A Beautiful Union: SharePoint and VMware Fusion

There aren’t many software applications that truly revolutionize the way I do business and pleasure for that matter—that is, until VMware Fusion came along. Never could I have imagined that virtualization could be this easy and enjoyable at the same time, and it has made my work on SharePoint easier and more enjoyable.

Taking the Plunge

For a while I was doing all my virtualization of MOSS inside Virtual PC which, to say the least, wasn’t the most enjoyable experience. I tried running it on my Sony Vaio with Vista (I did like the laptop), and it just didn’t work out well for me. The computer was slow and unresponsive. It didn’t make me feel as though I had truly recreated a production-like environment to do my SharePoint work in. Then I started seeing that all the big SharePoint consultants were using MacBook Pros with VMware Fusion or Parallels. I decided to take the plunge for a better experience.

After comparing Parallels and Fusion I decided to go with Fusion, and it was a good decision! With my MBP which has 4 GB RAM, 2.8 Ghz processor, and a 320 GB hard drive at 7200 RPM I run SharePoint faster than some dedicated Microsoft Server setups I’ve seen! I can get in and do all my analysis and minor development quickly and easily. It allows me to enjoy the best of OS X while still running my necessary applications for my SharePoint work.

VMware Fusion in Action

Here are some screenshots of SharePoint inside of VMware Fusion.  A recent VMware post outlines one user running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 in Fusion, but here I am running the full blown version of MOSS Enterprise. You can also see screenshots of me running Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server Management Studio, PowerShell, and MOSS in IE. I could even run all of this in unity mode quickly and seamlessly.

MOSS in Fusion

MOSS in Fusion

Visual Studio 2008 in Fusion

Visual Studio 2008 in Fusion

SQL Server Studio in Fusion

SQL Server Studio in Fusion

7 Responses

  1. Peter Kazanjy February 10, 2009 / 4:43 pm

    Great post Chris! We’re going to re-blog it on the Fusion team blog.

    Pete Kazanjy
    VMware Fusion Product Marketing

  2. ScarletKnight71 April 16, 2009 / 4:49 pm

    Chris — I am also a SP developer and was looking for a new machine to do my work. In addition, I am an OS X fan. Did you do any special configuration work with VMWare Fusion to get your desired performance on the MBP?
    Thanks,

  3. Chris Poteet April 16, 2009 / 8:29 pm

    @Scarlet: I would dedicate at least 2 GB of RAM if you’re doing SP development. I actually give my SP VM two virtual processors and about 2.5 GB of RAM.

  4. Ty August 5, 2009 / 3:07 am

    sweet deal! Excellent blog my friend! I’m doing a complete MOSS install on my MacBook Pro (500 GB HD, 4GB RAM, Western Digital 1 TB external HD wt/firewire). I plan on partitioning the VM drive to accommodate VISTA, XP with SP2 and I want Windows 7 on it as well. MacBook Pro is the only laptop capable of pulling it off.

  5. Gabi May 26, 2010 / 11:50 am

    Interesting read.

    Just wondering as to why you decided to go through a VM instead of running this natively on bootcamp, then you would have your 4GB dedicated.

    Which server OS where you running on this too?

    Thanks,

    Gabi.

    • Chris Poteet May 26, 2010 / 8:02 pm

      @Gabi: At the time I was running Win Server 2008. The version of SharePoint I was running at that time only needed 2GB RAM to run well so I kept it in VMWare. The new version of SharePoint needs 4GB minimum so I couldn’t do that now. I now have a MBP with 8GB RAM.

  6. Gabi May 26, 2010 / 11:35 pm

    Thanks for the reply.

    8gb, expensive!

    Just going to try 2010 on my mbp through bootcamp.

    Need a single install so I can test it out before deploying and work out the horrible branding :s

    Good informative website,

    thanks again,

    Gabi

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