Should You Virtualize Your SharePoint 2007 Environment?
According to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), in a survey of 1,191 IT and business managers, 33% of North American and Western European mid-market and enterprise companies are currently using SharePoint technologies. With the widespread usage of SharePoint, more and more companies are looking into virtualizing their SharePoint 2007 environment. I have been recommending SharePoint virtualization to my clients for quite some time and run our own SharePoint servers in Hyper-V.
Virtualization offers several benefits. Here’s a partial list of benefits.
– Reduction in overall size of your infrastructure
– Cost savings in power usage
– Ease of management
– High availability and better disaster recovery
– Reduction in server space requirements
– Fully supported by Microsoft on Virtual Server 2005 and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
According to the findings posted in this article:
In terms of performance, (omitting the SQL backend – which has been virtualized in other tests showing EXCELLENT performance), across 3 baseline tests, on average:
– Our Virtualized SharePoint server infrastructure farm out-performed the physical SharePoint farm by 4%,
– But only used 26% of the electrical power (watts) required to power the physical server infrastructure – put another way, that’s a 74% power saving over physical, put yet another way, going physical means 380% more power.
– 1017 Watts versus 3952 Watts. 6 Power cords versus 22
If you are looking for comprehensive information on virtualizing SharePoint, check out the Virtualizing SharePoint Series on MSDN from Microsoft Consulting Services.
Should You Virtualize Your SQL Servers?
I am no expert on SQL Server but I do know that a lot of people report performance gains by virtualizing their SQL Servers. Brent Ozar, a SQL expert, answers the question about virtualizing SQL Server in his blog. He says that:
– Virtualize only when it’s going to solve a problem, and you don’t have a better solution for that problem.
– Get good at performance monitoring before you virtualize, because it’s much tougher afterwords.
– Start by virtualizing the oldest, slowest boxes with local storage because they’ll likely see a performance gain instead of a penalty.
– Avoid virtualizing servers that have (and utilize) more than 2 HBAs.
If you are not virtualizing your SharePoint Servers today, chances are you will tomorrow. If you have any inkling about virtualizing SharePoint, I strongly encourage you to read the Virtualizing SharePoint Series on MSDN.