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Colin Bowern ... more of the usual bool

I set off intending to experiment with Team Foundation Server recently to potentially replace our Subversion deployment.  As I built up my virtual machine for the TFS application tier I went to install the data tier on our beefy 64-bit SQL Server machine and was stopped by a problem:

SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services service is installed on the data-tier computer. The service should instead be on the application-tier computer. Uninstall SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services from the data-tier computer and run setup again.

Upon further investigation I found out that TFS seems to want to be isolated in it's data tier.  Sure we could everything onto a single box but I've got a perfectly good SQL Server which has three instances of SQL Server to support both production and development needs for the office.  Why would I want to install yet another copy of SQL Server which I need to manage, monitor, and patch?  I am amazed to see a mentality of application development that “applications require their own dedicated server“.  Sometimes I wonder if the folks in Redmond realize that not all of us have billions of dollars in the bank to buy servers?  I want to maximize the investment in my hardware which means stacking several applications onto a single server.  Wasn't that the message the Windows Server 2003 marketing folks wanted to convey -- “Do more with less“?  Applications should only need a dedicated server when their resource usage profile causes resource contention - not because a developer decided to assume that the server would contain nothing else. 

Reviewing the TFS installation guide again I noticed a related comment which made me chuckle:

Team Foundation Server cannot be installed on a domain controller and does not support installing other servers such as Exchange Server or Host Integration Server on the same computer.

I would really be interested in knowing why they wrote this.  What's so bad about a machine running as a domain controller or Exchange Server?  They don't mutate the system into a horribly unusable state last I checked.

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2006 9:07 PM Build and Deployment | Back to top


Comments on this post: Greedy Application Mentality with TFS

# re: Greedy Application Mentality with TFS
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Hey Colin!

My understanding is that many customers asked to move Reporting Services off of the data tier, so that IIS would not have to be installed on the data tier. This eliminated one more possible security issue from the data tier. Since ISS is already installed on the application tier, adding Reporting Services there was what they decided to do.
Left by Mickey Gousset on Jun 09, 2006 6:38 AM

# re: Greedy Application Mentality with TFS
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Hey Mickey,

I guess the more important question is why does it matter where the RS installation is located? Last I checked you access RS by a web service. Whether that web service is on the data tier, application tier, or Mars it shouldn't matter as long as you can access it via HTTP/HTTPS.
Left by Colin Bowern on Jun 09, 2006 11:34 AM

# re: Greedy Application Mentality with TFS
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When I installed and played with TFS I had to keep reminding my self, Version 1, it's only version 1, it will get better from here. Let's hope this is the case with the issues you bring up above.
Left by Wayne on Jun 11, 2006 5:10 AM

# re: Greedy Application Mentality with TFS
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You think that with it being version 1 that it would be even easier to not build in these hard dependencies. As they move to version 2 the excuse will be not enough time to go back and fix the code and suddenly we'll be 14 versions in before a complete rewrite. I hope they get it right for v2 because I'm itching to use it - but I can't afford to spark up yet another SQL installation as another distraction.
Left by Colin Bowern on Jun 12, 2006 8:15 AM

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