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  • Hardware Recommendations (VM Server & Workstation)

    Hi,

    I've asked this question in http://communities.vmware.com/message/946486
    Found your forum afterward and repeat the question here. Hopefully I'd get more answers. One thing I can tell is that I like better the user interface of this forum than the one at communities.vmware.com.


    I would like to use VM Server 1.x and/or Workstation 5.5x to evaluate some development environments composed of Windows 2003, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005, Sharepoint 2007. I am the only user of these VMs. Most of the time, only one VM will be running. The host OS will be Windows XP and the physical desktop computer has 4 GB of RAM. What are the other hardware or host OS factors which could impact the performance of the VM? I am looking for the best performance / cost ratio, NOT the absolute performance.

    More specifically:

    Q1- Processor: Would a quad core processor be better than dual or single core? Would the VM run 30% faster on a 3 GHz processor compared to a 2 GHz processor?

    Q2- Is one single SATA disk enough (no RAID) ? And more generally, is the disk an important factor?

    Q3- Current VMWare Workstation is 6.x, what is the main improvement over WS 5.5?

    Q4- What is the percentage that contributes to the VM performance for each of these factors:
    * Processor
    * Memory
    * Physical Disk
    * Host OS
    * Others?


    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Last edited by Ecolo; 16th May 2008, 17:52.

  • #2
    Re: Hardware Recommendations (VM Server & Workstation)

    Hi Once again,


    Q1- Processor: Would a quad core processor be better than dual or single core? Would the VM run 30% faster on a 3 GHz processor compared to a 2 GHz processor?

    Off course the Quad Core will be better in terms in Performance especially with Virtulization and the Quad Core has got the Intel-V Technology.

    Q2- Is one single SATA disk enough (no RAID) ? And more generally, is the disk an important factor?

    Configuration RAID, consider the performance that you are going to get. With RAID the information has to be written in two disk which will be double the Write and Performance. Since this is a Test Setup, I don't recommend going for RAID. Stick with Single HDD.

    Q3- Current VMWare Workstation is 6.x, what is the main improvement over WS 5.5?

    With WKS 6, you can Install ESX Server as a VM, snapshots, Teaming with VMs ect ect.

    Q4- What is the percentage that contributes to the VM performance for each of these factors:
    * Processor
    * Memory
    * Physical Disk
    * Host OS
    * Others?

    Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005, Sharepoint 2007, they require a bit more precorssor and RAM.
    If I were you I would do this setup:

    1. The current Server "P.C" is to run your VMs
    • Visual Studio: Minium Ram is 512 ~ 1024
      SQL : Minimum 512 ~ 768
      Sharepoint: 384 ~ 512.


    If you take the Maximum Ram you would come with almost 3gig of RAM.

    On the Current 4 gig "Server / P.C" install an ESX Server.

    Have another P.C or Server and Install an OpenFiler Free SAN Storage and use it to store your VMs and Run Them from the ESX Server.

    SO, the result of this you will be come up with a Host Running ESX Server and another Host running iSCSI Shared SAN Storage pointed to the ESX Server.

    In terms of Performance, with this setup diffidently better than WorkStation6 or VM Server.

    Why? Because the ESX Server is a Bearl-Metal OS which runs on the Kernal itself and it's not a Resource Intensive such as Windows.

    If you use the WKS 6 or VM Server. You would install it on a Host Machine, and build your VMs. Result of this, the VMs require Performance from the HOST OS and the HOST OS require performance to run and give the VMs.

    Hope I help, if you have anything further, please let us know.
    ================================
    HND: Higher National Diploma in
    Computer Science(IT)


    Passed:
    MCSA+Security 2003, VCP3, VCP4
    Done:VMware DSA
    ================================[/COLOR]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hardware Recommendations (VM Server & Workstation)

      Hi,

      Got your reply in the VMWare forum too However I like much better your reply in this forum. I will rather go with one PC for trying the VMs I want to test. Don't know well ESX and if need, I'll refer to our network admin for handling the ESX part.

      So you don't recommend RAID on the test PC? Not even RAID 0 (stripping) using two SATA hard drives?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hardware Recommendations (VM Server & Workstation)

        Hi,
        You have posted your questions not because you don't know how to setup the Vmware WorkStation 6 ect.

        You are questions mainly focusing on PERFORMANCE rather than configuration. So, since your question drives to performance, I have suggested to go for the ESX Server which will give you 100% performance compared to WorkStation.

        If you will go with ESX Server and your Machines are reside on SAN "iSCSI OpenFiler" or "FreeNAS Storage". then I would recommend to go for RAID 1+0. But if you are sticking to the WorkStation, then don't waste too much I/Os Performance just to gain Redundancy.

        Go with Single SATA Drive and do a regular Backup.

        Again, i have a suggestion for you. Since you require SQL, Visual Studio and SharePoint. You differently require a DNS as well as DC for your member server(S).

        1. Make a Template Win2K3 SP1. No need to install all the Patches as you don't require them for testing unless there are some issues with certain patches and the develpment application which you are working for.

        2. From the Template Machine, create 1 VM and make it as a Domain Controller, DNS Active Directory Integrated. And Install your SharePoint Portal on the DC.
        So, you are Kicked 2 Birds by One Stone "Arabic Examble"

        3. From the Template, create your VS 2008 and your SQL and give the RAM configuration as suggested, or if you require more RAM and your HOST can handle to give, give more RAM.

        Wishing you all the Best of luck, and if you require any help please don't hesitate

        BR,
        Habibalby
        ================================
        HND: Higher National Diploma in
        Computer Science(IT)


        Passed:
        MCSA+Security 2003, VCP3, VCP4
        Done:VMware DSA
        ================================[/COLOR]

        Comment

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