WVSteelers28
Contributor
Contributor

VMWare Workstation multiple VMs on single SSD

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to research my question for a couple of days, but haven't found a straight forward answer to my question. I'm currently in the process of buying some new hardware for my desktop. My primary use will be virtualization (working on Microsoft certifications). I plan on having multiple(3 or 4) virtual machines running at the same time (SQL Server, SharePoint, etc.). I am on a little bit of a tight budget, so I'm trying to get the best bang for the buck. I believe that I have my CPU, motherboard, and RAM picked out, but stuck on the hard drive (I have a case, power supply, monitors, keyboard, mouse).

I currently have older Western Digital 320GB and two 250GB hard drives (all 7200 RPM, and 4+ years old). I'm looking at buying a new SSD drive rather than using my current hard drives due to noise and possible performance issues. I'm currently looking at a Muskin Chronos due to size and price (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226237) or I'm thinking about going with a 100-120GB SSD to save about $40 dollars and using linked clones to save space. However, would I be able to run three or four virtual machines off of a single SSD drive without running into performance issues?

I'm not looking for blazing fast speed here, but don't want to be stuck in the stone-age. I was thinking of getting a couple of used Western Digital Velocirpator drives since I would be able to get two (or three depending on size) for the same $165 as the Muskin Chronos drive above, and put one to two virtual machines on each drive (group the VMs based on resource usage).

Thoughts or opinions?

Thanks!

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6 Replies
birdie
Expert
Expert

However, would I be able to run three or four virtual machines  off of a single SSD drive without running into performance issues?

SSD are so much faster than classic HDDs, there's no way you'll have any performance issues.

One word of advice if you decide to use SSD - make sure your SSD drive always has at least 30% of free space available - the way SSD storage works it's crucial to have as much free space as possible.

Anyway almost any SSD will be several times faster than most advanced classic HDDs, and if we are talking about random access time, HDDs are no match for SSDs (SSDs are several orders of magnitude faster in this regard).

Speaking frankly I have a classic 1TB HDD and I have no troubles running up to six guests simultaneously - at least for me SSDs are an overkill or I'm just a cheapskate. 😉

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Welcome to the Community,

I do have a 128GB Samsung 830 SSD on a 6G SATA port and run several virtual machines on it (DC, SQL, ESXi, VSA, ...) simultaneously without any issues. Only the disk space is limited with multiple VMs, so I would recommend to go with a 256GB drive.

André

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louyo
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

PMJI

>>on a 6G SATA port

Very important qualifier. 

I am running an SSD drive on an older workstation and do not see those speeds (nowhere near "orders of magnitude") due to limitations of my SATA controller (add ons are available). I have 3 drives.

1. one drive that is 7200 WD on the SATA controller

2. one virtual drive that is striped RAID (on the SAS controller), across 2 7200 RPM drives.

3. one SSD drive on the SATA controller.

2. gets 2 times performance of 1

3  gets 3 times performance of 1

Measured with hdparm.

4 VM's, including an Exchange server,  run fine on 2, so I put the OS (Linux Mint) on 3.

1 is used for backups.

BTW: make sure you have plenty of RAM.

Lou

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RParker
Immortal
Immortal

louyo wrote:

PMJI

>>on a 6G SATA port

Very important qualifier. 

I am running an SSD drive on an older workstation and do not see those speeds (nowhere near "orders of magnitude") due to limitations of my SATA controller (add ons are available). I have 3 drives.

That has to do more with improvements in technology than actual bandwidth.  3GB SATA would be MORE than sufficient for modern SSD drives, that is over 400 MB of throughput.. maybe even 500.

NO desktop, workstation or even enterprise drive can reach speeds enough to saturate a 6GB SATA channel *NO DRIVE*.  Not even SSD, besides SSD is about response time NOT throughput.  Running multiple small files or even multiple SQL databases isn't the same thing as copying large files at the same time to SSD.

Your SATA is controlled by the CPU, that's where the bottleneck is the controller *NOT* the drive.   Since all drive communication goes through a SINGLE controller, there is your bottleneck.

And since drives cannot attach to more than 1 concurrent controller, we are left with whatever throughput a controller has to offer.

One more thing to point out.. say you buy a really good motherboard... do you REALLY think they will put a controller on a built in motherboard that will be far better than enterprise class controllers?  RAID controllers cost upwards of thousands, a $300.00 MB from newegg, is NOT going to compete with a $2000.00 RAID controller in an enterprise machine.  So if an enterprise class controller can't even handle multiple requests to single SSD drives, you won't even come close to doing it with anything less.

SSD are capable of MUCH more than current controller/technology allows... but we can't get it until something changes.

You CAN run multiple VM on a single SSD, just dont' expect miracles when you need to copy multiple VM's at once, that's when you will run out of bandwidth.

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Nepotiez
Contributor
Contributor

Is this thread still live and active, i have posted an addition post to this but its not showing..

  i would like to expound on some items mentioned, most greatful, 

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Nepotiez
Contributor
Contributor

My question related to the raid controller in below text,,Price $700 nzd

If i configured 4 partitions with vmware machines as remote desktop onto one 250gb ssd, How would the controller distribute the bandwidth please.

 Also, would i run into complication if i clone the 250gb ssd and add to the system.

 I wish i could find my original reply, i was not signed in so i dont think it was posted.

 Many thanks to all, and glad i found this thread!!

.................................................................................................................................................................................... Microsemi Adaptec SmartRAID 3101-4i 4-int Port, 12Gb/s, 1GB Cache, SAS3/SATA3, 1x Internal HD-MiniSAS (SFF-8643), PCIe 3.0 x8, Low Profile and Full height brackets included, RAID 0/1/5/6/50/60/1ADM/10ADM

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