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I have inherited SharePoint 2010 at work and would like to test some features we are not utilizing.

I would like a testing environment for SP but being limited on resources, I want to set this up on a single Desktop. Would a Standalone server work or are there too many differences (when it comes to problems and troubleshooting)?

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Their are two options for test farm either stand alone or single server farm(complete).

Stand Alone:

The standalone installation type installs SharePoint using the Local Service and Network Service accounts and a SQL Express instance. It is not a farm and has limitations such as:

  • Standalone is not a SharePoint farm
  • Cannot join additional servers (since it's not a farm)
  • Limited database size due to using SQL Express
  • Cannot provision the User Profile Synchronization service (since the Local Service account cannot connect to Active Directory)
  • While users in a domain can connect and authenticate to sites in a standalone installation,
  • you will find that you cannot use the People Picker to get users from AD, again because Local Service cannot contact AD
  • All services in the farm are set up and configured on the server, not necessarily configured the way you want.
  • Database names are all default names that include GUIDs which some find ugly (and hard to type)

Single Server

  • With the complete/server farm option,
  • you can create an entire SharePoint farm with any configuration you want.
  • You can install an instance of SQL Server on the same server if you want a single-server farm.
  • You can have multiple servers and you can configure or not configure any available server.
  • Integration with AD works, and in general a farm is more widely supported as most specialists work with farms and not standalone installations.
  • I would go with single server version since it allows you to expand the farm if needed. However, if possible you should have a setup as close to production as possible because dealing with multiple servers can sometimes be tricky. You can choose to have dev and test in that scenario – onzur Jun 13 '14 at 20:39
  • Yeah thanks Waqas and onzur. I forgot that I technically do not need multiple servers and I can just bundle everything up in one which is probably what I am going to do. As I said, I am sadly limited to resources and I tend to choose for what I request. Thanks guys. – LEEMAN Jun 13 '14 at 21:34

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