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Installing and configuring Project Server 2007 and Hyper-V

Office 2007
 

Topic Last Modified: 2009-03-26

Before installing Hyper-V, follow the instructions available in the Hyper-V Planning and Deployment Guide available from the Microsoft Download Center. The Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121171) document provides details on tuning Windows Server 2008 and includes a section specifically focused on Hyper-V.

Hyper-V is a server role available for 64-bit editions of the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Additionally, the physical hardware must support 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.

Due to the demands of server consolidation, Hyper-V servers tend to consume more CPU and memory, and require greater disk I/O bandwidth, than physical servers with comparable computing loads. In order to deploy an environment that will meet expectations, consider the factors below to determine the exact hardware requirements of your server.

The storage hardware should provide sufficient I/O bandwidth and storage capacity to meet the current and future needs of the virtual machines that you plan to host. There is a trade-off when choosing storage configuration for Hyper-V between capacity usage and the performance it can provide.

When planning storage configuration, consider the requirements of the environment you are provisioning. The requirements for production, pre-production, and development environments may differ considerably.

If you are deploying a production Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 environment on Hyper-V, performance will be a key requirement. To avoid disk I/O contention on busy production systems, allocate a separate physical drive for each virtual hard disk (VHD) file you use. Typically, development environments do not have stringent performance requirements, because maximizing resource utilization tends to be the main priority. Therefore, in this case, consider hosting multiple VHD files on a single drive.

Hyper-V supports several different types of storage-disk options. Each of the storage options can be attached via an IDE or SCSI controller to the computer. The best level of performance is provided using pass-through disks; the next best level of performance is obtained by using fixed VHD disks. A potential benefit of using the SCSI controller over the IDE controller is that it will only work correctly if the correct versions of the operating-system integration components have been installed on the guest virtual machine.

For intensive read-write activities, such as hosting Microsoft SQL Server databases, use the pass-through disk option. It permits the virtual machine to have direct access to the physical disk, and it bypasses the NTFS file system in the root partition.

Office Project Server 2007 tends to exhibit high network utilization. Therefore, when network performance is an issue, consider allocating a separate physical network card for each virtual machine.

When configuring a virtual machine, ensure that you use the network adapter instead of the legacy network adapter. The legacy network adapter is intended for operating systems that do not support integration components.

To measure network performance, use the “\Network Interface \Bytes Total/sec” performance monitor counter in a command line on the host operating system to measure overall performance of the network card. If you identify a physical network as being busy, use the “\Hyper-V Virtual Network Adapter (*)\Bytes/sec” counter on the guest operating system to identify which virtual machine network adapter is generating the load.

Hyper-V supports different numbers of virtual processors for different guest operating systems. To gain the maximum performance currently available for Project Server 2007 SP1, install it on a Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 64-bit edition guest operating system, both of which support two virtual processors per virtual machine. Configure a one-to-one mapping between virtual and physical processors to prevent excessive context switching that results in performance degradation.

The “\Hyper-V Hypervisor Logical Processor(_Total)\% Total Run Time” performance monitor counter measures the overall resource utilization of all guest computers and the hypervisor on the physical server. If this value is above 90%, the server is running at maximum capacity; allocating additional virtual processors to the server in this scenario can degrade overall system performance and should be avoided.

The physical server requires enough memory for the root partition and any virtual machines running on the server. During testing, a minimum of 2 GB of memory was allocated to the root partition and the "Memory/Available Mbytes" performance monitor counter was monitored to ensure that no memory pressure was experienced.

The amount of memory that should be allocated to each virtual machine in an Office Project Server 2007 environment depends on the workload and type of processing that will be performed. There are many factors that affect memory requirements of an Office Project Server 2007 installation, including:

  • Number of users/resources

  • Number of projects being published

  • Project length

  • Enterprise custom fields

ImportantImportant:
For a comprehensive list of factors that affect memory, see Plan for performance and capacity (Project Server 2007).
Proactively monitor the Memory/Available Mbytes counter from within each virtual machine and the root partition itself.

Hyper-V is supported on a server core as well as a full installation of a 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008. If you want to minimize the overhead of the root partition, the Server Core installation can be used. The Hyper-V role can be managed remotely from an existing Hyper-V Manager Microsoft Management Console (MMC) on a different system. The Server Core installation provides a smaller disk and memory profile, therefore leaving more resources available for virtual machines.

If you choose to use the full installation option of Windows Server 2008, ensure that the root partition is dedicated only to the Hyper-V server role. Running additional server roles will consume memory, disk, processor, and network resources and will degrade performance.

After you have installed and configured the Hyper-V server role, you need to create the virtual machines. Before doing this, it is useful to answer the following questions:

  • What edition of Windows Server 2008 will I use to run Hyper-V?

  • What storage configuration will I use?

  • How many virtual processors does the guest operating system support?

  • How much memory will be allocated to the virtual machine?

  • How many virtual machines can I run on my Hyper-V server?

  • How will I install the operating system on the computer?

All the options available for a physical server installation are available in Hyper-V. A bootable CD/DVD-ROM media or an ISO image can be used to perform a manual installation. A network installation can be performed if the virtual machine has been configured with a network adapter connected to the same network as an image server.

ImportantImportant:
Whichever installation method is chosen, for performance reasons it is critical that the operating system integration components be installed for each virtual machine running under Hyper-V. The integration components provide a set of drivers and services that enable the guest machine to perform by using synthetic devices. Synthetic devices avoid the need for emulated devices, which are used on operating systems that do not support integration components. Emulated devices incur greater system overhead than synthetic devices.

When installing Office Project Server 2007 in a virtual environment, the same practices should be followed as in a physical environment. The following resources should be utilized when installing and configuring Project Server:

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