We are running Enterprise Vista SP1 on ESX 3.5. When using the e1000 NIC we are experiencing really bad performance on the VM. When the NIC is switched to the Accelerated AMD PCNet adapter we seem to get better performance on the VM. Has anyone noticed anything similar in their environments?
Vista's video requirements are the big issue with any VM and not with ESX but will all virtualization systems. Vista requires a high performance GPU to work well. You should disable the graphics features and set the screen saver to disabled.
I agree with the graphics statement but with my testing I have two VM's deployed from the same template. I have changed the NIC on one and the other is using the E1000. The different in performance between the two is very noticeable and once the E1000 is switch the performance clears up.
Why would you use the e1000 ? Are there any reasons to tak that nic.
TheVM Standard Nic is the AMD.
Do you have VLAN Tagging on the E1000 and which driver do you use?
The E1000 should only be used if you have to make special settings on the nic. But usually you don't have to change any settings on the nic inbetween vm and virtual switch.
The e1000 is the only NIC option available when using VIsta as the guest OS so it's the one that was taken by default. In order to change it I switched the Guest OS option to XP and then removed and readded the NIC. It then picked up the AMD.
The driver being used with the e1000 is the Intel PRO/1000 and we are tagging VLANS.
My understanding is that the VMXNET driver is a "paravirtualized driver", which hooks into the guts of the VM and accelerates it. The E1000 is generally pretty efficient (it's emulated, but I am not sure if the emulation is a problem if you actually have real E1000's in the machine.
So basically, without a paravirtualized e1000 driver, it's going to be slower than VMXNET with a paravirtualized driver. By what degree, I don't know.
I have now switched directions on the cause of the problem. The switching of the NIC did alleviate a lot of the performance problems but it still seemed a bit sluggish. I have since built a duplicate image minus SP 1 and I am having no problems with performance even when using the E1000 NIC.
It has been awhile since I last posted on this thread but I thought I would update it with the progress we have made. The impact to performance was caused by Symantec Endpoint Protection product version 11.0. In performance testing we were able to achieve the same performance as a physical machine only when we removed the firewall portion of this product. If the firewall piece was enabled then performance was dropped significantly to the point that the VM was unusable. This problem only seems to affect virtual machines as physical machines seen minimal increase/decrease in performance with the firewall enabled/disabled.
I can confirm this is still the case with SEP MR4,MP2.
I've just installed to see if this issues was resolved in the latest incarnation but no, once you install application and device control along with network threat protection, the system becomes unusably slow.
This may be due to the teefer driver that SEP network fuctions require but I havent a clue how to troubleshoot this.
I'll try log a call with Symantec but I'm pretty sure they will ask me to test on a physical machine