are many ways to deploy SharePoint 2010 in a virtualized environment.
However, some designs are more widespread than others and reflect common
needs across many organizations. For example, high availability is
becoming a must for the critical document management and collaboration
functionality in SharePoint. All the new high-availability options in
SharePoint 2010 are available for virtual environments and can actually
be easier to deploy because of the flexibility that virtualization
illustrates a small virtualized SharePoint 2010 environment with all
components running on a single virtual host. This type of deployment
doesn’t have any built-in high availability or disaster recovery, but
it’s the simplest environment to set up, and it can still take advantage
of virtualization benefits and scalability. Table 1
shows sample server specifications for an environment of this size.
These specifications assume 500 active users in the environment.
Figure 1. Conceptualizing a small virtualized SharePoint farm.
Table 1. Small Virtual SharePoint Environment Deployment Specifications
|Virtual host||24GB RAM||2 quad-core (8 cores)||C: drive—OS, Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, 50GB dedicated volume
D: drive—Dedicated volume for OS VHDs
E: drive—500GB dedicated volume for SQL Server database VHDs
F: drive—100GB dedicated volume for SQL Server log VHDs
|SQL Server server||12GB RAM||4 virtual processors||C: drive—OS, fixed-size VHD (100GB)
D: drive—Fixed-size VHD (100GB) for the SQL Server logs
E: drive—Fixed-size VHD (500GB) for the SQL Server data
|SharePoint web/query/app||10GB RAM||4 virtual processors||C: drive—OS and transport queue logs, fixed-size VHD (100GB)
E: drive—Fixed-size VHD (100GB) for indexing and querying|
The next design, illustrated in Figure 2,
provides a virtualization architecture that provides a high level of
availability, disaster tolerance, and scalability for an environment
with 2,000 active users. The entire SharePoint environment is deployed
across two virtual hosts, which provides for high availability of the
environment. SQL Server databases are mirrored from one virtual guest to
another, and a third SQL witness server monitors the SQL principal
server, providing for automatic failover in the event the virtual host
or virtual guest fails.
Figure 2. Conceptualizing a medium-sized SharePoint farm.
These high-availability and
disaster-recovery options are possible without the need for shared
storage, a SAN, or host availability solutions. Table 2 lists the sample virtual host and guest architecture guidelines for the solution in Figure 2.
Table 2. Medium-Sized Virtual SharePoint Environment Deployment Specifications
|Virtual hosts||48GB RAM||2 quad-core (8 cores)||C: drive—OS, Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, 50GB dedicated logical unit number (LUN)
D: drive—Dedicated LUN for VHDs
Raw volume—100GB dedicated LUN for SQL Server logs
Raw volume—2TB dedicated LUN for SQL Server databases
|SQL Server servers||16GB RAM||4 virtual processors||C: drive—OS, fixed-size VHD (50GB)
D: drive—Pass-through dedicated LUN (100GB) for SQL Server logs
E: drive—Pass-through dedicated LUN (2TB) for SQL Server data
|SharePoint web and service application servers||12GB RAM||2 virtual processors||C: drive—OS, fixed-size VHD (100GB)|
|SharePoint search/query servers||12GB RAM||2 virtual processors||C: drive—OS, fixed-size VHD (100GB)
D: drive—Fixed-size VHD (200GB) for indexing and querying|
|SQL witness server||2GB RAM||1 virtual processor||C: drive—OS, fixed-size VHD (50GB)|
technologies allow for a high degree of scalability and aren’t limited
to small and mid-sized organizations. For example, the architecture that
shows allows for tens of thousands of SharePoint users, full disaster
tolerance, and high availability, all with the high performance expected
from SharePoint. In this particular model, multiple SQL Server machines
are used for the various SharePoint databases, with one used for
content databases, one for service application databases, and one for
the search databases. Server groups are created for different SharePoint
server roles, and the web tier is broken into two components: one for
users and another for crawl and administration. In this example,
host-based failover solutions such as Hyper-V Live Migration could also
conceivably provide for failover of individual guest sessions between
Figure 3. Conceptualizing a large virtualized SharePoint 2010 environment.
These three samples
illustrate some of the potential design options available for a virtual
SharePoint environment. Every environment is unique, and specifics will
vary based on business and technology needs. However, you can use these
sample architectures as a starting point for developing a
high-performance virtualized SharePoint 2010 environment.