Running Sharepoint Foundation 2013 on Exchange 2013 server a good idea?

Posted on 2015-02-15
Last Modified: 2015-02-25
In my environment, I have a number of servers for an electronic medical records package, so I will leave those member servers out of the discussion.  I am left with a VMWare esxi server running three virtual machines at the moment.  I have no additional licenses of Windows Server to work with.  VM1 is a Windows Server 2012R2 domain controller.  VM2 is a Windows Server 2008R2 member server running Exchange 2010.  This box will be removed after it is migrated to Exchange 2013.  I only really installed it because I had to do a swing migration from Exchange 2003 to 2013.  VM3 is a Windows Server 2012R2 member server that has nothing on it right now but will be getting Exchange 2013 in the near future and will definitely be providing OWA to external and internal clients.

I want to install Sharepoint 2013 Foundation on VM3 and use the option of installing as a standalone development environment because it is very easy to configure that way and Sharepoint for me is just a simple document repository for PDF files containing company policies, handbooks and other things.  I did this on VM1 when it was a member server but it stopped working when I promoted it to a domain controller.  I was unaware at the time that this type of install of Foundation would not work on a dc.

My question is, is it ok to run Sharepoint 2013 Foundation on the same server as Exchange 2013?  I have plenty of power to do so as the VMware host server is brand new and the specs are very nice.  I didn't know if there would be any downside at all.  Incoming https traffic will be directed to this virtual machine for owa access going to  I only plan on allowing access to Sharepoint content from the inside network.

Any pitfalls?  I really don't want to spin up any more VMs because I am out of Windows server licenses and I have limited options.  I can't touch any other member servers in my environment because the software vendors running on them will not allow it and I don't blame them.
Question by:Steve Bantz
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Expert Comment

ID: 40611104
No. Exchange servers should always be dedicated to exchange only.

Besides that sharepoint needs SQL, and SQL should also be run on a dedicated server.
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Accepted Solution

Rainer Jeschor earned 500 total points
ID: 40611748
technically it is possible, but I would never ever recommend such a setup.Exchange is normally the critical server application besides CRM or ERP systems in a company. Exchange is very very picky when not getting enough RAM and prefers to have full control (aka get all RAM). SharePoint has various web and service applications besides the SQL server - and they need RAM too. At the end you will have a decent fight between the two servers about who gets what RAM.
You might consider limiting the RAM each application can use, but the question is always: what happens if this is not enough?
IMHO the risk of having problematic situations is too high.
You do not want to install SharePoint on other member servers as the software vendors do not allow it. Why do you want to treat Exchange differently?
Just calculate the business case of about 3-5 incidents a year when something with Exchange is not working. I guess that the result is that a Windows license is much cheaper than these 3-5 incidents.
Besides that, if you install SharePoint, create the web applications with dedicated IP address and not from UI but from Powershell / manually creating the IIS web app - otherwise it could happen that you break OWA web app.
Just my 2ct

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