Firefly should run fine on most reasonably modern servers, however, some schools have asked us for a list of recommended specifications when installing Firefly to a fresh server. Every configuration is different, however we recommend the following as a guideline to ensure optimal performance.

Hardware requirements

Hard disk

We suggest a minimum of 500Gb of hard disk space to begin with, as well as planned options for easily expanding this later if necessary. Whilst the basic Firefly software itself will use only approximately 40Mb, a very large amount of further space will quickly become needed as the site grows and more resources are uploaded. Your resources folder does not need to be on the same drive as Firefly, though it does need to be on a drive that is mapped at the device level on your Firefly server.


Most recent processors, e.g. Intel Xeon, will suffice. For optimal performance, however, we recommend a dual-core model or greater.


16GB minimum recommended.
Firefly will run equally well on either a physical or virtual server, including 64-bit machines. Schools with virtualised environments are advised to run Firefly on its own virtual machine, as this helps avoid any potential conflicts with other services running on the server.

Please note that Firefly needs to be able to run on the default web ports (80 and 443).

For optimal performance, we would recommend having a separate server from the one running Firefly/IIS, for hosting your SQL instance.

Software requirements

Your Firefly server should be running Windows Server 2008 or newer.

It should also have the following components installed/enabled:

  • SQL Server 2012* or newer (enable Full Text Search and Mixed Mode Authentication)
  • Windows Authentication enabled
  • IIS 7 or higher
  • .NET Framework 4.6.2 or higher
  • In IIS, please ensure Classic .NET App Pool is changed to v4.0 of .Net framework
  • Static Content enabled
  • Visual C++ Redistributable Packages (2013 and 2015) - 32 and 64 bit versions required
  • Valid SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate(s), signed by an accredited public distributor
  • TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.2 enabled for Firefly for Teachers and Firefly for Students apps
  • Unauthenticated Internet Access

*SQL Server Express is not supported. You need to be running a full version of SQL Server.

Currently, Firefly does not support IPv6 networks.

Please also be sure to check our guidelines on backing up your installation.