PowerPivot for SharePoint: Lessons Learned and Useful Links

When designing a new SharePoint farm there are some decisions that are easy to make and for which there are useful examples such as the number of SharePoint servers that will be required and the distribution of the SharePoint Service applications.

It is considerably harder in all circumstances to make design decisions when the expected usage of a SharePoint farm cannot be quantified in advance. In this scenario, experience dictates the decisions that are made, but what do you do if experience is not enough, if the service is directly dependent on the amount of content and the amount of usage?

This is the situation I find when dealing with PowerPivot for SharePoint. I found myself in a scenario where PowerPivot for SharePoint had not been used by the client before but they wanted the specifications of the SQL and SharePoint servers to accommodate demand.

I used my own experience of SQL Server, an understanding of the ways that PowerPivot could be used in SharePoint, a lot of assumptions and (where I could find it, Microsoft documentation) to propose an initial topology and server specification.

Below are links to the documentation I found most useful:

And whilst doing my research I also found a variety of very useful references for the actual installation and configuration of PowerPivot for SharePoint:

And finally, when Kerberos is required:

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