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I have VMWare Workstation 8 installed on my host OS and my host OS is configured with 32 GB of RAM.

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3 VMs were created and all of them are set to use 4 GB RAM. These VMs are using Microsoft Windows 2008 R2. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

However, from the Virtual Machine Settings pages of all the three VMs, I saw this warning.

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What does this warning mean? Currently I started all of the 3 VMs. Theoretically, my Host machine should at least use 3X4=12 GB memory. However, that is not the case. Take a look at the task manager program running on the host.

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What's the problem? Anyone can give some ideas? Thanks.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

There isn't a problem at all, it's just saying that IF you wish to reduce the VM's memory allocation you need to do that with the VMs powered off, that's all.

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Thanks Chopper. Another question is why my host machine shows that just 7.13 GB memory was used? I open 3 VMs each with 4GB memory. – Ogrish Man Jul 15 '12 at 8:30
VMWare have lots of clever ways of saving you memory, firstly they don't allocate real memory until its actually needed, so if a VM is allocated 4GB but actually only ever uses 2GB then only 2GB is taken from real memory. – Chopper3 Jul 15 '12 at 8:40
Page sharing and ballooning are the two big memory reclamation techniques making it possible for several virtual machines to use less physical RAM than they have been allocated. In your scenario, page sharing is most likely what's going on. – Michael Hampton Jul 15 '12 at 14:04

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