Home > SharePoint Development > External HDDs are your friend

External HDDs are your friend

Developing SharePoint solutions often involves running a virtual machine with a server operating system, SQL Server instance and SharePoint installed – all of this on hardware designed to run a client operating system. As you can imagine, this isn’t going to run very quickly.

However there is a simple and inexpensive way in which you can dramatically improve system performance – use a second HDD.

SharePoint and SQL Server talk incessently to one another and most operations involve some measure of disk IO; things are made worse as soon as the host operating system also wants to use the disk. A fast multi-core CPU and RAM aren’t going to help much if the system is suffering from long disk read/write times.

A simple solution to this is to have a second physical hard-disk dedicated to the virtual environment. Even if this is an external hard-disk connected via USB or e-SATA, it can still make a considerable difference.

Another advantage of the dedicated hard-disk is that it can be quickly defragmented. The large files used by virtual machines very quickly become fragmented and degrade system performance. Schedule a defrag of the dedicated drive in the morning before starting up the virtual envrionment; grab a coffee and read some email whilst it completes then enjoy the increased performance during the working day.

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