TFS & Visual Studio ALM – by Neno Loje

(formerly Team System, VSTS)

Hardware Recommendations for Team Foundation Server 2008

January 6th, 2009 · 3 Comments · TFS 2008, TFS Administration, TFS Installation and Configuration, VSTS

What hardware do I need to run TFS? Well, it depends on how much load you are going to generate. But what is a solid hardware configuration to start?

Microsoft recommends for the Single-Server installation of TFS:

Recommneded requirements for TFS AT and DT

Additionally they recommend switching to a Dual-Server configuration (TFS & MSSQL installed on separate machines) if you have more than 450 users (Note: this is really just a rough orientation – many other factors are important).

Sources: here and here.

We recommend the following minimum based on our experiences
(recommendations for better performance in brackets):

# Developers Configuration CPU RAM* HDD**
<= 20 single server 2 x 2.2 GHz 2.5 GB (3 GB) 80 GB
<= 100 single server 4 x 2.2 GHz 3 GB (4 GB) 250 GB
> 100*** dual server 2 x 2.6 / 4 x 2.2 GHz 4 / 8 GB (16 GB) 500 GB

Disclaimer: All values shown here do vary depending on the individual situation.

A few general notes

* Increasing the amount of memory (RAM) clearly improves performance (be aware TFS Application Tier is 32-bit only and hence limited to ~ 3.5 GB)

** Hard drive speed is very important to MSSQL and therefore for TFS. The use of fast hard drives and disk arrays is heavily recommended.

*** Splitting TFS and MSSQL is a good idea if you experience heavy load and slow response times on a single server installation. [More]
However more than just the number of developers should be considered in this case, e.g. licensing issues, existing SQL infrastructure, backups in place, etc.

A reliable network connection with a minimum bandwidth of 1 Mbps and a latency maximum of 350ms is required.

The use of virtualization technologies (Virtual Server, Hyper-V, VMware) is possible and mostly recommended by us for backup and fail-over reasons.

More official Hardware Recommendations (our recommendation in brackets):


3 Comments so far ↓

  • joston


    I would like to know that if i install the TFS 2010 on a VMWARE ESXI 4.0 Server with the following config
    windows 2008 server ,8 Gb ram , 1 500 GB of HDD for
    120 to 130 users .
    Will the above configuration work or should i use the same config on a seperate Physical server .

    Is it recommended to install the TFS 2010 on the Virtual server or physical machine is preffered.


  • neno

    Joston: You can install TFS in a virtual environment and in fact I do recommend it.

  • Oran


    Thanks for all this useful information.

    I wanted to know if there are any guidelines on the network connection between a TFS proxy and TFS server.

    We’re planning to install a proxy with overnight sync of all files to keep them relatively fresh on the proxy to minimise the need to download files during working hours but I couldn’t find any information about the bandwidth required for other aspects of TFS that aren’t handled by the proxy such as:
    – Authentication
    – Work Items
    – File downloads

    Thanks for your help

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