I have an environment with 3 ESXi 4.1 with 132Gb memory each running virtual desktops. I don't use VDI tools but I'm note a strange behavior in my ESXi servers.
All my virtual machines have Windows XP installed and VMWare-tools is up-to-date in all vms. All virtual machines have the same hardware configuration 1vCPU, 4Gb memory. I have about 100 virtual machines in all environment about 33 machines per host.
I'm monitoring the memory utilization and all my ESX hosts are using 75% of physical memory, but looking the real memory utilization in virtual machines using SRM (IBM tool) I see that most virtual machines are using only 2Gb of memory, make the calcs my virtual machines are using about 70Gb or 50% of physical memory.
My question is: have any way to force my ESXi hosts to see only the memory real memory utilization? I never have this kind of problem using ESX servers but using ESXi this problem appears.
Have an advance options to force my ESXi hosts to see only the real memory utilization?
I question it because this memory issue can dificult my HA and DRS to work properly.
What version of XP are you running? To adress more then 3Gb or RAM you need a 64bit operating system.
So with Windows XP 32bit you are limited to 2Gb of virtual adress space for usermode applications, that means notepad, word etc.
That is probably what you are noticing, more details in this Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2160852