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I have a few questions about a test development environment that I’m setting up on this server:

  • Intel Core i7-920 Quadcode incl. Hyper Threading
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM (triple-channel)
  • 2x 750 GB SATA-II (probably software RAID 1)

The server is going to support max 5 users, maybe 10 when stressed. I was hoping that I could run all the following products on the same server:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 w/ IIS
  • SQL Server 2008 x64 (R2 when released)
  • Team Foundation Server 2010
  • Sharepoint Foundation 2010

I know this sounds overkill, but remember that this is for development purpose and testing. This is not a production environment. My question if this will be possible at all?

Should I run it all on one Windows 2008 installation, or should I run it in multiple virtual environments using Hyper-V?

What do you think?

Edit 1: About the processor. What version of Windows Server 2008 should I run? Standard supports 4 CPU's, but how will the OS count my processor? Core i7 has 4 cores and with hyper-threading, will it count as 8 cores? Or will the OS see my Core i7 as one CPU?

So, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise?

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If you're considering Hyper-V, get Enterprise: – Joe Internet Apr 17 '10 at 13:02
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes, it will be possible, and no don't use HV.

Firstly your processor will handle the load just fine, secondly unless your app design is silly 8GB will be just fine too and thirdly adding HV will actually make it much slower as for such an environment 8GB isn't actually that much.

Oh and out of interest does your server use triple-channel memory (i.e. do the number of memory slots divide by 3 or 2; for example 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 over 2, 4, 8 etc.?), as many nehalem/westmere/sandy-bridge-based boxes run much faster when they use 3 memory modules than 2.

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Why not HV? Any comments on server load? – Tommy Jakobsen Apr 16 '10 at 22:50
sorry, added more info. – Chopper3 Apr 16 '10 at 22:52
Thank you. Regarding the memory, they run in 3 channel mode, 2x 2 GB RAM modules are in slot 1+2. 1x2 GB RAM are in slot 4. last 2 GB RAM module is in slot 6. And according to the motherboard manual, it will work in triple channel mode. – Tommy Jakobsen Apr 16 '10 at 22:54
I have updated the question with another answer regarding what OS to choose (standard/enterprise). Do you have any comments? – Tommy Jakobsen Apr 17 '10 at 8:30
Regarding your question update - standard will work just file, it supports 4 SOCKETS (i.e. physical chips, you have only one), whereas Ent supports 8 sockets, you ok with that? – Chopper3 Apr 17 '10 at 9:12

Crap out - USE Hyper-V and get some more RAM.

Poiunt is - that is as you say for development. Hyper-V has a lot of nic features. YOu can roll back installs (Snapshot), put up nw servers in a moment's notice with very little sccripting (just prepare a server, sysprep it). THIs is a lot of flexibility. Without the flexibility you really loose out for a development environment. I run multiple server similar to that (just AMD based, from 8 GB - outdated - to 32 gb RAM) for production and development and i will never ever install anything physical anymore (including database servers - I have one that is pretty high end, 8gb ram etc., and it runs in hyper-v, with physical disc mapping. Reason: Server replaces are easier when the drivers stay the same ;)

Especially for a dev environment, the ability to "play" with machines is terrific. FOr example sharepoint - put up ONE machine with all (SQL, sharepoint) JUST for sharepoint. Install some complex add in - rollback - install - rollback. No need to have a working uninstaller at that point.

Now, for TFS - that is at least 2-3 VM's to start with. Sorry ;) Here is MY TFS setup: * Machine "SQL" - that is my main SQL Server internal, doing only that. It is used by various subsystems (Sharepoint, TFS, CRM etc.) * Machine "tfs" - the TFS Server. ONLY runs TFS. * Machine "tfs-build" - the TFS build server .Right now a controller + 2 agents. I consider moving the controller to the tfs machine. Anyhow, the main idea here is that I do not want to build on the machine tfs - that should be "stable". tfs-build gets all kinds of third party stuff installed and removed, and has - for examlpe - visual studio on it ;)

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Very interesting TomTom. I can see many advantages in such a build. But can I run all that on 8 GB RAM? Without performance beeing painfully slow. – Tommy Jakobsen Apr 17 '10 at 7:24
Possibly - but not more. Having 8gb on such a server is a waste, though. I put in as much ram as bearable. 32gb per opteron, 16gb for normal chips at the moment. The 8gb server is outdated (replaced soon) ;) RAM is cheap. Your main problem otherwise wil lbe the discs, but it should be bearable. – TomTom Apr 17 '10 at 8:27
I think it sounds like way too many VMs on 8 GB RAM, and I'm not able to upgrade it right now. – Tommy Jakobsen Apr 18 '10 at 8:11
Well, otoh that is the amount of VM's required to be STABLE. Naturally if you do not use TFS build system, you dont need those VM's ;) That said, I really love the new TFS - really nice, nifts. THough I fear the hard parts will appear on my schedule soon. – TomTom Apr 18 '10 at 10:28

That should be fine for that many users. If anything, up the memory to 12GB if you think SQL development will be heavy.

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