System Requirements for Team Foundation Build Service
You can install Team Foundation Build Service on a server that is running one of the following operating systems:
Server operating systems: ¹
64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (Standard or Enterprise Edition)
64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (Standard or Enterprise Edition)
64-bit version of Windows Server 2012
Client operating systems:
32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate Edition)
32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 8
¹ Team Foundation Build Service does not support the Server Core installation option.
The Team Foundation Build Service hardware requirements are the same as the operating system on which it is running. That said, you can optimize the performance of your build machine by installing Team Foundation Build Service on hardware adequate for the way your team intends to automate builds.
To understand hardware optimization, you should understand the basics of the build service architecture. When you install Team Foundation Build Service with the default settings, you create a build machine with a build controller and a single build agent. Build controllers connect the build machine to Team Foundation Server. If you run many builds at the same time, build controllers can require a significant amount of memory. Build agents, on the other hand, perform processor-intensive and disk-intensive work, so you should make sure that the CPU on the build machine is sufficiently powerful to enable the build agent to perform its tasks in an acceptable period of time.
To determine the minimum amount of disk space that is required, you should determine the size of your overall source configuration, and then add the size of all intermediate outputs and binaries from the build process. After you have this number, multiply it by the number of build definitions likely to be built on a particular server, and then double that number for the minimum recommended amount of available disk space for that server.
Use a server that has fast hard disks as an inexpensive way to improve build performance. Another way to maximize Team Foundation Build Service performance is to use hardware with multi-core CPUs.
Using One Server or More?
You can use build frequency as a metric for determining how much of a hardware investment you want to make for Team Foundation Build Service. If your team performs weekly or nightly builds, installing Team Foundation Build Service on the server that is running Team Foundation Server may not have an adverse effect on productivity. If your team performs parallel builds or continuous integration builds, or if you plan to create a build lab for more than one team, you should most likely install Team Foundation Build Service on its own server, or possibly even multiple servers.
You can set up a network share as a drop folder to store builds. You should create this folder on a computer that is running a supported server operating system, because of the concurrent file access limitations of non-server operating systems. This folder does not have to be on the same server as Team Foundation Build Service. More information: Set Up Drop Folders