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SharePoint and Virtual Machines

Posted By:Jean Paul       Posted Date: September 22, 2014    Points: 200    Category: SharePoint    URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com  

In this article we will explore virtual machine options with SharePoint. I will be coming up with more articles on configuration of the same.

In this article I would like to take you through the Advantages of using Virtual Machine for SharePoint.

What is Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine is a software implementation of a machine hence called Virtual. A virtual machine enables multiple operating systems to co-exist.

What are the Advantages of using Virtual Machines?

Following are the advantages of using Virtual Machines:

1. Server Consolidation

2. Maximum Server Utilization

3. Leverage on Network, Display, Sound Drivers

4. Share files between Virtual Machines

5. Save booting time using Virtual Machines vs. Multi-boot operating systems

In the world of SharePoint, one may require to work on SharePoint 2010 & SharePoint 2013 on the same day. We can have a combination of:

1. Windows 7 with SharePoint 2010

2. Virtual Machine on Windows 7 (running Windows 2012 with SharePoint 2013)

How to start with a Virtual Machine?

To start with Virtual Machines the steps would be:

1. Enable Virtual Machine Support in BIOS

2. Install Virtual Machine

3. Install Operating System

Popular Virtual Machines

Following are the popular virtual machines:

1. Vmware WorkStation (paid)

2. Vmware Player (free)

3. Oracle VirtualBox (paid)

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For evaluation & learning purposes I prefer free virtual machine software. For advanced production usage, I prefer Vmware Workstation.

Tips for a High Speed Virtual Machine

I have noticed that people complain "Virtual Machines are not fast enough!" even thought they invested on a new computer or laptop with high processor speed.  Let me add that the performance of a system depends not just on CPU, but also on other components in the system.

Virtual Machine Performance directly depends on:

1. Server Speed

2. RAM Speed & Size

3. Storage Speed & Size

If your desktop/laptop was purchased within past 2 years, hopefully you have a good CPU. Additionally, we cannot replace a CPU that easily as motherboard & factors involved.

In the RAM side a good allocation for Virtual Machine is 4GB-6GB RAM. The remaining will be used by existing operating system. You can go for 8GB to 16GB upgrade if possible. Some machines have limitations on maximum RAM capacity, so please ensure that before purchase.

Storage is another important area as Virtual Machine & SharePoint as a Content Management System relies highly on storage speed. The typical storage solution is Hard Disk Drive (HDD) & Solid State Drive (SSD). Going for a high-speed SSD will boost the virtual machine performance. Virtual Machines require at least 50 GB including Operating System & SharePoint.

"SSD typically have double-speed & less wear & tear compared with HDD.  Investing on an SSD definitely increases Performance!"

Storage Businesses started switching to SSD. Some of the front runners in SSD are Crucial & Samsung:

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The leading storage space providers are switching to SSD for increased performance.


To optimize performance, it is recommended to keep your Virtual Machine drive separate from the Hosting machine system drive.

In my case, the Virtual Machine is smooth as my Desktop machine even with Full Screen view.  I am using i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD.


I prefer you consult your machine company site to find the compatible RAM & HDD/SSD hardware.

You can also check the Windows Experience Index for your computer. Typically a 7+ machine is good for Virtual Machine usage.





In this article we have explored virtual machine options with SharePoint.  I will be coming up with more articles on configuration of the same.

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