HOW TO: Faster NVME Performance with Fusion + Windows on MacOS

Hey everyone,


New to the forum and new to VM's. Running Windows 2019 Server on a Intel-based 48-core w/ 128MB RAM. The host OS is MacOS Big Sur with all latest updates. The Host OS is running on an isolate NVME RAID configured via hardware on a HighPoint PCIe card in a 16x slot. And the Windows VM is running on a seperate, second HighPoint NVME RAID card.


From within MacOS on either of the NVME RAID's I can Duplicate 1TB of data comprised of approx 5,000 mixed size video files -- in a matter of minutes.


The problem I am having that I have found no resolution on is how to improve the R/W on the NVME drive(s). And it's a major sticking point for me. (I do media library disaster recovery for clients and one of the main programs I use to hash recovered video files only runs in Windows.)


As I understand it (which makes sense) the VM pipes the local host drives to the VM via the VM Network Adaptor, which is maxing out at around 1300 MB/SEC. Which is obviously where my bottleneck is. (Native on the same drive in MacOS I'm pulling upwards of 8100 MB/SEC.)


I have tweaked everything I can think of including the "vmxnet3" mod to the config file.

Is there anything else I can do to speed this performance up? The NVME RAID I use for processing assets is currently formated as APFS as that provides the maximum performance native in MacOS. I could however reformat the drive to NTFS or exFat if that would make a difference?


I just refuse to believe that there isn't another way to access that drive from within the VM OS at maximum speed.


That would be insane....to, me. VM's are ALL ABOUT performance and efficiency in workflow as I understand it.




If anyone can help please let me know! I've attached screen-shots and a copy of my config file in the .ZIP attached.


Thank you!

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So if you're using the shared files, there's not much you can do - especially for large numbers of small files.  That's been a challenge since Fusion 1.0 (though they've made huge strides since then).


The best option is to directly connect the drive to the VM as a device.  But Fusion won't virtualize USB 3.2 or thunderbolt connections, so there's a bandwidth cap there too because of 3.1 limitations.

Honestly, if you need 8GB/sec performance, running windows native is probably the only realistic option.

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Like @dlhotka says, shared folders are not the most performant solution. Never has been and I doubt that it ever will. Especially when there's many small files, the performance degrades.
The shared folder feature does not depend on your virtual network card. It will work without any virtual network card assigned to the VM. It instead uses other mechanisms.

You might get better performance by using network shares. Officially vmxnet3 should support faster speeds than 1GB/s, but I'm not sure that anyone got that to work on macOS. It is no problem on vSphere. The suggestion to use external drives is likely to be more performant.

Reformatting to exFAT will make a difference, but not in any good way. On macOS it's a filesystem that is the source of trouble.
I don't think that reformatting to NTFS is going to help either.



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