6 Replies Latest reply on May 26, 2017 7:58 AM by bluefirestorm

    [HELP] - Decision making is hard...

    x007alfa Novice

      Good morning guys

      I have a dilemma on my hands...

      I would like to set up an HA/DRS cluster in my workplace...

      I would host the main work machines on this cluster.

      We're talking about this sort of config:


      - 10 x Development machines (Win10, a few rough running programs -> 4 cores per machine and at least 8Gb of RAM);

      - 5 x Testing machines available "on-demand" -> they don't need to be ON all the time;


      We have three CAD designers working here and us others do mainly programming on pretty badly coded IDEs that when in compiling stress the heck out of our systems...


      I will have as hosts 2/3 HP DL380G6 each with 2x Xeon X5670s (six cores with hyperthreading) and 64GB of RAM (RAM could bu bumped up if needed, CPUs not really...).


      Could this work out? Or do I have too little processing cores to keep it under control?

      If I set this up I would need three right? Active, Passive and Witness if I understand correctly?


      Thanks a lot in advance for any help

        • 1. Re: [HELP] - Decision making is hard...
          batuhandemirdal Enthusiast



          Usually the designers are loaded with drawing programs and design programs. In this, ram reinforcement is needed before the CPU. A few programs, what are these programs?

          Because is the amount of RAM each program can run at minimum?

          You can analyze it by looking at those programs, and if you like the server it seems enough, you can start with a single server and then reinforce it if you get stuck.

          • 2. Re: [HELP] - Decision making is hard...
            a.p. Guru
            vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

            You didn't mention the storage you are using!?

            Remember that HA and DRS both require shared storage to work!



            • 3. Re: [HELP] - Decision making is hard...
              x007alfa Novice

              Hi folks

              thanks for the answers!


              Ok couple informations.


              Storage will be handeled via NAS. Possibly 10Gbps uplink to the hosts to remove network bottlenecking.

              I'll probably go with a RAID array of any 2TB drive specialized for NAS application... (WD Red comes to mind...)


              Programs that I know they use a lot for designing are:

              _AutoCAD Electric and Mechanic;

              _EPlan for electrical schematics (this in particular is pretty intensive on resources...);


              Programs that us programmers use in the office are:

              _TIA Portal V13 (possibly upgrading to V14);


              _a bunch of others not nearly as intensive...


              Thing is TIA portal has a bit of RAM thirst it seems... it usually goes way over the 4GB of used memory when compiling huge projects...


              Thus me wanting to emulate the snappiness of the machines they are using as of right now.


              Also quick question that comes to mind... can I dedicate a graphics card to a VM in vSphere?


              Thanks a lot again

              • 4. Re: [HELP] - Decision making is hard...
                batuhandemirdal Enthusiast

                Configure 3D Graphics and Video Cards

                When you enable 3D graphics, you can select a hardware or software graphics renderer and optimize the graphics memory allocated to the virtual machine. You can increase the number of displays in multi-monitor configurations and change the video card settings to meet your graphics requirements.

                The default setting for total video RAM is adequate for minimal desktop resolution. For more complex situations, you can change the default memory. Typically, 3D applications require a video memory of 64–512MB.

                Fault Tolerance and HA are not supported for virtual machines that have 3D graphics enabled.


                Verify that the virtual machine is powered off.

                Verify that the virtual machine compatibility is ESXi 5.0 and later.

                To enable 3D graphics in virtual machines with Windows 8 guest operating systems, the virtual machine compatibility must be ESXi 5.1 or later.

                To use a Hardware 3D renderer, ensure that graphics hardware is available.

                If you update the virtual machine compatibility from ESXi 5.1 and later to ESXi 5.5 and later, reinstall VMware Tools to get the latest SVGA virtual graphics driver and Windows Display Driver Model driver.

                Verify that you have the Virtual machine.Configuration.Modify device settings privilege on the virtual machine.



                Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Edit Settings.


                On the Virtual Hardware tab, expand Video Card.


                Select custom or automatic settings for your displays from the drop-down menu.



                Auto-detect settings

                Applies common video settings to the guest operating system.

                Specify custom settings

                Lets you select the number of displays and the total video memory.


                Select the number of displays from the drop-down menu.

                You can set the number of displays and extend the screen across them.


                Enter the required video memory.


                (Optional) Click Video Memory Calculator to calculate the required video memory based on the maximum number of displays and resolution that the guest operating system must support, and click OK.


                (Optional) Click Enable 3D support.

                This check box is active only for guest operating systems on which VMware supports 3D.


                (Optional) Select a 3D Renderer.




                Selects the appropriate option (software or hardware) for this virtual machine.


                Uses normal CPU processing for 3D calculations.


                Requires graphics hardware (GPU) for faster 3D calculations.


                The virtual machine will not power on if graphics hardware is not available.


                Click OK.

                Sufficient memory allocation is set for this virtual machine's graphics.

                • 5. Re: [HELP] - Decision making is hard...
                  x007alfa Novice

                  thanks a lot

                  then you think the specifications of the server would be sufficient for now?

                  • 6. Re: [HELP] - Decision making is hard...
                    bluefirestorm Master

                    If you plan to just dedicate the graphics card to just one VM, you might be better off having a physical desktop/laptop with a powerful graphics card.


                    The list of qualified graphics card that will work in ESXi for graphics passthrough are very limited (and can be very expensive). For example, you cannot expect to just place an Nvidia GeForce GTX graphic card and expect that it can be used in ESXi as a graphics passthrough card for a VM.


                    The list is very limited and given the age of the server hardware that you have, the chances of getting it to work even with qualified graphics card is not very good. You can see for yourself the list of qualified cards in the Compatibility Guide.


                    VMware Compatibility Guide - vdga