SharePoint deployments are multi-tier and rely on multiple servers and services, and often grow explosively as workgroups learn to harness capabilities for collaboration, workflow, content management and publishing. VMware vSphere facilitates rapid growth, and offers built-in capabilities that ensure high availability and rapid disaster recovery.
The thin provisioning feature of vSphere improves TCO through storage efficiency. Search and Content Database of SharePoint provision storage as required and avoid storage over-commit.
VMware HA offers extended VM protection through quick restart on hardware failure. With HA, SharePoint virtual machines in an ESX server can automatically be moved to another ESX server in case of hardware failure. Availability remains high, the cost and complexity of a cluster is avoided.
VMware vMotion and VMware DRS provide transparent load balancing across an ESX Cluster. Poorly positioned SharePoint virtual machines can be load balanced automatically in a SharePoint Farm using DRS and vMotion, with or without administrator acknowledgement.
VMware vSphere support for 32 vCPU and 1TB RAM allows you to scale up your Index and SQL server as future growth demands.
VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch centralizes the virtual switch configuration of your SharePoint Hosts and prevents manual errors in configuring virtual switches per host. Limit the traffic to or from your SharePoint virtual machines using Traffic Shaping feature. Offload the networking tasks of your SharePoint virtual machines to your Networking Team by using third party virtual switches like Cisco Nexus 1000V.
SharePoint Server can easily create “too much success” for IT – it's easy to be a hero for providing tools that increase productivity and change the way people work together, but it's very difficult to scale SharePoint resources to maximize their benefit. It's even harder to maintain rock-solid availability and to ensure your ability to mitigate small or large disasters if adding capacity is the biggest problem.
SharePoint Server is a perfect candidate for virtualization. Physical implementations suffer from many limitations including time wasted waiting for servers to arrive, waiting for software to load, and testing complex HA and DR designs. Virtualization eliminates the dependence of the SharePoint component server on physical hardware. Now you can easily add CPU and memory resources on the fly, move workloads to more powerful machines, deal with planned hardware maintenance with zero application downtime, immediately restart workloads from failed machines and recover to a DR site without worrying about maintaining exactly duplicated hardware. SharePoint is supposed to work this way. On VMware vSphere, it does!
SharePoint workloads are proven to scale effectively on VMware virtual machines. Application consolidation on VMware vSphere helps customers saves significantly on capital costs (servers, software licenses, implementation costs) and operational expenses (power, cooling, admin / server ratios). Both the SharePoint components and SQL Server databases will realize these basic benefits. All components will also benefit from more flexible provisioning for better performance, virtual mobility for improved uptime and machine independence for rapid service recovery.
More information on SQL Server performance, scalability and customer successes is accessible from the SQL Server page.
Success in delivering predictable, high-performance IT services at a reasonable cost is heavily dependent on infrastructure and service flexibility in the face of both the short-term changes (daily or seasonal load, internal growth) and the long-term shifts (budget cycles, program cycles) that drive requirements for an IT organization. It is difficult to predict the future of a SharePoint infrastructure, and it is prohibitively expensive to design a hardware architecture that has a good chance of meeting long-term needs.
Developing a resilient computing service based on the aggregation of physical resources is a proven path to that level of operational flexibility. Beyond the benefits to cost, availability and performance, implementing SharePoint services in a virtual infrastructure will dramatically expand your organization’s ability to leverage advanced infrastructure features. Virtualizing SharePoint is an ideal starting point toward an internal compute cloud.