cravens2011
Contributor
Contributor

Is Workstation appropriate for my small business

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I appreciate your help.

I have been evaluating Workstation 10 on my Asus Q550LF (i7-4500U, 16gig ram, 256 gig SSD, 1T HD) in a Windows 8 environment.  I operate my own business without an IT department.  I would like to use this notebook for both business (mostly MS office, web, and a few proprietary legal applications) and personal (web, multimedia, gaming).  However, I also need my business machine to be reliable.  VM Workstation seems like it will allow me to accomplish this goal.  I installed VM Workstation (trial) on my notebook and created separate VMs for my office (vmWork) and personal (vmPersonal) use.  I installed MS Office on vmWork which appears to work although sometimes slowly.

I have a couple of specific questions.

1.  Is my notebook sufficient to handle two or three vms running simultaneously (i.e. outlook, word, and chrome running on vmWork) and (gmail, chrome, and a youtube running on the other) without performance problems.

2.  I noticed that Workstation 10 for windows is only 32 bit.  Won't that slow applications down ?  Should I wait for a 64 bit version to come out?

3.  Is VM overkill in this situation? I like the idea of isolating my work applications from my personal applications.  But I am worried that the performance of the applications will suffer too much.  For example, Outlook has been hanging when performing operations that should be relatively simple such as searching for unread email.

vmWork is configured with 4 gb ram, 2 processors, 2 cores, bridged network  (though I've tried it with 1 processor and 1 core without apparent impact on performance).

vmPersonal is configured with 6 gb ram, 1 processor, 1 core, bridged network (this appears to run fine and can even run a computer game).

Thanks in advance for your advice and time.

Dan

1 Solution

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I can't speak for VM Player since I use workstation (9.0.2), but I think your laptop sounds quite capable of running 2 or 3 VMs. I think maybe you have a bit too much RAM assigned to them though. Especially the personal one. Most VMs that I run (albeit mainly XP and Win7 guests) I only have 1GB assigned. For my two main VMs only I have 3GB and 4GB respectively. The 4GB is my main development VM and it's always in heavy duty use and the one with 3GB I use with for Office applications, indexing web browsing and so on (usually a lot of applications open at once). I believe the main overhead, however, of the extra RAM is the suspend/resume performance and I would also suspect that depending on the guest operating systems the start-up performance as Windows tries to fill the allocated RAM with cache data (superfetch). (The more RAM the more caching).

I compiled a list of performance settings for regular VM usage that you might be interested in (link below).

I do run a reasonable rig (i7-3930K/32GB), but I am able to run as many as 5 or 6 VMs at the same time with no real performance degradation for my use cases.

vista/7 runs slow

I wish you all the best with it.

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4 Replies
mfelker
Expert
Expert

  For the requirements you have posted WS 10 is way overkeill for what you need.  Take a look at the free VMware Player 6.0. This is of course my opinion 

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RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

Only the UI is 32-bit.  All the services, drivers, and guts are all 64-bit on a 64-bit OS.

cravens2011
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the reply.  Is the performance of virtual machines comparable with both VM Player and VM Workstation?  Also should my rig be able to run these two VM smoothly without hangs and stutters?

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I can't speak for VM Player since I use workstation (9.0.2), but I think your laptop sounds quite capable of running 2 or 3 VMs. I think maybe you have a bit too much RAM assigned to them though. Especially the personal one. Most VMs that I run (albeit mainly XP and Win7 guests) I only have 1GB assigned. For my two main VMs only I have 3GB and 4GB respectively. The 4GB is my main development VM and it's always in heavy duty use and the one with 3GB I use with for Office applications, indexing web browsing and so on (usually a lot of applications open at once). I believe the main overhead, however, of the extra RAM is the suspend/resume performance and I would also suspect that depending on the guest operating systems the start-up performance as Windows tries to fill the allocated RAM with cache data (superfetch). (The more RAM the more caching).

I compiled a list of performance settings for regular VM usage that you might be interested in (link below).

I do run a reasonable rig (i7-3930K/32GB), but I am able to run as many as 5 or 6 VMs at the same time with no real performance degradation for my use cases.

vista/7 runs slow

I wish you all the best with it.

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