TravisT81
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Contributor

Machine Requirements - Test network

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Hi guys,

I've been thumbing through the forums for the last few weeks trying to learn all I can about the VMware platforms, but I have very little experience, so bear wiith me here. I have a small (home) network/test network that I would like to consolidate/add a couple machines without incurring a great deal of expense. I am limited on hardware, but am looking to upgrade a current server and am trying to decide what I should look for. I have experimented with ESXi a little and think it would be a good solution, although the testing I did was less than desireable.

I would like to run 3-4 windows 2003 servers (DNS, AD, Exchange, DHCP, Antivirus, etc) and 2-3 linux servers (HTTP, Proxy, Syslog, etc) for this very low volume network. From testing ESXi on my current hardware (Optron 64, 1GB RAM, SATA HD's), running two windows server guests bogged the system down to the point it was unmanageable. What cheap hardware could give me the power to run these couple machines in a non-production, low volume environment with acceptable performance/dependability? I have also considered turning my current server into a SAN using Openfiler or a similar software and would like to integrate that into ESXi.

I have been looking at some Dell 1U dual core/dual processor servers with SATA RAID, but I'm very unclear on the processing power/RAM required to do what I would like. Any advice/links that would help me make this decision would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

TravisT

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spex
Expert
Expert

Until you do not overcommit memory more or less ram is not important. But there is a relative sharp boundary where response time goes up.

CPU is not so important, you always get what you have Smiley Wink There is no critical limit - service console itself has a reservation and is therefore not affected.

If you put more ram into your machine and if you do not drive vm's with heavy cpu usage your are prepared.

Regards

Spex

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Jasemccarty
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Welcome to the forums.

Check out Dave's site: http://www.vm-help.com/Whitebox_HCL.php for a list unsupported hardware.

As I type this, I'm on a Dell XPS 720, with a Q6600 quad core, 8GB of RAM, Vista Ultimate x64 SP1, VMware Workstation 6.5.1, and have 8 VM's running.

So what do you need for what you want to run? Look at total memory, cpu, and disk requirements of your proposed guests, and spec out a box a little bigger.

Jase McCarty

http://www.jasemccarty.com

Co-Author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center

(ISBN:1420070274) from Auerbach

Please consider awarding points if this post was helpful or correct

Jase McCarty - Field SA at PureStorage - @jasemccarty
spex
Expert
Expert

You need more memory on your test machine. ESX itself needs about 300MB.

If you give for example 512 MB to each windows server you are starting swapping memory to disk immediately.

Maybe if you wait some time your setup will get responsive even with 1 GB ram, since ESX claims unneeded ram back from the vm's and stops swapping.

Regards

Spex

TravisT81
Contributor
Contributor

So what would you say is most important in a VMware setup - CPU or RAM? Is it possible that I could do what I want with my current setup if I install a couple more gigs of RAM, or is the processor lacking power for this?

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spex
Expert
Expert

Until you do not overcommit memory more or less ram is not important. But there is a relative sharp boundary where response time goes up.

CPU is not so important, you always get what you have Smiley Wink There is no critical limit - service console itself has a reservation and is therefore not affected.

If you put more ram into your machine and if you do not drive vm's with heavy cpu usage your are prepared.

Regards

Spex

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