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We have the following setup:

  • A physical server running VMWare ESX 3.5
  • There are two virtual machines on ESX: both running Windows Server 2003 SP2 (each have 3Gb of RAM and a physical CPU core)

I am now trying to establish a MS Virtual Server 2005 R2 on one of those virtualized servers to run development/test machines. However, I struck an issue - any virtual machine I try to run (on VS or VPC 2007) run extremely slowly. We are talking 10 minutes to get to the Windows loading screen for an XP virtual machine slow.

Has anyone tried doing this and if so then is there a magic trick that needs doing to make this happen?

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2 Answers 2

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Has anyone tried doing this and if so then is there a magic trick that needs doing to make this happen?

The various virtualisation blogs from MS have tried this, and get the expected work: if the underlying hardware has CPUs with virtualisation extensions it works, but slowly. They do this to show the virtualised system is as capable as a real system.

One layer of virtualisation has a performance hit, two layers just multiplies this up.

Why not just create the test/dev VMs in VMWare and keep things much simpler and faster.

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The only reason for making a MS virtual layer is because consultants around the office use MS virtualization on their machines so we'd like to make that easily compatible with the server deployment. But I guess we'll have to go through conversion and setting up access to the VMWare console. Thanks. –  Dmitry Selitskiy Jul 1 '10 at 10:04
    
If there is enough demand, another server for Hyper-V shouldn't be too hard. –  Richard Jul 1 '10 at 22:54
    
Thanks. I gave VMWare Converter a go. It works after jumping through a few hoops... Just need to do a few more and then provide instructions to others. –  Dmitry Selitskiy Jul 2 '10 at 1:56

Yes lots of us have tried something similar but without exception it's a very bad idea indeed - very bad, "Miley-Cryus-suddenly-dressed-up-all-adult-bad" in fact.

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