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Is it possible to run 15 to 20 developers (VS2010, and other supporting software) off of 1 VM server and is there any documentation to support this? I don't know if I'm talking about buying a 4 processors or 16 with 8 virtual CPUs per processor and 64 gigs. Any suggestions are welcome.

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What kind of server is that? I hope you're not thinking of running a virtual terminal server with VS2010 are you? –  Matt Nov 18 '10 at 22:27
    
Would you be hooking this to a san? –  GregD Nov 18 '10 at 22:27
    
Just to echo GregD - running 20 developer workstations on a single server class system might be OK but you'll need a lot of disks to go with it. –  Helvick Nov 18 '10 at 22:29
    
San -yes. Remote Desktop - yes. The developers run server 03 because of the complicated SOA environment and the network folks answer is to VM all developers to one box and remote to it. -thx –  user60788 Nov 18 '10 at 22:34

3 Answers 3

How do you propose they're going to access the desktop? What are you trying to accomplish? Cost savings? Space savings?

While it is possible to do this, it doesn't seem practical at the outset. This could very well be a very expensive endeavor in both time and money with really no perceivable benefit that I can see right now.

So in your comment they're going to RDP, which begs the question why not just run VS locally?

You might also investigate Remote Desktop Services as a potential scenario if you can't install VS locally.

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The developers require server because of the SOA environment. The Network admin thinks server does not belong on developer's machines because of security reasons and want's it all locked in some server subnet. Currenlty the developers run win7 (so its not server desktop) with a local VM of server 03 to developer on. This isn't good enough for the network admin and he wants to VM all developers on one VM server on another subnet. I don't have cost problems just people problems -- go figure –  user60788 Nov 18 '10 at 23:17
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This is going to be unpopular on serverfault, but it sounds like your network admin needs a reality check and reminder that he works to support the people who do the billable work for the company. You should be looking to make your devs as productive and unencumbered as possible, not your network admin. –  micmcg Nov 19 '10 at 3:51

Your question is difficult to answer. "One VM server" may describe a system with 48 cores and 512GB of memory -- which would be overkill for your needs. You ask, "is there any documentation to support this?" The answer is: you provide your own documentation. What sort of resources does Visual Studio need? If it runs fine with 2GB of memory and a single 2Ghz core, then multiply that by your number of developers and you've documented your requirements. You probably want memory more than you want CPU, so a 16 core server with 64GB of memory would probably be just fine.

If a single VS instance needs more memory or only runs acceptably with multiple cores, you'll need to adjust your requirements as necessary.

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Sounds good - 20 developers with needing 4GB memory and 3GHZ core, would that end up at 64GB of memory with 8 processors at 8 virtual CPUs per processor. I'm just a manager trying to support 20 developers and make the network admin happy :) -thx –  user60788 Nov 18 '10 at 23:04
    
If it's a good answer, maybe you could accept it? Or one of the others, if they're better. –  larsks Nov 18 '10 at 23:51

Possible, but depends on the developer work habits. Lots of questions to answer from you:

1)64G divided by 20 developers is 3.2G - not enough IMO for work machine. VS2010 should have 1.5G itself, but what about database utils, and other programs that devs use. Win7? - add more.

2) Which VM software? For instance, VMware server 2.0 (free one) cant run more than 4 VMs without performance issues (I tried).

3) if 20 devs hit "compile", your main bottleneck is the disk IO. You will need -fast- disk access. Perhaps SSD, Raptor or RAID for speed.

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1) developers are hungry, running ADAM, SQL, VS2010, pl\SQL developer, and the list goes on... –  user60788 Nov 18 '10 at 23:06
    
2} ESX machines and one San –  user60788 Nov 18 '10 at 23:08
    
Forget it. WAY too many VM's on way too little real hardware. Buy 2-3 servers and thigns will look better. –  TomTom Jul 1 '11 at 12:00

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