS
  • Office 2010
  • Excel Add-Ins for DQS, MDS, and PowerPivot
Once VMware player installs, you'll want to open the Windows Virtual Machine. What you'll really end up doing is importing the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) because unfortunately, this is a Virtual PC image. Not to worry. That's why I wrote this post. We can import the VHD with VMware Player. So unzip the contents of the download, go into VMware Player and go to File > Open a Virtual Machine. Navigate to the unzipped contents and find the file SQL Image 2012.vmc.


After you locate the .vmc file, you will be prompted to install VMware vCenter vConverter to convert the hard disk from a VHD to a VMDK.

Click OK and don't try to install vCenter Converter seperately. Accept the language default and continue with the installation of vCenter Converter Standalone Client. Once this completes, retry opening the VM again by going to File > Open a Virtual Machine and navigating to the SQL Image 2012.vmc file. Now you'll get a different prompt wanting to Import the Virtual Machine:

Review the name of the VM and storage path, and then click Import. The Converter utility will now auto-convert the VHD file to the location specified. Once its done, you will see a machine in VMware Player that's ready to go. Just select the Virtual Machine name listed on the left hand side of the player and hit Play virtual machine on the bottom right.


You'll be prompted to login as CONTOSO\Administrator, whose password is pass@word1.

You'll also need a TechNet or MSDN subscription to put in a license key for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Office 2010 to be legit. I actually like installing Excel 2013 on this VM to play with the Power View capabilities with some pretty big datasets, but you don't have to as that's easily available in the PowerPivot Gallery loaded with plenty of samples on this VM as you can read in Dan English's blog post on this image.

Hope you enjoy the image as much as I do. Saves the hassle of installing all the components and get right to learning the new goodness of the software.