I had a read on https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/solutions/SharePoint_2010-Best-Practices-Guide.pdf and there are some statements like (page 10)

"Allocate the minimum requirement for production virtual machines based on Microsoft guidelines, the role of the virtual machine, and the size of the environment."


"SharePoint 2010 minimum processor requirements recommended by Microsoft may be excessive in some environments. For this reason, VMware recommends reducing the number of virtual CPUs if monitoring of the actual workload shows that the virtual machine is not benefitting from the increased virtual CPUs."

Then again on page 38 "Note the new SharePoint 2010 minimum requirements, for example, all server roles are now required to have at least four 64-bit processor cores (or vCPUs)."

So when they say that Microsoft guidelines could be excessive does that imply for anything above the minimum requirements (four cores) or do they mean that go down to 2-3 cores would be OK if the response time is OK?

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


As it reads, if you see an underutilization of CPU you can remove one virtual core and see if your environment is still handling the load.

This is nothing specific to vSphere or even SharePoint, it is how you normally find optimal performance from just enough resources (by adding or removing resources and measure the outcome)

  • I get that but why mention minimum requirements at all
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 5:47
  • Because Microsoft wants to be able to say that if you are blow out guidelines, problems you see might be performance related. But depending on the actual usage on an environment those guidelines can be to high (or to low) Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 5:53
  • So the first statement is at go-live but going down to two cores per server is perfectly fine according to VMWare if the response time is still OK (2nd statement)
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 6:05
  • That's how I read it, and also how I practice it with my clients. If the server is able to cope up with the load with less then minimum resources - give it as much as it needs Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 6:06
  • Ok. SP has minimum hardware requirement but then also recommended guidelines for hardware depending on load, with those statements I was thinking that the requirements is a baseline whereas the guidelines could be seen as excessive. Anyway, thanks
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 6:12

SharePoint performance depends heavy on the functionality and how you implement your solution and topology. Certain functionality may demand a lot more resources. I have seen 1 server installations go fast and a 5 server farm go slow.

In general for a production envirnoment I would go for the 4 cores. But my personal development machine for example runs smoothly on my laptop with only one core.

Also keep in mind that SharePoint has quite a lot of background jobs schedueled. They might influence the performance as well. The crawl (indexing) job of the search is a typical long running resource intensive process that runs at a certain time or intervals. Users may experience slower response times during the executing of that job. (this also depends on the topology of your setup)

It's all about the expected load and what to do during peak times and/or heavy utilisation.

  • Yeah got it thanks I do run my dev boxes under minimum requirements just wanted to check how firm people are with the minimum requirements (not recommended guidelines) regardless of load (in prod environments), cheers
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 23:02

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