Moving to Virtual Development Environment

Posted on 2014-02-06
Last Modified: 2014-02-06
My question is really geared towards moving developers from workstations into a virtual Environment either single Guest OS Server 2012 or Individual Guest Windows 7/8 OS per Developer.  We already have our web server/database servers virtualized and would be moving Team Foundation Server to a virtual solution.

My main question is what are the Pros/Cons of moving from workstations to Virtual OS?  And the Pros/Cons of a single Server 2012 OS vs individual Windows7/8 OS?

Thanks!  I tried searching but only found articles from 4 years or early.
Question by:jetskij16
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 39839837
Tough question as you leave a lot of unknown.
Since these are power users, what are their requirements for CPU and RAM per desktop?
Are these users all local to your network? Any remote users?

VDI requirements are different than servers as desktops are hungry for resources and IOPS if you choose workstation vs server.

A single server is fine, if you don't care about redundancy, high availability or any sort of disaster recovery.

How many users are we talking about here?

Author Comment

ID: 39839892
Spartan thank you for responding, I did not know what all details would be needed to make an accurate assessment.  I will answer your questions that I know and you can request other info if needed.

This new box would be a single server with 32GB RAM/ 1-2 terrabytes multiple processors quad cores.  We use veeam backup for local and offsite pushes so I am not concerned from that aspect about DR.  And the primary reason for getting TFS on a Virtual OS is so VEEAM will be able to backup the whole machine instead of the process we have to do now.

Talking about 3 or 4 devs with 1 to 2 being remote workers when contracted.  Server(may or may not) be in a datacenter separate from our office with VPN connectivity. recommendations are welcome.

Not sure what the CPU/RAM requirements would be, I am guessing minimums would be OS and Visual studio requirements. What exactly were you looking for on this topic?
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Spartan_1337 earned 300 total points
ID: 39840182
CPU & RAM requirements are for those developers tools.
Visual Studio will lag on a 2 GB RAM PC with a single Core CPU thus making the end user experience a miserable one.
Local storage is fine and works well with VDI since you are using Veeam for DR, however what type of drives does this server use? SATA, SAS, NLSAS? What is the speed of these drives? Faster drives, obviously will offer better performance during heavy usage.

Even with 2012, there is overhead for CPU and RAM so not all of the RAM or CPU will be available for VM's.

If you are using terminal services then your server should be fine for the small amount of users. Does your license for VS support terminal server?
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Author Comment

ID: 39840221
Spartan thanks for following up.  We have MSDN licenses but this is what kills me about terminal server.  We had Action Pack office licenses for the required amount but when we migrated to terminal server we had to purchase Office Terminal Server Cals.  Really annoying, so while we have license for VS I'm not sure if it will allow us to install on Terminal Server much like the office install failed.

Hard drives are: 3 x 500GB SATA 7.2k
I have 3 open slots left as well.
Not sure how many RAM slots are left but I could potential increase RAM as well.

Thank you for sharing the 2GB ram single core scenario.  I think I definitely would want to avoid that.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

Spartan_1337 earned 300 total points
ID: 39840306
Licensing for TFS could only be answered by Microsoft.
I know it can be used on a terminal server, however I cannot answer what their licensing guidelines are for that product. Their licensing is already confusing enough but this should add to their complicated scheme.

RAM is your friend, get as much as you can. If you can though, consider upgrading the HDD to at least 10k SAS as those SATA drives can slow your sessions down considerably. SATA is good for archival storage but for active usage the performance is very sub-standard.

Author Comment

ID: 39840462
Spartan thank you for the input.  I found specs for visual studio where they say how much additional ram is needed for Hyper-V and Same with Windows 8 if I go the individual route.

Thanks again.

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