Friday, February 25, 2011

Memory requirements for SharePoint 2010 Development

If you are a developer working with SharePoint 2010, you are probably wondering what are the memory requirements for development with SharePoint 2010.

Well, now that SharePoint 2010 supports installation on Windows 7, you will probably be installing SharePoint 2010 on your local developer workstation.  If you look at the minimum and recommended memory requirements posted on MSDN, you will see that the minimum requirement for developing on such an environment is 2 GB while the recommended is 4 GB.

Well, unfortunately, those recommendations do not take into account a usual developer's everyday usage of a development workstation.

In most cases, a developer will have numerous things open simultaneously such as an e-mail client such as Outlook, one or more instances of Visual Studio, of course, SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server and probably several open browser windows.

If you begin looking at the memory allocations of the base Windows 7 OS and then adding on the memory requirements for all the other various applications, you will soon discover that 4 GB is simply not enough.  Also, one should not forget that there are probably numerous applications running in the background such as a virus scan engine as well as firewall application and perhaps disk encryption.  One of the biggest memory hogs is actually the browser.  Browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 and Google Chrome each open up a brand new process for each tab that is open.  If you are browsing through some articles as part of your research, chances are that you will have numerous browser windows open.  Well, once you start have 8 or 10 browser tabs open, the memory adds up real quick.  And if you start running low on memory, the OS begins paging to disk which will make development even slower.

So, realistically, how much memory should you actually have?  My recommendation would be to have at least 6 GB and if you are lucky enough to be able to get more, try to get 8 GB of RAM. 

With 6 or 8 GB of RAM you should be able to comfortably perform all of your standard development activities with SharePoint 2010 without having your machine become unresponsive or slow to a crawl. 

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