About two months ago I tried to reach out to the SharePoint community with a small survey on how Virtualization is used with SharePoint. The survey was primarily for my own interest to benchmark what others are doing, but I also thought that I should share this with everyone. SharePoint and Virtualization is an interesting piece of discussion; some despise it and some love it. For more information on SharePoint and virtualization read this great article from SharePointMagazine.
The day has come when Microsoft officially started to talk about the next version of Office 2010 clients and SharePoint Server 2010 (no longer Office SharePoint Server). We have since some time known that SharePoint 2010 will be supported only on a 64-bit platform, just as Exchange 2007. The new stuff revealed yesterday (as preliminary) are that not only is 64-bit required, it will only be supported on the Windows Server 2008 64-bit platform (including R2) and it will require that you have SQL Server 2008 on a 64-bit platform.
A few days ago I posted a small survey that asks a couple of questions on how you virtualize your SharePoint environments. I will keep the survey open for a couple of more days to get some more results (compared to the number of readers of this blog and number of Twitter followers - the response is really bad…) Click Here to take survey Anyways I thought that I should put up some preliminary results.
Virtualization is a really hot technology right now, and forward and so are SharePoint. I’ve been discussing SharePoint virtualization internally and externally for sometime now and I have my opinions. In order to get a broader view on how SharePoint is virtualized around the globe I put together a small survey that will enlighten this subject. I would like you to fill out the survey and forward it to your colleagues, partners, clients, friends and better halves.
A recent discussion about how the licenses of Windows, SQL and SharePoint Servers should be handled when we are developing solutions using Virtual Machines made me throw away a mail to Emma Explains Licensing. The concern was that; do we have to pay licenses for every VM or test server? That would have been insane! But I wanted to have this explained how this licensing works - a lot of you perhaps already know but I always have a hard time getting all the different licensing options and rules.
Remote Debugging is a great feature to use, especially when you work with virtual machines. It allows you to develop and debug locally but have the code running on another machine, virtual or physical. Microsoft SharePoint can’t be installed on a Windows Vista or XP workstation, but needs to be installed on Windows Server 2003 or 2008, so the general recommendations has been for developers to have either Windows Server as their main OS or have a virtual machine with Windows Server.
Virtual PC and Virtual Server uses Virtual Hard Disk which may be dynamically sized, that is they don’t occupy the whole size of the disk on the host system. But they may take up much more than the guest operating system reports. I will show you how to reduce the size of you dynamically expanding virtual disk, using the tools provided with Virtual PC 2007 beta 2 (it’s the same on VPC 2004).
Since Internet Explorer 7 is on Windows Update and installed as a high-priority update a lot of users have Internet Explorer 7 installed or you are using the brand new Windows Vista, but how do you do when you are a web application developer and have to test it on Internet Explorer 6. Yes, Internet Explorer 6 will be with us for a long time. You have three options: Have a secondary machine stand by with Internet Explorer 6.
Microsoft offers a number of VHD downloads at Microsoft Download Center. You can find ready to go/test virtual hard disk images of: Windows Server 2003 R2 Exchange 2007 and Microsoft Live Communications Server 2007 ISA Server 2006 SQL Server 2005 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Virtual PC demonstration The Dynamics CRM demo VHD contains a complete server with Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, SQL Server 2005, Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft CRM and Visual Studio 2005.
Windows Vista will be released later this year to partners and volume license customers and in the beginning of 2007 to the masses. A successful release of a software product such as Windows Vista requires that a lot of consultants use it and can recommend it to the companies. The last few days it has come out in the open that Windows Vista will not support Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 until the first service pack is released, during the first half of 2007, and even then it will be compatibility issues.
I ran into some problems, that I thought I would share - with the reason, on one of our Virtual Server 2005 R2 machines, running Windows 2003 R2. We had problems copying files to the machine and recieved Delay Write Failed application popups, and it recorded the following event in the Event Log. Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: DiskEvent Category: NoneEvent ID: 11Date: 9/26/2006Time: 1:30:05 PMUser: N/AComputer: SERVERDescription:The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1.
According to Lawrence Liu Microsoft will release a a demo with Microsoft Office Server System 2007 for Virtual Server as a .VMC and a virtual harddisk for Microsoft Certified Partners as a part of the Techinical demonstration toolkit during the next 4-6 weeks. This is great, I guess that it will contain the latest build, and gives us a good opportunity to test and show the new functionlity of MOSS without having to set up new servers or VM’s.
This is a follow up post to my last about optimizing the Microsoft Virtual Server hard disks. If you use dynamically expanding disks, don’t forget to once in a while compact them using the built-in tools or schedule a script that does it for you. Check out Microsoft TechNet Script Center and these scripts and the rest is up to you :-) Turn of a virtual machine Compact a virtual hard disk Start a virtual machine John Howard, program manager of Windows Virtualization, have a post on how to reduce the size of a VHD: VHD Size Reduction that is worth checking out.
Here is a tip and some help for you out there who are using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 for optimizing the hard disk of the virtual machines. First of all make sure that you hard disks are fixed size, that means that they don’t have to expand during runtime. Then take advantage of the Virtual SCSI adapters, when the Virtual Machine Add-Ons are installed on the virtual server you will have a significant performance increase of up to 20 %.