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June 2011

Navigating the benefits and challenges of SharePoint virtualization

SharePoint 2010 farms usually consist of multiple SharePoint and SQL Server systems all working together to provide the necessary processing capabilities. Because so many different servers can be involved in a SharePoint farm, the collaboration platform is a prime candidate for server virtualization. SharePoint virtualization can dramatically cut hardware and data center costs, but there are some considerations that should be taken into account prior to virtualizing a SharePoint installation. The first thing that you need to do is determine whether Microsoft will support your intended virtualization software on the guest server configuration you have in mind. Microsoft’s official support policy for SharePoint Server 2010 embraces the company’s own Hyper-V virtualization technology, as you’d expect, and then states that the collaboration software isn’t supported in other environments unless they are “explicitly referenced” as part of its server virtualization validation program. That means you can run SharePoint 2010 on Hyper-V ...

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