OK, I know I’ve promised to be quiet and let the NDA-bound community have and enjoy their first taste of freedom, but this is so serious I have to breach radio silence. Yes, you will want to sit down for this one. Also, please do not read on if you have an existing heart condition. Always consult your physician before undertaking activities that will put a strain on your heart, and so on.
Short story: If you plan on doing development work on SharePoint Server 2013, you need a minimum of 24 GB of RAM. That’s assuming you are NOT going to need Visual Studio, which will only add to that number.
Yeah, I know. Shocking, right? Especially after tons of MVPs blurted out that “there are no hardware requirements changes, woohoo!” yesterday. Turns out, what was likely a DNS lag issue meant that they had the wrong information and they didn’t bother checking the facts before their verbal diarrhea came on with full force.
Lesson learned: Just because you have ‘inside’ info doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check your facts or qualify them as speculation.
OK, so here’s what happened.
Up until yesterday (which was the big launch date of July 16, if you’re reading this later), the NDA crowd had only a single presentation and a couple of documents from which to deduce hardware requirement. That presentation, which was made for the Ignite SharePoint 15 training, even highlighted the fact that there were no changes, and thus said that the minimum requirements for SP2013 was 8 Gb and even 4 Gb for developer and evaluation use.
On the day of the launch, even the public Microsoft pages said that the requirement were the same as for SharePoint 2010, so I guess the NDA crowd will argue that they only said what Microsoft said. However, even that would be wrong, not just because parroting everything you read is a huge waste of bandwidth, but because even the most basic of brain activity would make you deduce it was just plain wrong. Oh, and actually, Microsoft didn’t say it either.
Before we move on with this little rant, which concludes with me being right and everyone else, mostly, being wrong (and proven so), you should read up on the facts yourself on Microsoft’s Hardware and software requirements for SharePoint 2013 Preview document. That document should have the title in the previous link and be dated no earlier than July 16 2012. If it has a title referring to SharePoint 2010 or is dated earlier than July 16, you’ll fall into the same trap the MVPs did.
Update: *sigh* There’s a link there. It you click it, you will see for yourself. In case that’s too much work, here’s a picture of it. I’ve even highlighted the text you should read. Now, stop the “I don’t believe him” and “This cannot be true” comments.
To summarize the document, as it relates to the setup that most developers will use (a single machine, running SharePoint Server 2013 and SQL server on the same server) you need a minimum of 24 GB RAM (CPU and hard drive requirements seem to remain the same for now). That is before you add Visual Studio 2012 (or 2010 if you are so inclined), which would probably add a few extra gigs. Oh, and these are minimum requirements. Similar to the minimum requirements for SharePoint 2010, which was 4 GB before Visual Studio. In other words, SharePoint 2013 requires 6 times as much RAM.
Go ask your boss (which may or may not be your wife or husband) for a new laptop after all. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Note: Because this is my blog, and I’m not too shy to blow my own horn, I did actually warn people about this over a month ago over on TechNet, but because TechNet is now a political forum more than real help, my answer to the question on hardware requirements was the only one not accepted. Go figure.
So, back to what happened.
On the day of the release, the above document actually lead to an old version of the hardware requirements that was written for SharePoint 2010 and not for SharePoint 2013. Thus, it was perfectly natural that the requirements would be the same; it was simply an old document with a couple of name references updated.
Microsoft did actually update the document, but apparently due to either caching or DNS issues, only some people did see the updated document. The existing document still read “Hardware and software requirements (SharePoint Server 2010)” but that didn’t seem to bother those that needed to blurt out whatever they had as soon as possible.
Of course, not being able to hold back, a lot of MVPs then had an early verbal ejaculation and happily yelled out that “there are no hardware changes”.
Here’s what bothers me…
1. Over the previous months, I’ve been doing massive amount of research into SharePoint 2013, to a unison moaning sound from the MVPs that you cannot possibly trust my research because it’s just pure speculation. When these holier-than-thou people then get their chance to dispense “the truth”, look at what happens. Lesson: You need to do your research, not just repost whatever you read with no critical thinking. Yeah, that apparently is a lesson lost on those that so valiantly state that you can’t trust information that someone has researched, but instead that you should rely on what you find online.
2. The MVPs knew very well the massive changes that were coming. Did they really think that these changes would come at no cost? How incredibly naïve is that? how can they possibly not understand that when you put five times as much cargo into a vehicle, that it’s going to need a massive amount of more power? Lesson: When something sounds too good to be true, it may be true, but you should still do your research. Another lesson lost.
Note: Horn blowing again: I wrote a similar post back in 2009 for SharePoint 2010 and the unison voice then was “Bah, you’re just trying to scare people. You’ll never need as much as 4 Gb RAM to do SharePoint 2010 development. It’s overly excessive, you can work just fine with only a fraction of that RAM amount”. Strangely, the same voices now seem to say something to the effect of “Don’t worry, it’s overly excessive, you can work just fine with only a fraction of that RAM amount”.
3. How on earth can you not realize that the document is old and refers to SharePoint 2010 when it’s written in huge bold letters at the top? Lesson: Well, apparently not a lesson on reading. If you’re going to report something as fact, at least read the title of the documents, if you can’t be bothered to research or deduce the actual facts.
So, who should you trust? Nobody. Use your brain, read up on claims, verify the facts that matter to you. If something is qualified as speculation or rumors, treat it as such. If something sounds too good to be true, then research. Don’t trust me, don’t trust random web pages, and apparently, don’t trust many of the MVPs.
PS: I’m leaving names out of this so that those that feel hit can comment without having to defend themselves. I realize many of them are simply naïve and think that all free information is right and valuable, which is a childish thing to believe, but I’m not going to hold it against them.
Update: I’m not trying to plant fear into developers here. Yes, you’ll most likely want 32 GB of RAM. However, RAM is cheap, and you can get 32 GB for around $200 if your laptop supports 4 DIMMS (and that much RAM). If not, a brand, spanking new laptop that does will only set you back around $2,000.
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