I have heard from few customers and partners asking if CRM supports Blade type servers, where you can install everything you need on a single blade server and then just plug it in and start using it.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 “Service Provider Edition” allows you to pre-install CRM server on a single or multiple computers, so when the customer calls, you can get the server up and running in about 15 minutes. However, Service Provider Edition is only available to partners who are Microsoft Hosting Partners.
So, if you are not a Hosting Partner, or you do not want all the options that comes with the Service Provider Edition, what to do?
There is a hidden (OK, not very well documented) feature within the non-Service Provider Edition of CRM server that allows you pre-install CRM along with SBS 2003.
There are two phases:
1. pre-install (OEM install) phase of CRM 3.0 and SBS 2003
2. user configuration phase of CRM 3.0 and SBS 2003
Basically it involves installing SBS 2003 in OEM mode and then on top of that installing CRM 3.0 Small Business Edition in OEM mode in a single box. Once everything is done, then you can “sysprep” it which basically stripes out all domain and machine specific IDs from the computer. You can image the machine at this point for making duplicates later on.
When the user receives the above imaged machine, and then he boots the machine for the first time, it goes through the SBS “first time boot sequence”. During this time the user will be prompted for new password, new computer name and new domain name. This process takes 10 minutes or so, depends on your machine speed.
Once that process is done, you will notice a CRM icon on the desktop which you can launch to finish the “user configuration phase” portion of CRM, which takes about additional 5 minutes.
If you imaged the server after you “sysprep”ed it, then you can use that image over and over and no longer need to spend a whole day to install SBS and CRM from scratch. You can just boot up the imaged machine, answer a few questions and then you will be up and running with new CRM server in about 15 minutes.
Have fun playing with it.
Detailed steps are listed below:
Preinstall Microsoft CRM
Follow the procedures in the Windows Small Business Server 2003 OEM Preinstallation
Guide to preinstall Windows Small Business Server 2003. Do not run sysprep to seal the computer image at this time.
Install Windows Small Business Server Service Pack 1.
Run Windows Update and install all required updates.
Install Microsoft SQL Server 2000.
Install Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4.
Important: Microsoft CRM requires Microsoft SQL Server to be installed. This is
a change in the procedures as indicated in the Windows Small Business Server
2003 OEM Preinstallation Guide.
Install Microsoft CRM. During installation, the Participate in Customer Experience
Improvement page will appear.
Do not check the Yes, I am willing to participate anonymously in the Customer Experience
Improvement Program box.
Open Internet Explorer and make sure Microsoft CRM is working.
Run sysprep using the instructions in the Windows Small Business Server 2003 OEM
Follow the Windows Small Business Server 2003 OEM Preinstallation Guide to create an
image the computer for distribution.
Starting the computer for the first time, the customer will complete Windows Small Business
Server 2003 installation.
After Small Business Server is installed, double-click the Microsoft CRM Server Setup icon on
Microsoft CRM Server installation will continue. The customer must type in their Microsoft
CRM license key and business name.
When Microsoft CRM Server installation completes, the computer may require a restart.
For More Information on Preinstalling Microsoft CRM 3.0, please visit the CRM Readiness
Center on the Microsoft OEM System Builder website http://oem.microsoft.com/CRM