Optimize – VMWare Workstation

This post will get updated with VMWare Workstation optimization best practices I’ve come across.

Reference environment used for testing

IBM DS4500 (8TB of RAID 5 and RAID 1)
IBM BladeCenter Attached via dual path 2Gb Fibre Channel

  • 2x Dual Core AMD 2200 processors
  • 14GB RAM
  • 70GB Local Mirrored Disk

Virtual Machine Disk Rules

  • Each VM should reside on it’s own seperate disk
  • Disk provisioned to the host should be provisioned across multiple arrays (internal arrays) spread across multiple controllers.
  • If using basic disks perform storage alignment
  • Never use Dynamic Disks to combine LUNs of a different size. This technique is known as LUN concatenation and will lead to significant disk performance issues. Disks created with this technique will show up as “spanned” disks.
  • If you do choose to combine LUNs using Dynamic Disk always use LUNs of the same size. This will allow striping across all LUNs thus creating a “striped” disk.

Virtual Machine Host Server Memory Rules

32 bit OS – Memory Limit 32GB with PAE enabled

64 bit OS – Memory Limit 2TB

  • Each processes limited by default to 2GB of memory.  This can be extended to 3GB by setting the /3GB flag in the boot.ini file

Complete list of Windows Operating Systems and their respective memory limits: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx

Post Installation Tasks

Defragment everything…

  • Internal VM disk
  • VM disk (Edit VM -> Disk -> Utilities -> Defragment)
  • Physical Disk (Computer Management -> Disk Manager -> Defragment Disk)



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