homeboy
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Host resource recommendations

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Is there a knowledge article about best practices for Host resources? In other words my host systems have 6gb of mem and 256GB HDD, is there a recommend amount of both that I should leave allocated to the Host? With Host patches I'm a little concerned that I may not be leaving enough free space allocated to the Host.

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esiebert7625
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You can use VMware Converter to shrink them...

http://vmware-land.com/Resizing_Virtual_Disks.html

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RParker
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Install with the default configuration, and it will do ALL the hard work for you. 6g is a good start, but if you are going to be using lots of Windows VM's, you may consider increasing to at least 16Gb of RAM.

256Gb of space is rather thin... you may want to beef that up as well, or use SAN if possible or a NFS share. You will probably need more space.

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MR-T
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From your available memory, ESX will take around 1GB to run.

You can alter what the service console uses from the default of 256 up to 800MB if required. I usually stick this at 800 due to running management agents in the COS.

Reagrding disk space, you only need around 16GB locally and then the remainder can be available for VMFS. This is adequate.

Are you storing VM's locally on the 256GB disks?

I'm not sure of a kb article to answer these questions specifically but you should look at the PDF's for ESX for more information on configuration best practice.

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Chamon
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esiebert7625
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These are good resource management guides:

Resource Management in Vmware ESX Server 3 - http://download3.vmware.com/vmworld/2006/tac9726.pdf

Resource Management Guide - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_301_201_resource_mgmt.pdf

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Dave_Mishchenko
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Here's a few discussion on partition sizing to use. For memory, if you don't plan to add any service console management apps (i.e. hradware monitoring, etc), then you can leave the SC memory setting at the default.

http://communities.vmware.com/message/431288

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homeboy
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These are blades for QA environments, so obviously "cheap" was the priority here; no SAN for these.

The VM's (2 on each) are stored on the HOST. I built, plan to build, each VM with about 120GB and 2.5GB RAM. I'm wondering now if that will cause some problems down the road.

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MR-T
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That RAM allocation sounds pretty high. Do the VM's actually need that much?

Down the road you could just upgrade the blades to have more RAM, not an issue.

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Dave_Mishchenko
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You would end up being pretty tight on space. 2 VMs at 120 GB will be 240 GB plus you would need swap space for the 2 VMs which would be another 5 Gb unless you used a memory reservation for both.

When you create a VM with ESX the default is to allocate all the disk space up front. That's different from Worstation where the default will be to grow the VMDK as needed. You can do the same with ESX, but you take a slight performance hit when you grow the VMDKs (shouldn't be an issue with your setup) and you would risk running out of space still.

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homeboy
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I found with GSX, which I still have some VM's running on, that my developers and QA people complained a lot that the machines were slow; these run SQL and Web applications. They are running on an older HP DL380 so that has a factor as well.

So, I wanted to give each VM at least 2GB of memory.

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Chamon
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I dont think that this will leace enough for the host. Can you drop these

down to 100 gb and 2 gb?

homeboy
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That is what I was affraid some one was going to tell me Smiley Happy

I guess I could always shrink these disk a little...Is this as easy as increasing them is?

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esiebert7625
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You can use VMware Converter to shrink them...

http://vmware-land.com/Resizing_Virtual_Disks.html

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Dave_Mishchenko
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As Eric has posted above, you can use VMware Converter to shrink the disks when you copy them over to ESX. You can then later expand them as he has documented on his site. You could also create the disks as thin disk as I mentioned. In that case the VM wolud see 120 GB but ESX would only allocate space as needed. But as stated, you could run yourself out of disk space which would potentially corrupt the VM.

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esiebert7625
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Also if you don't have a whole lot of disk available on your ESX hosts you will have to do some creative VM juggling to shrink the disks because you will need sufficient free space to create the new VM with the smaller disk.

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homeboy
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AHH, thanks you just answered my next question!

So, I guess I really did S*#!@ myself.

I took a look at all of the HOST I have "live" now and I have between 10 and 15GB free on them. I'll have to think about this when my headache goes away.

Thanks for all of your help!

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esiebert7625
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Also read through this thread, you usually need to leave enough space free for vm logs, vswp files, snapshot files, suspend files, etc...

Sizing LUN for enough free space after VM - http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?messageID=649338

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homeboy
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Can I shrink the disk using vmkfstools -X and then use "gparted" with out using Converter? Will this help me any if I don't have the space on the HOST?

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esiebert7625
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Starting with ESX3, you can no longer shrink a disk with vmkfstools -X like you coudl in ESX2

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homeboy
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Damn! Strike 3!

Thanks again for your help Eric.

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