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Using SharePoint Products and Technologies in a Hyper-V virtual environment

SharePoint 2007

Updated: November 12, 2008

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2008-11-12

This article provides preliminary guidance for using SharePoint Products and Technologies with the Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtualization technology. The scope of this guidance covers Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Support statement

SharePoint Products and Technologies is supported in a Hyper-V environment. Extensive testing was done to confirm that all the functional aspects of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 have the same behavior on a Hyper-V virtual server as they do on a physical server.

Hardware and software requirements

In order to run Office SharePoint Server in a Hyper-V environment, you need to complete the Hyper-V prerequisites and follow the Windows SharePoint Services and Office SharePoint Server recommendations.

Hyper-V prerequisites

Hyper-V needs to be configured as a server role on the 64-bit editions of the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Additionally, make sure the physical hardware supports hardware-assisted virtualization. This means that the processor must be compatible with Intel VT or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology, and the system BIOS must support Data Execution Prevention (DEP). DEP must be enabled.

Support for third-party hypervisor technology

Deploying SharePoint Products and Technologies is supported on hypervisor technologies that are certified by Microsoft through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=125649&clcid=0x409).

Office SharePoint Server 2007 recommendations

We recommend that you install Office SharePoint Server 2007, 64-bit edition on a virtual machine that is running a 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008.

NoteNote:

Windows Server 2008 requires Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 1.

As a best practice for any SharePoint Products and Technologies deployment, you should maintain a homogenous architecture on each tier, and preferably across the entire SharePoint Products and Technologies platform.

SharePoint Products and Technologies recommendations

The following recommendations have been provided by the SharePoint Products and Technologies team.

  • Review the documents described in "Other Resources," below, as a prerequisite to deploying Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007 in a virtual environment.

  • Review and follow the published Windows SharePoint Services and Office SharePoint Server guidance for hardware selection, performance, and scalability. For more information, see Plan for performance and capacity (Windows SharePoint Services) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=89490&clcid=0x409) and Plan for performance and capacity (Office SharePoint Server) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=108998&clcid=0x409). The preceding documents include guidance for Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

  • Any Hyper-V virtual server must meet the requirements of the physical server (for example, CPUs, memory, and disk I/O) that you are going to run as a Hyper-V guest. As with all virtual technologies, there is an overhead cost on the host computer for each virtual machine.

  • Do not use the Hyper-V snapshot feature on virtual servers that are connected to a SharePoint Products and Technologies server farm. This is because the timer services and the search applications might become unsynchronized during the snapshot process and once the snapshot is finished, errors or inconsistencies can arise. Detach any server from the farm before taking a snapshot of that server.

  • Do not use more virtual CPUs than there are physical CPUs on the Hyper-V host computer. Although Hyper-V will allow you to allocate more virtual CPUs than the number of physical CPUs, this causes performance issues because the hypervisor software has to swap out CPU contexts.

  • Leverage virtual networks. Hyper-V enables you to configure the following types of virtual networks:

    • Private – The virtual machines on the private network can communicate with each other.

    • Internal – The virtual machines can communicate with each other and with the host computer.

    • External – The virtual machines can communicate with each other, the host computer, and computers on the physical network.

    Private networks and internal networks do not use the physical network card or cable, so communications are faster and network congestion is minimized. You can take advantage of this network performance gain by creating an external network for the Web front-end servers and by creating a private or internal network for the application and SQL Server database servers.

Other Resources

The following table provides important information about resources for Hyper-V, SharePoint Products and Technologies, and SQL Server 2008.

TitleDescriptionURL

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP)

Use MAP to determine if your servers can be virtualized.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=117991

Hyper-V Planning and Deployment Guide

This guide includes information about hardware requirements and limits, supported guest operating systems, and instructions for installing the role and management tools.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=124368

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started with Hyper-V

Provides a full walk-through of how to create and configure virtual machines in a Hyper-V environment.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=122588

Hyper-V Step-by-Step Guide: Testing Hyper-V and Failover Clustering

This guide shows you how to make a virtual machine highly available by creating a simple two-node cluster.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=120666

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008

Provides details on tuning Windows Server 2008 and includes a section specifically focused on Hyper-V.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121171

All Topics Performance Blog

This blog is written by Tony Voellm and is dedicated to performance topics. Tony is currently the lead of the Hyper-V Performance Team. Of particular interest is the four-part series that Tony wrote about Hyper-V performance counters.

Plan for performance and capacity (Windows SharePoint Services)

Performance and capacity planning is the process of mapping your solution design to a farm size and set of hardware that will support your business goals.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=89490&clcid=0x409

Plan for performance and capacity (Office SharePoint Server)

Performance and capacity planning is the process of mapping your solution design to a farm size and set of hardware that will support your business goals.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=108998&clcid=0x409

Conclusion

In any scenario, a virtual server running SharePoint Products and Technologies has the same minimum, and fundamental, requirements as a physical server running SharePoint Products and Technologies. Virtualization provides many benefits; however, it does not eliminate or circumvent the existing requirements and best practices that relate to deploying, configuring, and maintaining Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007.

See Also

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