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I have the following machine setup as a 32bit virtual machine:

Base Machine:

HP Storage work san solution
HP ProLiant SL230s Gen8 Server 256 gb ram, 8 xeon processors.

Virtual System:


Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2
Standard Edition
Service Pack 2


Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU
X7350 @ 2.93.GHz x 4
2.93GHZ 4.00 GB of RAM
SVGA II graphics driver

I am trying to run the following:

Visual studio 2010 IIS Several Browsers MSSQL Developer edition

The issue I have is:

I find it extremely slow, the screen just hangs/ lags at times its responsiveness is super slow. What I need to know is if I upgrade to windows server 2008 64bit will there be any benefits? Or am I better off getting a local desktop rather the a VM that I connect to over the network.

Yes I am a developer I do not get access to vmware admin panels if I did oh boy would things be different.

Apologies for the tagging not sure what vmware related tags I should of used.

share|improve this question
I imagine you're just low on memory. – Chopper3 May 4 '12 at 10:04
4gm ram not enough? got 4gb paging also setup – Anicho May 4 '12 at 10:05
But that 4GB has to hold the base OS (some flavour of Windows I'm not sure you mention), the hypervisor and then a VM with it's own full version of Windows PLUS Visual Studio - which in itself can use a lot of memory. Also if your base OS is 32-bit then it won't even be able to fully benefit from all of the 4GB anyway. – Chopper3 May 4 '12 at 10:12
that 4gb is 100% dedicated to the vmware sorry for being unclear that is the actual spec of the vmware. We have a massive server stack inhouse hosting this drives are on a 80tb san, server has 256gb ram etc etc.... – Anicho May 4 '12 at 10:19
sorry, still not clear - what do you mean '4GB dedicated to 'the vmware''? You need to give us more details - what's the actual hardware and software of the hardware and base OS - having a 256GB machine then using VMWare Workstation on it seems...odd – Chopper3 May 4 '12 at 10:23
up vote 3 down vote accepted
  • UPgrade the VM to 64 bit and give it 8+ gigabyte RAM and at least 2 cores - 5 are better. Sorry, but (a) Visual Studio uses multiple cores during compile etc. and (b) 4gb are not enough when debugging etc, I regularly take my dev envvironment over the 6gb limit.

If the screen is super slow make it faster. How do you connect? Remote Desktop - that SHOULD work fine unless your network sucks big time (lets assume it does not).

Check IO performance - Visual Studio is kind of disc heavy, I got a lot of gain from moving my development physical machine to a SSD. Your SAN may be too slow.

Then check hardware wside. Maybe the machine is just overloaded CPU wise?

Anyhow, the machine is quite low end (the virtual machine) and Visual Studio kind of does not like that if you do more than just text editing. So, go 64 bit and upgrade to latest versions and give yourself a lot more cores and RAM.

With a machine like that you are better off just getting a CHEAP machine from the next supermarket - it will have multiple cores and likely more RAM ;) Then plug in an SSD ;)

share|improve this answer
a lot more cores do you mean physical cores or virtual cores? I will get it to 64 bit first and give it more RAM sorry already assigned 4 cores didn't mention tht above. I think it may be an issue with i/os – Anicho May 4 '12 at 10:57
I have put forward yoru recommendations to the team. – Anicho May 4 '12 at 12:45
Well, a VM Only has virtual ones. One core virtual is very little. – TomTom May 4 '12 at 14:35
cool thanks TomTom – Anicho May 4 '12 at 15:04

If your machine is slow it could be because there is something wrong or it could be because there are 40 other VMs on there using all the resources. Without looking at the physical server and the vmware UI you simply can not tell what the bottleneck is. Inside the VM the CPU usage and IO stats are near meaningless because they are against a sliding scale of what is being made available to your particular VM. You can check if you are using all that 4Gb of RAM up and hitting the pagefile.

Otherwise you need to go to whoever is running the VM server and ask them for a recommendation because you simply don't have enough information available to you to make any sensible request.

(You don't want more cores, overcommitting the physical amount causes additional overhead with little benefit. In general VMs work well with only 1 or 2 allocated)

share|improve this answer
Agreed with you James, I have submitted TomTom's requests asking to also see how the server is running and what resources all the vmwares are using up. – Anicho May 4 '12 at 15:06

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