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SharePoint 2010's Virtual Reality - SPC2C


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SharePoint 2010 Server virtualization guidance from Michael Noel, author of SharePoint 2010 Unleashed.

SharePoint 2010 Server virtualization guidance from Michael Noel, author of SharePoint 2010 Unleashed.

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  • 1. Building the ‘Perfect’ SharePoint 2010 FarmBest Practices from the Field
    Michael Noel
    Convergent Computing (
  • 2. Michael Noel
    Author of SAMS Publishing titles “SharePoint 2010 Unleashed,” “SharePoint 2007 Unleashed,” “SharePoint 2003 Unleashed”, “Teach Yourself SharePoint 2003 in 10 Minutes,” “Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed,” “Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed”, “ISA Server 2006 Unleashed”, and many other titles .
    Partner at Convergent Computing ( / +1(510)444-5700) – San Francisco Bay Area based Infrastructure/Security specialists for SharePoint, AD, Exchange, Security
  • 3. What we will cover
    Why Virtualize?
    SharePoint 2010 Virtualization Guidelines and Models
    Virtualization of SharePoint Roles
    Virtualization of SQL Server
    Memory Limitations and Guidelines for Guests
    Microsoft Virtualization Software Options
    Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
    System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008
    Third Party Virtualization Product Support
    Microsoft Licensing for Virtual Servers
    Demo: Quick Farm Provisioning with VMM 2008 R2
  • 4. Why Virtualize?
  • 5. Why Virtualize?
  • 6. SharePoint 2010 Virtualization Guidelines
  • 7. Virtual Host Guidelines
  • 8. SharePoint Guest Guidelines
  • 9. VM Guest Guidelines:SharePoint Roles
  • 10. VM Guest Guidelines:Database Roles
  • 11. SharePoint 2010 Virtualized Farm Architecture
  • 12. Virtualized Farm ArchitectureCost-effective Virtual Environment / No HA
    • Allows organizations that wouldn’t normally be able to have a test environment to run one
    • 13. Allows for separation of the database role onto a dedicated server
    • 14. Can be more easily scaled out in the future
  • Virtualized Farm ArchitectureCost-effective Virtual Environment / No HA
  • 15. Virtualized Farm ArchitectureHighly Available Farm with only Two Servers
    • High-Availability across Hosts
    • 16. All components virtualized
    • 17. Uses only two Windows Ent Edition Licenses
  • Virtualized Farm ArchitectureHighly Available Farm with only Two Servers
  • 18. Virtualized Farm ArchitectureBest Practice Virtual/Physical with HA/Perf
    • Highest transaction servers are physical
    • 19. Multiple farm support, with DBs for all farms on the SQL cluster
  • Virtualized Farm ArchitectureLarge Virtual Farms
  • 20. NUMA Memory Guidelines
  • 21. NUMA Memory Limitations and Guidelines
    Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) Boundaries exist at the hardware level.
    Virtual guests that are allocated more memory than exist within a single NUMA memory boundary have significantly impacted performance
    NUMA boundaries vary by processor and motherboard vendor, but good rule of thumb to calculate boundaries is to divide the amount of memory in the system by the total number of cores.
    i.e. Dual Quad-core host (2x4 cores = 8 cores) with 64GB of RAM on the host would mean NUMA boundary is 64/8 or 8GB.
    In this example, allocating more than 8GB for a single guest session would result in performance drops.
  • 22. NUMA Memory Limitations and Guidelines
    Keeping NUMA boundaries in mind, this means that you will get significantly better performance provisioning two SharePoint front-ends with half the amount of RAM as a single front-end with twice as much RAM.
    This applies to any virtualization platform, as the limitation is hardware specific. NUMA allocation specifics will vary by vendor, however.
    Refer to MS Whitepaper on Virtualization of SharePoint ( for more specifics.
  • 23. NUMA Example: 2x Quad Core, 64GB RAM
    Proc 1
    Proc 2
  • 24. NUMA Example: 2x Quad Core, 8GB RAM
    Proc 1
    Proc 2
  • 25. Virtualization Performance Monitoring
  • 26. Virtualization Performance MonitoringCollect Performance Data
    Manually with Perfmon counters
    Collect data over a week minimum to look for trends throughout the week
    Use to help prove performance problems are not because of virtualization
    Consider using System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 for long-term performance analysis and threshold alerting
  • 27. Virtualization Performance MonitoringPerformance Counters and Thresholds on Hosts and Guests
    Network Bandwidth – Bytes Total/sec
    <40% Utilization = Good
    41%-64% = Caution
    >65% = Trouble
    Network Latency - Output Queue Length
    0 = Good
    1-2= OK
    >2 = Trouble
    Processor (Host Only)
    <60% Utilization = Good
    60%-90% = Caution
    >90% = Trouble
    Available Memory
    50% and above = Good
    10%-50% = OK
    <10% = Trouble
    Disk – Avg. Disk sec/Read or Avg. Disk sec/Write
    Up to 15ms = fine
    15ms-25ms = Caution
    >25ms = Trouble
  • 28. SharePoint Virtualization Support
  • 29. Microsoft Support of SharePoint Virtualization
    Microsoft’s official SharePoint support stance is that any SharePoint role or service is supported for hardware virtualization, including SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008 R2. There are only three requirements for virtualization that must be satisfied, these are as follows:
    Hardware-assisted virtualization, which is available in processors that include a virtualization option—specifically processors with Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology.
    Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is available and enabled.
    Either deployed on Microsoft Hyper-V (RTM or R2 version) or a validated third-party hypervisor that is part of the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) – KB 897615
  • 30. What does this mean for SharePoint on Third party?
    SharePoint supported on VMware ESX/ESXi, Citrix XenServer, or others in the SVVP
    This only covers Hypervisor products, so excludes products such as VMware Workstation or VMware Server
  • 31. Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V
  • 32. Hyper-V R2 for SP2010Overview
  • 33. System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2
  • 34. System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
    Virtualization Host and Guest Management Platform
    Part of the System Center Management Suite, which includes the following:
    System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
    System Center Data Protection Manager 2007
    System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2
    System Center Mobile Device Manager 2007
    System Center Essentials 2007
    System Center Service Manager 2010
  • 35. System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 R2
    New version out (VMM 2008 R2)
    VMM 2008 R2 has P2V (Physical to virtual migration) and V2V (VMware Guest migration to Hyper-V) tools
    For SharePoint, allows for creation of SharePoint template servers that can be quickly provisioned for test farms or for new farm members in production
    Can manage both Hyper-V and VMware guests (though must ‘go through’ a Virtual Center server to manage VMware guests.)
    Self-Service Portal allows end users and remote admins to be able to provision their own virtual machines based on templates
  • 36. Quick SP2010 Farm Provisioning with VMM 2008 R2
    Create new Virtual Guest (Windows Server 2008 R2)
    Install SP2010 Binaries. Stop before running Config Wizard
    Turn Virtual Guest into Template, modify template to allow it to be added into domain
    Add PowerShell script to run on first login, allowing SP to be added into farm or to create new farm
    Voila! 15 minute entire farm provisioning…
  • 37. Quick Farm Provisioning with VMM 2008 R2
  • 38. Farm Provisioning Scripts
    Function Configure-SPSearch {
    PARAM($AppPool, $FarmName, $SearchServiceAccount)
    $searchServiceInstance = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -local
    Start-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -Identity $searchServiceInstance
    $dbName = $FarmName + "_SearchServiceApplication"
    $searchApplication = New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication -Name "$FarmName Search Service Application" -ApplicationPool $AppPool -DatabaseName $dbName
    $searchApplicationProxy = New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplicationProxy -name "$FarmName Search Service Application Proxy" -SearchApplication $searchApplication
    Set-SPEnterpriseSearchAdministrationComponent -SearchApplication $searchApplication -SearchServiceInstance $searchServiceInstance
    $crawlTopology = New-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlTopology -SearchApplication $searchApplication
    $crawlDatabase = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlDatabase -SearchApplication $searchApplication
    New-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlComponent -CrawlTopology $crawlTopology -CrawlDatabase $crawlDatabase -SearchServiceInstance $searchServiceInstance
    while($crawlTopology.State -ne "Active")
    $crawlTopology | Set-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlTopology -Active -ErrorActionSilentlyContinue
    if ($crawlTopology.State -ne "Active")
    Start-Sleep -Seconds 10
    $queryTopology = New-SPenterpriseSEarchQueryTopology -SearchApplication $searchApplication -partitions 1
    $searchIndexPartition = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexPartition -QueryTopology $queryTopology
    New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryComponent -indexpartition $searchIndexPartition -QueryTopology $queryTopology -SearchServiceInstance $searchServiceInstance
    $propertyDB = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchPropertyDatabase -SearchApplication $searchApplication
    Set-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexPartition $searchIndexPartition -PropertyDatabase $propertyDB
    while ($queryTopology.State -ne "Active")
    $queryTopology | Set-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryTopology -Active -ErrorActionSilentlyContinue
    if ($queryTopology.State -ne "Active")
    Start-Sleep -Seconds 10
  • 39. Virtualization Licensing
    $ £ ¥ €
  • 40. Virtualized Farm ArchitectureMicrosoft Virtualization Licensing Primer
    Windows Server Virtualization Licensing
    Standard Edition: One virtual guest (if host is dedicated to virtualization role)
    Enterprise Edition: Four virtual guests (if host is dedicated to virtualization role) / Guests can be Std/Ent
    DataCenter Edition: Unlimited Number of Virtual Guests / Per processor socket license
    Virtualization OS licensing applies to Hyper-V or any virtual host software listed in SVVP (KB 897615)
    System Center Virtualization Licensing
    System Center Management Suite Standard Edition License: Gives DPM, OpsMgr, ConfigMgr, and VMM Agents for 1 server.
    System Center Management Suite Enterprise Edition License: Gives unlimited DPM, OpsMgr, ConfigMgr, and VMM Agents for all virtual guests on the host.
    Check with Microsoft for Specifics…
  • 41. Microsoft Virtualization Guest Licensing Model
    Guests can run any combination of downlevel licenses (i.e. Datacenter host, Ent or Std edition guests)
    Applies not only to OSes running virtualized with Windows Virtualization, but it also applies to 3rd party virtualization as well!
  • 42. For More Information
    SharePoint 2007 Unleashed and SharePoint 2010 Unleashed (SAMS Publishing) (
    Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed and/or Hyper-V Unleashed (
    Microsoft ‘Virtualizing SharePoint Infrastructure’ Whitepaper (
    Microsoft ‘Virtualizing SQL Server’ Whitepaper
    Microsoft SQL Mirroring Case Study
    Failover Mirror PowerShell Script
    Microsoft Edge Videos on Virtualization of SharePoint:
    Contact us at
  • 43. Session Takeaways
    Understand the architecture options for SharePoint 2010
    Consider Virtualization for SharePoint, but architect host and guest environments very carefully.
    Best performance comes from dedicated virtual hosts, dedicated passthrough NICs, and dedicated passthrough disks and by not overcommitting resources.
    KB897615 outlines MS Support for 3rd Party Virtualization such as VMware and XenServer…
    Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V technology gives high performance and is a very cost competitive option
    MS Licensing has new virtualization support, and Datacenter edition will provide for unlimited guests under a single host.
  • 44. Your Feedback is Important
    Please fill out a session evaluation form drop it off at the conference registration desk.
    Thank you!
  • 45. Thanks for attending!Questions?
    Michael Noel
    Twitter: @MichaelTNoel