VMware Server only supports guests with 3.6 (~4GB) of memory (each - you can have multiple guests with 3.6GB of memory, but a single guest cannot exceed that amount). If your host O/S isn't seeing more than 4GB, it's a problem with the O/S, not VMware.
I realize that each VM can only use 4GB, but I thought you could use the PAE switch in the host machine's boot,ini file to allow VMware to see all 8GB of RAM my host has. Are you saying that I have to upgrade to Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition in order to be able to see all 8GB of RAM?
VMware does see all 8GB, you just can't assign all 8GB to a single VM. If Windows is not reporting more than 4GB of memory (e.g. in Task Manager on your host), you have an O/S issue, not a VMware issue. I don't know much about getting Windows to see more than 4GB of RAM - you'll need to take that up with Microsoft.
I have a Dell PowerEdge 2950 server running Windows
Server 2003 Standard R2 with 8 GB of RAM installed.
There's your problem.
The 32 bit version of Server 2003 Standard only supports 4GB of RAM.
Your options are to switch to Enterprise Edition 32 bit or Standard Edition 64 bit (If that hardware supports it).
Microsoft provides a gigantic not-very-easy-to-read chart to determine memory support.
The second link is a shortcut to the hardware support for 32-bit operating systems.
The /PAE switch will let windows see more than 4GB of memory, but 32 bit windows can't assign more than 4GB to any given process.
For that the app needs to be written for AWE (if it's windows).
The microsoft page doesn't quite explain it that well IMO:
But the wikipedia one does:
The most relevant bits are:
"The operating system uses PAE to map this 32-bit address space onto the 64 gigabytes of total memory, and the map can be and usually is different for each process. In this way the extra memory is useful even though regular applications cannot access it all simultaneously."
"For application software which needs access to more than 4 gigabytes of memory some special mechanism may be provided by the operating system in addition to the regular PAE support. On Microsoft Windows this mechanism is called Address Windowing Extensions (AWE)"
Thanks for that info...please note, though, again, as I was saying, this has nothing to do with VMware Server - it is an O/S issue. VMware Server will see as much RAM as the host O/S sees.
Standard will only do 4Gb of RAM. The /PAE switch is not there to get around the fact that the different versions of windows only handle so much RAM but rather to get the OS to communicate beyond the 32 bit limitation of 4Gb of RAM. Like the last person says you have to get windows to report all the RAM before VMWare can assign it.
Of course $$$ is always a problem but my suggestion....... get VI3 for that. I recently set that same model server up on esx 3 and it flies (i have 4 quad core and 16 Gb). I like the windows version but once you go to the paid version it is hard to go back to the windows version! Performance and features are great but the structure does suck you into all the other management software so plan it out. It can get expensive.
I agree on the VI3 count - we currently have it for our production environment and the speed improvement over the hosted products (Player, Workstation, and Server) is incredible. Well worth every penny.
If purchasing VI3 or Windows Server 2003 Enterprise is a problem, you might consider Linux as a host O/S, if you have some familiarity with it (or you know someone who does). Linux has quite a few 32-bit kernels that support PAE, and has 64-bit kernels, and you can get several different distributions for free. Maybe that's not an option or not the best one for you, but I'm just throwing it out there as something to consider.
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Just to let you know guys, I think it is a limitation by design that VMware Server does not support more than 3.6Gig of ram per virtual-machines. I do not have any url to reference to it at this time (I only have 2 mins to write this message). But the forums have many many posts regarding this detail already.
Maybe - it's quite possible they'd like you to purchase ESX if you need more that 3.6GB of RAM, but Workstation 6 now supports more than 3.6GB, so it's also possible that Server (2.0??) will also support it in the future.
You need to add the /pae switch to boot.ini, but although Windows Standard allows you to run the pae kernel it is limited to 4g of physical memory. You need to run Enterprise or Datacentre versions of Windows booting the pae (Physical Address Extension) kernel to make use of physical memory above 4g.