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What hardware do I need for building an efficient local SP development environment?

Requirements

  • CPU: How many cores? Xeon vs i5/i7?
  • HD: What SSD would you recommend? Should they be RAID0?
  • RAM: I assume at least 16GB where at least 6GB is assigned to the virtual dev
  • What combination of Windows (win7/2008) and virtualization (VMWare vs Hyper-V)?

What else is essential?

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3 Answers 3

I would have a setup something like this:

  • 4 core cpu
  • 8 gb ram minimum
  • SSD disk or you could have a 10k rpm disk, or maybe even, as you mentioned a couple raid'ed disks

If you have MSSQL installed on the same machine, be aware that Sql Server is a memory hog, so you should tell MSSQL explicitely how much ram it is allowed to use. Otherwise you might experience that it takes more than you expected, and that means your development will slow down considerably. My setup is 8GB, and I allow MSSQL 4 GB max.

There are minimum requirements specified by Microsoft. I suggest you follow those. From that point on it's really about your budget vs. return-on-investment (ROI).

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SP development is disk I/O intensive, therefore Disk performance is a must have. 6G ram is minimun - if you are running sql on same virtual machine as sp then limit sql server ram usage. VMWare vs Hyper-V is not important - I use both and i think its a matter of "religion"

When I'am on the road I use Lenovo W520 with SSD disk, 16G ram, vmware workstation. The setup is windows 7 as host operating system and two virtual win2008 servers (one AD and one Sp2010+sql).

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I have practically the same environment but would like to have more efficiency. Thus thinking about RAID0 or some fast CPUs etc. –  thomius Mar 23 '12 at 8:13
    
I personally don't think RAID0 is necessary with a good SSD - the speed improvement going even something like a Velociraptor HD to SSD is outstanding. –  Ryan Mar 23 '12 at 9:02
    
You can work more efficiently if you structure you code correct...... make sure you seperate sharepoint code from you application logic. That way you can unit test your logis wuth iisreset (which makes dev slow). –  Jan Sørensen Mar 27 '12 at 12:04
    
Also use CKS dev (codeplex) instead of complete redeploy of wsp solution.... this makes it possible to copy to 14 hive and GAC directly –  Jan Sørensen Mar 27 '12 at 12:06
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Given that SP2010 is on the way out next year, overall you might be better off actually using existing hardware + http://cloudshare.com

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Could you enlighten us more about what you mean by "sp2010 is on the way out" ? Maybe you can give us some reference links, or some kind of source that describes what you mean ? –  CodeMonkey Apr 28 '12 at 20:56
    
A beta release for the next version of SharePoint is "expected" later this year. That said, I don't think that should drive you away from hardware for a local 2010 environment. I wouldn't expect the next version to have "drastically" different hardware requirements. –  webdes03 Apr 28 '12 at 23:11
    
I wouldn't call it "on the way out". We're still migrating clients off of version 2003! SP2010 will be around for a few years yet in enterprise settings. –  Louis Apr 30 '12 at 0:36
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