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Speeding up Sharepoint 32bit development environment

Sharepoint 2007 (MOSS) requires Windows server platform to run on (yes, I am aware of Bamboo hack). This would require either set up a central server for the developers, or equip the developers with Windows 2003 Server machines, or resort to virtualization.


This is the latter one that I am talking about speeding up. The 32bit  Windows environments have a hard limit , being able to address only up to 4GB of physical memory

 If you are using virtualization to run Windows 2003 Server on Windows XP 32bit your machine slows to a crawl. If for some reasons (and I have tons of those right now) you cannot switch to 64bit development environment, you can go for 64bit HOST environment (Windows XP or 7), and run 32bit virtual GUEST development environment (Windows 2003 Server). 

 Using VMWare Server (free) you’d be able to allocate up to 3600MB of RAM just to your virtual machine( and leave some to the host syste, say, another 4GB). My non-scientific profiling of 64bit Windows 7 (6GB of RAM, total) running 32bit virtual Windows 2003 Server shows improvement in performance by factor of 10 (in some operations) against 32bit Windows XP running 32bit virtual Windows 2003 Server.

 To sum it up: if you must do 32bit Sharepoint development, do it in 64bit host environment to work around 4GB of RAM limitation (read: incessant paging).