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I'm assuming you're running Workstation on your PC rather than vSphere/ESXi, so have a host OS like Windows 7 on it too.
As a general rule VMware advises not running more vCPUs in your VMs than you need, i.e. start each with 1 or 2 and see.
The latest hyper-threading gives you more performance but not as much as extra cores, e.g. my lab server uses this http://ark.intel.com/products/65719/Intel-Core-i7-3770-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-3_90-GHz which has 4 cores or 8 threads including hyper-threading. However your i5 processor does not have hyperthreading so you only have 4 cores/threads.
Therefore if you are running a single VM my advice would not to go above 3 vCPU to start with, leaving one core for Windows. Of course if you're running applications on your desktop (even web browsers can use a fair amount of CPU with dynamic page updates etc) you may need to allocate fewer. Definitely there's no benefit in you having more than 4 vCPUs on a single running VM - the hypervisor would just processing spend time switching the cores for the VM when there's no underlying extra resource.
If that's not enough processing capacity for your VM it might be worth upgrading the processor to a core i7 like I've got (<$300).
Don't forget to look carefully at memory too - if it's a database you're running make sure you don't overprovision it, e.g. if you've got 8GB RAM and Windows 7 64 bit I wouldn't recommend more than 6GB RAM for the VM (or 4GB if you're running some Windows apps). If you don't have one, an SSD wouldn't do any harm either
Thank you so much, Simon! The application is actually Hyperion Planning and my experience with 8 Gbs on Quadcore Core-i7 Laptop (Yes, I know, not the ideal workstation of a server) made it clear to me that I needed at least 16Gb. So that's what I currently have.
Just to clarify the nature of the module; on an optimum spec computer, which is comprised of a realiable Xenon Processor and 16GB ram, the services finish starting up in 15 minutes. In my specs, which easily equates with the server, it takes upto 45 minutes .
I'm beginning to consider whether or not it is a matter of RPM. I have 500gb 72x rpm harddrive. Its very standard. Perhaps I should consider SSD's.
However, you draw a thought provoking point. My processor does not have Hyperthreading. Now do forgive the silly question; is it really that much of a difference? I'm well aware it improves the trafficiking of processes, but even as I start the services, I'm able to keep it running while allowing my nephew to play games in the background. The computer does not usher a peep.
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Firstly I gather Hyperion does use a small Oracle database but most of the processing is its own engine. Therefore this probably isn't a traditional sort of Oracle system.
So you have a PC with core i5 quad core, 16GB RAM and Windows 7? So my initial guess at single VM sizing would be 3 vCPU and 12GB.
Then you should try using Windows Resource Monitor during your VM startup too to see what seems to be used most - processor, memory or disk. There is a good chance that the disk is the bottleneck at startup. As I think you have a desktop PC it should be easy to add an SSD alongside the boot disk without too much disruption. E.g. even 128GB SSD might perhaps be big enough and should be cheap enough to take a gamble on - just put all your VM files (the folder with the .vmx, .vmdk etc) onto it and leave everything else where it is.
Yes, hyper-threading should make a difference but only if processing is really the biggest constraint. I suspect an SSD will give you the biggest improvement for your money but before you open your wallet it would be worth trying the things above.
PS. I think I'd tell my nephew to run his games elsewhere when I was trying to work
Haha! Actually, I have a remote desktop set up inside in the Virtual Machine so I can access it from work But yes; no debating that point.
Your assumptions are on the spot, though I have allocated 10GBs of RAM..
Thank you so much, Simon. I'll see what the readings say and I'll get back to you on it. That way, if some other bloke shows up with the same concern, you can link him to this post.