Is SharePoint virtualization supported?

One of the first questions my customers ask when considering virtualization is “Is SharePoint supported in a virtualized environment?” This question breaks down into two questions that need to be answered. 

  1. Is SharePoint technology supported in a virtualized environment at all?
  2. Is my chosen virtualization vendor’s technology supported?

The SharePoint and windows product team announced support for virtualization of SharePoint on Windows using a number of virtualization products. From a Microsoft perspective, Virtual Server 2005  and Hyper V are fully supported. Third party products, such as VMWare, are also supported via the Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). This is  fantastic news for the enterprises with existing investments in virtualization products, such as VMWARE ESX virtualization stack. Here are links to the official statements on Microsoft websites:

Real World Support Caveats

  • Microsoft may require the issue to be reproduced independently from the non Microsoft hardware virtualization software (KB897615). This  means that Microsoft will still support you, but if the issue is due to the virtualization vendor, you will need to approach them first.
  • The snapshot feature of Hyper V and other virtualization products  are not supported for SharePoint farms; See : Using SharePoint Products and Technologies in a Hyper V environment. Snapshots in farms with more than one server may cause inconsistencies when rolling back to a previous snapshot on one of the servers in the farm which may result in data corruption.

Why consider virtualizing your SharePoint farm?

The following is a list of the main drivers we have experienced in existing customer environments:

  • Data Centre issues such as limited or no power and rack space available.
  • Saving your company money by reducing your infrastructure footprint and reducing the power and cooling costs required.
  • Green IT : reduce carbon footprint by reducing the power consumption of your organization.
  • The need for greater mobility, flexibility and manageability in your data centre.
  • Your salary increase and bonus 🙂  … Implementing strategies that save your company money, that promote Green IT, and that still provide a great service to end users is a fantastic way to justify your salary increase or bonus, in measurable terms, to your boss. It’s a win – win situation!

SharePoint Virtualization Best Practices

Learn about the architectural considerations when trying to virtualize Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007). This deck assumes you have good grounding in virtualization technology and discusses virtualization from a vendor-neutral view point. Contained in this presentation is valuable insight around I/O utilization, RAM usage, CPU assignments, and storage when deploying SharePoint virtually. The presentation was first presented at the SharePoint Best Practices Conference UK in 2009. This deck was written by Brian Wilson of Microsoft Consulting Services UK and reused by and adapted by Viral Tarpara, IT Pro Evangelist, or Microsoft UK.

Top 10 Storage Virtualization Trends of 2010


1. Integration of solid state with rotating media for higher performance and lower energy costs.
Product : EMC FAST, Fusion-io, Compellent Storage Center

2. De-duplication technology — on storage and backups — can help open unused space.
Product : EMC Avamar, Symantec/Veritas Netbackup PureDisk, IBM/Tivoli Storage Manager, NetApp FlexClone
3. More granularity in backup and restoration of virtual servers.
Product : Vizioncore vRanger Pro, Symantec Netbackup, Asigra Cloud Backup

4. Live migrations and better integration of VM snapshots make it easier to back up, copy and patch VMs
Product: FalconStor FDS, VMware vMotion and vStorage APIs, Citrix XenServer

5. Thin and dynamic provisioning of storage to help moderate storage growth.
Product : Symantec/Veritas Storage Foundation Manager, Compellent Dynamic Capacity, Citrix XenServer Essentials, 3Par Inserv

6. Greater VM densities per host will improve storage performance and management.
Product : Cisco Unified Communications Server

7. Better high-availability integration and more fault-tolerant operations.
Product : VMware vSphere 4 and Citrix XenServer 5.5

8. Private cloud creation and virtualized networks — including vendor solutions that offer ways to virtualize your data center entirely in the cloud.
Product: Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, VMware vSphere vShield Zones, ReliaCloud, Hexagrid VxDataCenter

9. Better application awareness of cloud-based services.
Product: Exchange 2010, Sparxent MailShadow

Virtualization World View

Virtualization World View

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