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Windows LAB in VMware Workstation 7 is slow. Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by ranjb, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. ranjb

    ranjb New Member

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    I am currently doing some testing with new Microsoft products and some transition work. I have setup a few VM's but am really frustrated with how slow it is.


    My work laptop is running Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit edition and is a Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26ghz with 4GB RAM.

    I currently have the following VM's running using Workstation 7.

    1. Active Directory, DHCP and DNS and a domain controller with FSMO roles on Server 2008 64bit

    2. Exchange 2007 SP1 on Server 2008 SP2 64bit

    3. Exchange 2010 on Server 2008 R2 64bit

    4. Windows Deployment Services/MDT2010 on Server 2008 R2 64bit

    5. Windows 7 Enterprise client 64bit with Office 2010 only

    I am currently doing 2 separate pieces of work. One is related with deployment of Windows 7 and the other is Exchange work. I only turn on the VM's I require depending on the work I am doing at that time. Each VM has been allocated 1GB of memory and 1 processor and the VMs are stored on the laptops 5400rpm SATA drive.

    At the moment I am doing some transitioning work where I have 2 exchange servers and am testing the transition from 2007 to 2010. I have introduced a 2010 server and will be co-existing 2 servers on the 1 domain, I will be moving mailboxes from one server to another, testing OWA and other exchange features and once all is working from a testing point of view I will remove the 2007 server. For me to do this at the moment I need the DC and both Exchange servers turned on. The other 2 VM's are not turned on. I would have thought with 3 VM's I should be ok with doing some mild testing work. I am aware the Host OS is probably using 1GB ram as well but before I use VMware workstation I always tend to turn off any overheads which may be running e.g. items in the tray, virus scanner, windows gadgets etc so effectively the host is only running the bare minimum it needs.

    The problem I am getting is working with all 3 VM's on it just not practical and its very slow.

    I would think that upgrading the memory on the host from 4gb to 8gb would maybe do the trick but I have now found out that the laptop maximum memory support is 4gb and I doubt if work will buy me a new laptop.

    So I was thinking what the best way for me to do this. My office machine is a quad core and I could install 8GB RAM on there. My plan was to move these VM's over to the office machine and then for me to do this work over a VPN connection onto the corporate network and then use RDP and the resources of the local office machine to carry out this work.

    My question is would RDP offer me a good experience. My home internet connect is fairly quick and when I usually VPN onto my office machine the experience tends to be fine.

    Anyone else in my situation? what have you done? Unfortunately buying a better machine is not an option. If anyone has a solution how best would I approach moving the VM's of the laptop and moving the office machine?

    Thanks
     
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010/en/us/system-requirements.aspx
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. ranjb

    ranjb New Member

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    Yes

    I am amware of what Exchange requires but am running this only on test. I believe that is required if your running on a full production. These VM's wont be used on production, they are merly for testing purposes and to understand how it all works and basically to play around.
     
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    However, you still need to meet the minimum hardware requirement in a test environment or else it would not work the way it's intended to work. I'd look into getting a much roburst server or remove the VM for exchange 2010 to save on memory that can then be used for exchange 2007 etc.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Then live with the perfomance. Could be worth you looking at cloudshare for your labs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
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  6. Sparky
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    You need to at least run the minimum, if not then testing isnt going to give you accurate results.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  7. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    My advice is to add more memory and buy a quad processor as the reason for it to be slow as you are using too much of the available memory/processor you have left to run all your virtual pc's.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2003
    WIP: Server+, Vista,
  8. Sparky
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    The lappy only supports 4GB mate.

    Might be best to get a cheap server for this kind of testing.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    I made an error that and had not realised you are using a laptop so it unlikely ytou upgrade your processor but possibly beef up more menory.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2003
    WIP: Server+, Vista,
  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes, if the OP could somehow fit more memory to a laptop that is already running the maximum amount of memory then that would fix the problem. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Windows Server 2008 R2 can run with a minimum of 512 MB of RAM so you could try and put the VM memory down a bit on the servers.

    You could also try running 32 bit Server 2008 VM's instead of 64 bit ones, 32 bit apps typically need less memory. However this may negate your testing depending on what you are trying to do.

    As mentioned you will be using 1 GB for the OS, and 1 GB for each VM x3, at this point you will be out of physical memory and all memory accesses will likely cause page faults, this will then cause the swap file to be accessed, essentially most of your memory accesses will be at the speed of the disk, a speed reduction of 1000x. Since laptop disks are designed to be rugged and low power, your puny 5400 rpm unit makes things even worse.

    You really need an extra 1 GB of headroom for the host OS in general.

    Running VM's on a remote server would indeed be a better idea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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