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SharePoint 2013 Development and Consulting - Laptop & Conferencing Experience with Lync

Have just jumped on a brand new SharePoint 2013 massive Intranet project and because of specific working conditions have found some items that required addressing almost immediately in order to continue the job.

Maybe this will be interesting to someone else who is about to start SharePoint 2013 development to have an idea of what might be necessary.

I started working with SharePoint using my own infrastructure in 2009. I used iMac with 320GB HDD and 4GB RAM running VMWare Fusion to virtualise Windows environment (SQL Server 2008, standalone SharePoint 2007, Visual Studio 2008, Office 2007).
It was all-in-one virtual machine. A bit slow, but enough for any SharePoint work that I had at that time.

For communication with colleagues and partners we used GoToMeeting. Great tool that worked (and still works) without any problems. Voice, video, screen-sharing - all worked well using built-in audio/video hardware.

In 2010 I got a MacBook Pro with 500GB HDD and 8GB RAM. Same VMWare Fusion to run SharePoint 2010 farm - Web Server, SQL Server and Domain Controller.
Office for Mac 2011 was installed and I used it very often for work and presentations.
GoToMeeting and Skype have been used for conferencing without any problems.

So up to now I have been very well with Apple infrastructure and OS which allowed my to work, test SharePoint stuff on Mac, present, communicate etc.
But here came SharePoint 2013.

From the very first look at the requirements it became obvious that even 16GB wouldn't be enough on the machine for comfortable run of SharePoint/Office development environment. I created a 6GB RAM virtual machine with all-in-one installation of SQL, SharePoint, Office and Visual Studio, but it is incredibly slow.
So it appears that Apple can't help anymore with the laptop that would hold more than 16GB of RAM.

But it's not the only problem. Second issue I faced was Lync. Specifically conferencing using Lync on a MacBook is an issue.
First, Lync conference call application couldn't pick up the audio properly. My peers couldn't hear me and I couldn't hear them.
Second, I wasn't able to type in the call dialog. I suspect that's the problem with Silverlight. I could type in text editor and then paste into the chat dialog window, but it's not the best way of communicating.

I had no idea about those limitations before and it took some time during the conference call to try and figure out the fix. By chance I got a separate laptop with me that had Windows 7 installed. I quickly fired it up, executed the meeting invite - same problem with audio, but i could type in the dialog that time.
15-20 minutes of the conference were spent trying to make the things just work.

I know that other alternatives could be used, but my peers have got a requirement to use Office 365 and Lync for communication.

So the solution is to get: 24+ GB RAM environment, Windows 8, Lync client and USB headset to use with it for communication.    

Here's what I have got at the end: http://traveloga.blogspot.com/2013/01/work-laptop.html
 

Comments

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