Only One SharePoint Virtual Machine Since Early 2007

1 minute read

Because I do 90+% of my work with SharePoint in the Middle Tier, I’ve been using just one SharePoint 2007 (MOSS) virtual machine (VM) since early 2007.  This VM is self-contained and when I need a new, unique environment, I just spin up a new Web App and Site Collection.

Why is this blog-worthy? Well, I see tweets and posts all the time about people recreating their VMs because they have hosed them somehow or because they are starting a new project and need a clean file system.  Because I typically don’t touch the file system, there’s very little for me to break.

Another reason I can still be using the same VM is I can do most development in a live environment rather than a VM.  I can open and work with even cloud-based WSS instances with SharePoint Designer without touching the file system.

I did convert the VM from VirtualPC to VMWare Workstation a few months ago when I got my new monster laptop.  I used the VMware vCenter Converter Standaloneto accomplish this, and once I figured out how it all worked, it went off without a hitch.  So, technically, it’s not the same VM, but that’s just being picky.


  1. The nice thing about Vmware workstation, is that you can create linked clones. For instance, if you have a base image which is about 39GB with all your development tools, software, etc and from there you create linked clones, that instance of the linked clone takes about 6-9GB. Thus costing less disk space.
    If you keep your base image clean and also update it regularly, every new instance of that base image will also get the updates. Existing ones of course not. If you need a clean installation for different customers, this is a good vmware strategy for setting up your environment, having different images and costing less diskspace.


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