My Questions are:

  1. Is Hardware requirements—database requirement below enough?
  2. Which software requirements I should use:

    • Single server with built-in database,
    • Server farm with a single server in the farm or,
    • Server farm with multiple servers in the farm

for a educational purpose. Each of these has different hardware requirement. (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262485.aspx)

The reason I buy a new hardware is to increase my knowledge for SharePoint development.

My purpose is to Increase my knowledge in SharePoint development. Today. I'm a junior SharePoint developer. I have experience in dot.net development but not in SharePoint development.

I have considered buying a new desktop och laptop computer with following criteria.

laptop with hardware requirement:
Intel processor i7

Desktop with hardware:

Intel processor i7


4 Answers 4


I would go with single server farm(1 sharepoint server n 1 db server).

24 GB is enough ram, you can run more than 2 vm... I have laptop with 32gb ram n i7....I have 6 vms, no issue so far.

I used for my testing but I m not developer rather I m infrastructure guy.

Create 2 VM, configure sharepoint install dev tools and enjoy.

  • "single server farm(1 sharepoint server n 1 db server). " Why? I do not understand.
    – DWD
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:17
  • I am sorry, i want to mentione Small Farm rather single server. One SharePoint server(WFE) and One Database Server.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:20
  • Don't worry about it. I don't understand. What is the reason to select "Small Farm" in this context?
    – DWD
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:45
  • its easy to distribute the load between the VMs. If you have every thing on one VM and for troubleshooting, its not easy to go through all logs because all services on the same farm. 2nd thing its a good starting point because industry standard is farm environment with dedicated SQL server. If you want you can install everything on one VM.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:54

Usually the answer to such questions requires more carefully farm sizing & capacity planning as described on http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sanjaynarang/archive/2013/04/06/sizing-and-capacity-planning-for-sharepoint-2013-resources.aspx.

As you planning your own development environement rather, the simplest aproach from instalation and configuration perspective is indeed Single Server Farm (16GB RAM should do it, but if you plan developing, experience showed that under 24GB is much better). Also consider very fast hard-disk, think SSD! - please note i'm considering here SharePoint 2013 (foundation or server)!

Moving on, in the SharePoint world it is recommended never to install it via the Configuration Wizard, but if you never did it again, maybe take it for a spin as such. In close to real-live situations, mid-term (after going through couple of books on Administration, see here some http://www.topsharepoint.com/free-sharepoint-ebooks), try separating to the minimum components (e.g. put database server on another machine, try having 2 SharePoint servers on your farm - to experience load-balancing, distributed caching, multi-server deployment of search components - the "cool" stuff).

As i understood, you are more a developer, therefore the fastest approach of Single-server farm with all components in would serve you best to get started. For SharePoint Apps is more complicated to set up, you would need to work with Certificates (see here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp123530.aspx and http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/18852-configuring-an-app-environment-for-single-server-sharepoint-foundation-2013). Go for Visual Studio 2013 as tooling has been improved quite substantially for a starter.


If your need is to set up a development environment (I mean with Visual Studio 2012) for an on-premises SharePoint installation, then have a look here.

In short, they say

In any development environment, you should use a computer with an x64-capable CPU, and at least 16 GB of RAM to install and run SharePoint 2013; 24 GB of RAM is preferable

This is for a single server, stand-alone installation on the same machine.

If you need to develop apps for SharePoint online, then the hardware requirements are far less restrictive, as you only need to run Visual Studio 2012 on your machine.

Hope this helps.


I have experience with SP2010 VM running on 8GB memory. It was used for development - 2 users running each 1 or 2 instances of VS2010. It wasn't best performing environment but it was enough to do coding and play with SP. However, there was a separate SQL machine and it was single server farm.

If you are about to run extensive crawls, indexing, memory/CPU consuming actions on large amount of data, consider allocating more memory.

It is important to say that all the SP memory requirements are for production enviroment. Don't be afraid to run it on 8GB memory. More likely you are about to run out of IOPs in search than of memory if you allocate 16GB.

It was not a long time ago when I was thinking about same problem. My requirements were:

  • able to run SP farm 2010/2013 for testing/education
  • run at least 2VM's at time. Idealm host system + 3 VM's (1st AD,SQL, 2nd SP2010/2013, 3rd SP2010/13)

What did I build?

  • Intel Xeon E3 1245V3
  • SuperMicro X10SAE
  • 240GB SSD for system
  • 2x1TB HDD
  • 2x8GB crucial 1600 (mobo supporst only unbuffered, so be careful! when buying)
  • no gpu needed - integrated in xeon

So far I have no problem to run 2 VMs, didn't tested 3 though. Plans for future - definitely buy more memory! Another 2x8GB would be great, SP is memory expensive :)

  • What is your reflection about SSD harddrive? How big effect can it give compare to a regular hard drive?
    – DWD
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:52
  • Is SSD worth the money? Yes! You do not have to buy big SSD, it is enough just for system partition or to store SQL VM to make it faster. Just compare regular HDD read/write speed with SSD. However, I got mine from laptop which I am not using anymore. But it's really a shame if you invest into xeon cpu, ECC mobo & memories and you have just old fashioned HDD. It will be the slowest component in your system. Consider at least any kind of RAID to make read/write faster.
    – luccio
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 13:58
  • Also be careful which RAID you choose. RAID 0 is good for read/write speed but there is no backup. RAID 1 is good for backup and read, but bad for write, RAID 10 combines 0 and 1 but is expensive - you need at least 4 drives instead of 2 for RAID 0 or 1.
    – luccio
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 14:11

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