12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2012 10:01 AM by worldcloud

    FMServer 11 on a virtualised server

    CarlSchwarz

      I'm currently using 2 servers. The FM Server and a Terminal server. So we have SBS on one server and Windows Server on the other.

      I'm moving to a new server and have been quoted 1 server running SBS and Windows server virtualized.

       

      Are there any issues running FMServer on a virtualised platform? Note that I use PHP to connect to the database.

       

      Thanks for any help!

        • 1. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
          BeatriceBeaubien

          Hi Carl,

           

          SBS comes with SharePoint services, and these should be disabled in your FMS implementation. You don't want any other services running on your FileMaker Server instance.

           

          Virtual servers are now conventional in FileMaker Server implementations. You didn't mention which Windows Server version, nor which virtual environment. If these are new instances, I am assuming 2008 R2 on VMWare. If this is the case, given suitable RAM and HD allocations and turning off all SharePoint services, it is a promising start. Run it as a development server for a few weeks with as much load as you can, and monitor the usage. If this is part of an IT group install, negotiate now how any routine pushes of monthly security patches will be rolled out, as you need to gracefully shut down the services before the reboot.

           

          Best wishes,

           

          Beatrice Beaubien, PhD

          i2eye, Toronto, Canada

           

          FileMaker Business Alliance

          FileMaker 11 Certified Developer

          • 2. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
            CarlSchwarz

            Thanks Beatrice.  Currently I'm running FMServerv11 on SBS 2003, and we use Sharepoint quite a bit also.  FMServer runs very well for us even though the server also runs Sharepoint.

            I want to migrate to SBS 2008 R2 and keep Sharepoint running.  Is Sharepoint on SBS 2008 a big hog of resources compared to 2003?

             

            Since FMServer runs fine for us now I'm assuming that performancewise I will be fine on the new system.

            • 3. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
              BeatriceBeaubien

              Hi Carl,

               

              It's your judgement call, but having SharePoint services running on your FMS VM is not a recommended practice. It's not possible for me to predict the amount of resources it will tie up as it depends on your institution's use of SharePoint. At the very least monitor closely  the performance of that virtual instance.

               

              Best wishes,

               

              Beatrice Beaubien, PhD

              i2eye, Toronto, Canada

               

              FileMaker Business Alliance

              FileMaker 11 Certified Developer

               

               

               

              On Feb 13, 2012, at 1:39, CarlSchwarz wrote

               

               

              created by CarlSchwarz in Server and Server Advanced - View the full discussion

              Thanks Beatrice.  Currently I'm running FMServerv11 on SBS 2003, and we use Sharepoint quite a bit also.  FMServer runs very well for us even though the server also runs Sharepoint.

               

              I want to migrate to SBS 2008 R2 and keep Sharepoint running.  Is Sharepoint on SBS 2008 a big hog of resources compared to 2003?

               

               

              Since FMServer runs fine for us now I'm assuming that performancewise I will be fine on the new system.

               

              • 4. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                nickorr

                Carl,

                 

                There are no specific issues running FMS on a virtualised server.  But do not run FMS on SBS with sharepoint.  FileMaker server is not certified to run on SBS and although it will install and run fine, it will completely wreck Sharepoint and will cause you all sorts of issues.

                 

                Cheers,

                Nick

                • 5. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                  CarlSchwarz

                  Ahh thanks.  We don't take full advantage of Sharepoint on '03 but have been using it fine.

                  Do you have examples of Filemaker wrecking sharepoint, or what exactly it wrecks?  Thanks for the food for thought.

                  • 6. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                    nickorr

                    Carl,

                     

                    I don't know the details personally, although the end result was a complete format and rebuild.  I didn't get any specifics except the questions afterwards about why the installer didn't detect this and prevent installation.

                     

                    Short answer is don't run SBS and FMS, it's not supported.

                     

                    Cheers,

                    Nick

                    • 7. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                      Vyke

                      FM Server and Sharepoint have port conflicts. I've tried to work around them, but the ports used are hard coded.

                      • 8. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                        CarlSchwarz

                        Thanks - that explains a particular bug we are seeing with our current sharepoint.  I'll be sure to install FMServer on a different server and work that way, then we will get more out of sharepoint.

                        • 9. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                          worldcloud

                          In terms of FileMaker Best Practices, they do not recommend running FIleMaker and anything else on the same server. This practice certainly makes troubleshooting easier and is a conservative choice; however, FileMaker, Inc isn't buying our Windows licenses or additional hardware. FileMaker Server 11 typically does not take strain modern hardware, so with proper testing, additional resources, etc. it is possible and in some cases better to run Sharepoint and FileMaker on a single server as opposed to two separate virtual machines.

                           

                          One obivious advantage is that you don't have to purchase a second Microsoft Server license. The next advantage is that since FileMaker and Sharepoint typical do not run at 100%, either service has access to twice the resources available for 'peak' perfromance situations compared to running two virtual machines. The third advantage is with drive space- that second copy of Windows will take 15GB or so for Server 2008. Another advantage is that you have half the amount of work to maintain users, patches, etc.

                           

                          We undertand that this approach also has drawbacks; but with proper redundancy, backups, high availiability, and a strong disaster recovery plan the 'pooling' of resources can save thousands of dollars and deliver a faster FileMaker Server.

                           

                          We typically agreed with FileMaker, but in light of muli-processor, multi-core systems with tons of RAM, this is a complex issue and this 'one size fits all' advise does not address the complexities of a cloud-centric environment.

                           

                          We run hundreds of virtual machines and although we recommend proper testing; we find that the fear of app conflict is much greater than the reaility. If we followed this 'FileMaker Server only' approach then 90% which we see running SuperContainer would be violating this rule as well as FMI has not certified these two products. The reaility is that we have to document and exercise caution, but it is our own responsibility to test our servers- not FileMaker, Microsoft, or vmWare...

                          • 10. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                            worldcloud

                            Still no specifics on which ports. Is that a guess? Above you stated that it required a complete rebuild, but port conflict typically does not require a re-format of a hard drive. Certainly a virtualized enviroment allows the easy seaparation of apps, but there are fiscal and resource costs and we have a client who is running FileMaker and SharePoint together with no issues. I am not a SharePoint expert, but the details provided above are vague and we like to be very objective in making decisions...

                            • 11. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                              psijmons

                              In my experience, FMS and Sharepoint could work together, but when installng SuperContainer in FMS-WPE we ran into serious problems. Just disabling Sharepoint was not good enough. A complete Windows re-installation with Sharepoint disabled from the start was required to get SC properly running.

                              • 12. Re: FMServer 11 on a virtualised server
                                worldcloud

                                There are several deployment options for SuperContainer, and at least one of them allow the admin to control which port is used. The documentation is fairly good and the guys at 360works are normally great about answering questions

                                 

                                 

                                I certainly agree that you shouldn't run services you do not need, but as long as you test thoroughly prior to production, I feel that it is a economic reality that it is often more cost effective to run more than one service on a server. Virtualization helps with the cost issue on the hardware side, but it doesn't help with the licensing costs...