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I know that Microsoft suggests that you leave 1GB of memory for the parent partition on a Hyper-V server. Does VMware have a similar suggestion?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Memory overhead is going to hinge on a lot of things. Luckily, VMWare has a nice little table to let you know what to expect:
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsp40_e/resmgmt/wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/html/wwhelp.htm#href=r_overhead_memory_on_virtual_machines.html&single=true

Also see this
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsp40_e/resmgmt/wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/html/wwhelp.htm#href=c_understanding_memory_overhead.html#1_10_9_9_7_1&single=true

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That's for the older ESX stuff. Most people are using ESXi with vSphere 4, which has a smaller footprint, but the way some of the additional services work has changes in some isntances as well. This is a good baseline, but not the absolute for vSphere 4. –  MDMarra Jun 9 '10 at 2:26
    
Thanks Mark. I've edited my post to update for vSphere4 Docs –  Jason Berg Jun 9 '10 at 2:32

In practice, based on the few that I run in production, the ESXi core uses around 200 or so mb. Personally, I try to keep around a gig free of non-reserved ram per server (200 reserved for ESXi, 256 mb for Linux guests, 512 to 1024 mb for Windows guests depending on version and services)...

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