By Michael Noel
Server virtualization technologies have become so commonplace that they’re the de facto standard for server deployment in many organizations. It’s becoming more and more common to run into data center environments that operate with the assumption that all new servers will be deployed as virtual machines (VMs), unless there’s some specific reason not to virtualize. This is a significant change from even just a few years ago when the situation was reversed and servers were deployed on physical equipment unless there was a specific reason to virtualize.
So, what about Microsoft SharePoint? Should you virtualize some or all of a SharePoint environment and take advantage of the consolidation, optimization, and flexibility options that a virtualization infrastructure provides? The reality is that SharePoint environments, particularly those running SharePoint Server 2010, can be robustly deployed on virtual servers as long as sufficient resources are allocated to virtual guests and the virtual hosts are scaled correctly. Deploying SharePoint improperly in a virtual environment can lead to slowness and other performance problems, and can decrease management’s confidence in virtualization as a whole. So, before you virtualize SharePoint, it’s vital that you know the requirements and design criteria for both the virtualization technology and SharePoint.