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Scenario: Installing Team Foundation Build Service

Installing Team Foundation Build Service

Build Controllers and Agents

When you install Team Foundation Build Service with the default settings, you create a build controller and a single build agent. You can configure any instance of Team Foundation Build Service to act as a controller, one or more build agents, or both, depending on your team's needs. 

You use build controllers to connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. By itself, a build controller does not typically require a significant amount of processor time. However, a build controller can require a significant amount of memory if you run many builds at the same time. Therefore, you should provide sufficient memory to the physical machine or virtual machine on which you create your build controllers.

Your build agents connect to build controllers and perform the processor-intensive and disk-intensive work. Because build agents perform most of the processor-intensive work, you should make sure that the build machine has sufficiently powerful hardware to enable the build agent to perform its tasks in an acceptable period of time.

Build Service Topology

You can install Team Foundation Build Service on the same computer as Team Foundation Server or on one or more separate computers. In most cases, you should not install Team Foundation Build Service on the same computer as Team Foundation Server because of the following reasons:

  • You might decrease Team Foundation Server performance when builds are running.

  • You increase the attack surface of Team Foundation Server if you install Team Foundation Build Service. For example, a malicious user could construct a build definition to run arbitrary code to take control of the server and steal data.


If you are upgrading from the Team Foundation Build Service that is part of Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server to the current version, you do not have to immediately remove the older version of Team Foundation Build Service. Both versions can run side by side. 


For more information about Team Foundation Build Service, see the following page on the Microsoft Web site: Managing Team Foundation Build.