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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Vmware workstation 7 slow on laptop. Any suggestions? in Technical; Hi I am currently doing some testing with new products and some transition work. I have setup a few VM's ...
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    ranj's Avatar
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    Vmware workstation 7 slow on laptop. Any suggestions?

    Hi

    I am currently doing some testing with new products and some transition work. I have setup a few VM's but am really frustrated with how slow it is.

    My work laptop is running Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit edition and is a Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26ghz with 4GB RAM.

    I currently have the following VM's running using Workstation 7.

    1. Active Directory, DHCP and DNS and a domain controller with FSMO roles on Server 2008 64bit

    2. Exchange 2007 SP1 on Server 2008 SP2 64bit

    3. Exchange 2010 on Server 2008 R2 64bit

    4. Windows Deployment Services/MDT2010 on Server 2008 R2 64bit

    5. Windows 7 Enterprise client 64bit with Office 2010 only

    I am currently doing 2 separate pieces of work. One is related with deployment of Windows 7 and the other is Exchange work. I only turn on the VM's I require depending on the work I am doing at that time. Each VM has been allocated 1GB of memory and 1 processor and the VMs are stored on the laptops 5400rpm SATA drive.

    At the moment I am doing some transitioning work where I have 2 exchange servers and am testing the transition from 2007 to 2010. I have introduced a 2010 server and will be co-existing 2 servers on the 1 domain, I will be moving mailboxes from one server to another, testing OWA and other exchange features and once all is working from a testing point of view I will remove the 2007 server. For me to do this at the moment I need the DC and both Exchange servers turned on. The other 2 VM's are not turned on. I would have thought with 3 VM's I should be ok with doing some mild testing work. I am aware the Host OS is probably using 1GB ram as well but before I use VMware workstation I always tend to turn off any overheads which may be running e.g. items in the tray, virus scanner, windows gadgets etc so effectively the host is only running the bare minimum it needs.

    The problem I am getting is working with all 3 VM's on it just not practical and its very slow.

    I would think that upgrading the memory on the host from 4gb to 8gb would maybe do the trick but I have now found out that the laptop maximum memory support is 4gb and I doubt if work will buy me a new laptop.

    So i was thinking what the best way for me to do this. My office machine is a quad core and I could install 8GB RAM on there. My plan was to move these VM's over to the office machine and then for me to do this work over a VPN connection onto the corporate network and then use RDP and the resources of the local office machine to carry out this work.

    My question is would RDP offer me a good experience. My home internet connect is fairly quick and when I usually VPN onto my office machine the experience tends to be fine.

    Anyone else in my situation? what have you done? Unfortunately buying a better machine is not an option. If anyone has a solution how best would I approach moving the VM's of the laptop and moving the office machine?

    Thanks

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    You have kind of answered your own question. You have 3 VMs each taking 1GB RAM so that's 3GB RAM gone straight away... plus you have the overhead of your laptop's OS. As you run out of RAM, you'll start to use swap space on your slow hard disk.

    You may notice an improvement by dropping the RAM allocated to each VM. Popping a faster disk in your laptop would also help (ideally use a SSD) when you do start using swap space.

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    ranj's Avatar
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    I think I may have found an answer to this. I was just browsing the web and found someone else having a similar problem to fine. He is now trialing something called Cloudshare which allows an individual to run test VM's for FREE in a cloud!! CloudShare | Share Enterprise IT On Demand In The Cloud

    Its only on BETA but I might just give it a try, I will post my results once I copy a VM over to it.

    Each CloudShare Pro environment includes the following:

    Up to six VMs - Linux or Windows machines (licensing included)
    Flat network (each VM gets its own internal IP)
    Outbound access to the Internet
    Drag & drop file sharing from your desktop
    On-demand environment snapshots
    Private environments, accessible only to the author and invited peers
    Up to 10 monthly peer invites
    Invited peers can upgrade to become authors too, starting with the environment to which they were invited!

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