SharePoint 2010 System Requirements: Out of This World

Of course, you’re hanging around the TechNet and MSDN web sites as I do, so this may not come as a surprise, but the hardware and software requirements for SharePoint Server 2010 are now out.

The surprise, or rather not, is the massive amount of hardware required to run SharePoint Server 2010 in a production environment. You may recall that the minimum amount of RAM required to run MOSS, according to Microsoft, was 1 GB. After a couple of years, everyone knew that the comfortable limit for a production server was 4 GB of RAM, even though you might make do with less for smaller installations.

Listen to this: The minimum requirement for SharePoint Server 2010 is 8 GB of RAM. I’m not joking. That’s the minimum, according to Microsoft.

If you extrapolate those numbers, and remember that a comfortable amount of RAM for a server with MOSS is four times the minimum, that means SharePoint Server 2010 will require 32 gigabytes of RAM for a comfortable setup.

Go ahead and scale that up. You may want to run four front-end servers and an application server for a medium size farm setup. That means you need 160 GB of RAM. I don’t even have that large a hard drive on my laptop.

Oh, and you can make do with 80 GB of hard disk. And, for some perverted reason, you need a DVD drive.

The big question, however, is: Is it worth it?

To answer that, let me quote the infamous movie Carry on Again Doctor: Oh, yes, I know it is.

Of course, you may wonder if Microsoft has purchased a RAM manufacturer lately, or if they’re really that desperate to get people into the cloud. Anyway, to help prepare, I’ve set a new start page in my browser:

Here is the official TechNet documentation.


PS: I hope to come back to this page in ten years and think: 160 GB of ram? So what, I got that in my toilet paper holder. However, at this time of writing, 24 GB of ram, in a 3×8 GB kit, costs $2,306.86 at Amazon.

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Bjørn Furuknap

I previously did SharePoint. These days, I try new things to see where I can find the passion. If you have great ideas, cool projects, or is in general an awesome person, get in touch and we might find out together.

13 thoughts on “SharePoint 2010 System Requirements: Out of This World”

  1. Good post – although I had looked over the 2010 hardware requirements previously your post really highlighted the huge difference between the MOSS / 2010 hardware requirements.

    I think it's worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of customers were on x86 hardware when MOSS was released, and I'm sure a significant amount still are today. As i'm sure you know already, customers using x86 hardware are limited to 4GB of (often fragmented) address space. However, the recommendation for some time now has been to upgrade to 64 bit for performance reasons.

    The SharePoint team have stressed that the reasons for requiring 64-bit hardware for SP2010 are almost all based around performance and scalability and I'm sure the 8GB recommendation is there for similar reasons.

    I think it will be interesting to see the rates of adoption for SharePoint 2010 in light of these requirements, particularly for small businesses that have purchased 64-bit hardware over the past few years but installed a 32-bit OS for software compatibilty reasons (e.g. custom code, drivers etc).

  2. Just come across this post.

    It's crazy the amount of RAM it will need, it's ridiculous.

    It's all fine and dandy for large businesses with endless budgets, but when you work for a small company, will low budgets, how can you justify the cost?

    8GB minimum, as stated, it will be 32gig, it's a fortune!!

    Has anyone tried it with less?

  3. I tried it with less. I have an i7 laptop (8 virtual CPUs) with 6Gb of RAM. I setup an SP 2010 VM 64 bit with 4Gb and 6 CPUs. It is damn near worthless. At first it is just very slow but if you leave for a few hours to a day you will notice that the Timer Jobs eventually peg all 6 CPUs at 100% and use all the RAM permanently, it just flatlines and never stops. Can't do anything except turn it off. It's a bummer especially if all you are trying to do is demo it to a client. Hard to justify going out and buying several thousand in RAM for that!

    I think 2010 is to MOSS as Vista is to XP. MS learned their lesson and rightly pushed out 7 without the ridiculous bloat they put in Vista. If you notice MS advertises SP 2010 that it has over 60 timer jobs whereas moss only had around 20, as if it makes them proud (yeah for us, more crap always running). Maybe in the next version they will pair it down so a small company (or consultant like me who wants to demo and sell it) can actually use it without investing over $10k in hardware.

  4. Lets be realistic, I have a lot of trouble with SP2010 but discussing hardware resources, we’re running 2 machines on 6GB hyper-v image and it is not bad at all. In fact, the task manager shows just 2GB memory consumption. Yes, it has slowness compared to the old Moss2007 (which we moved to just a single PC 🙂 ), but I link the performance trouble we are facing to errors/timeouts rather than hardware since memory and CPU lines stay in the low range. On speicalist visits our office with his 4GB laptop and works well in testing there.

    Here are 2 things I have done which I beleive impact performance.
    1- Change the default timer service schedule for many frequently recurring jobs to occur less frequently
    2- Disable cert check from Microsoft site in the registry (you may google that)

    Any other tips from you are welcome (please) :

  5. If you extrapolate those numbers, and remember that a comfortable amount of RAM for a server with MOSS is four times the minimum, that means SharePoint Server 2010 will require 32 gigabytes of RAM for a comfortable setup.

    How and where is the statement that one requires 4x the minimum recommended posted on msdn or microsoft located or is this just industry practice from in the field experts?

  6. I agree with mihael, Where on earth did you come up with this 4x method? this is very misleading to people. 1-2 gb was only intended for single server development/sandbox installs, 4gb was the reccomended for a multi server prod environment ( mostly due to their not being a requirement at the time to install on 64bit )

    however 8gb is/was widely considered the best practice for sharepoint 2007 ( requiring the 64bit install, this likely has alot to do with that being the minium requirement for 2010.

  7. Just for fun, I came across this post today … 12/5/2013 … I clicked the Amazon link for the RAM you provided. The List price cost for this RAM today is 349.99, and it’s on sale for 318.74…. So, in roughly four years the cost has dropped just a little under $2000.

    I just thought that was interesting… and the 2013 req’s are only 12GB … so you need 48gb…

    1. Actually, the real requirements on SP2013 are a bit more:

      12GB is for a single server that is part of a farm and doesn’t have the overhead of SQL Server. The consensus seems to be that you are going to survive with 16GB but it will be a pain, and that 32GB really is the only way to go for comfortable development. Of course, once we get laptops with 64GB, I’m sure that will be the new ‘comfortable’ level.


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