I want to have an test cluster on my desktop machine, composed by 3 windows servers 2008 R2.

I wonder what would be the best path to take: install ESXi 4 virtual machine on the VMware Workstation, and than install all the virtual machines over the ESXi.


Install the virtual machines directly in the VMware Workstation, and not use ESXi.


Your first suggestion makes no sense at all, just use Workstation.

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  • I just thought maybe it would be best to replicate the way people working in a live environment, where the ESXi is the host server. Since I scripting the uses of the VMs, maybe it's better that way. – stacker Nov 18 '10 at 22:35
  • Even if it worked it would be beyond slow. – Chopper3 Nov 18 '10 at 22:37
  • Well thanks, I'm just learning how to use this tool effectively. – stacker Nov 18 '10 at 22:44

I've never set up a cluster this way but I have run a couple of Windows 2008 Server VM's within ESXi on Workstation just to see if it would work. Even with a pretty decent workstation (SSD drives, loads of RAM, Core i7 CPU) the Server VM's were functional but not really usable.

By comparison running similar server VM's concurrently directly on Workstation is perfectly usable just make sure you have a lot of RAM and a fast disk (or even better, disks).

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  • Thanks for the answer. btw, what do you call 'loads of RAM'? I have 8gb on my workstation, and I plan to give 1.5 for each of 2 VMs (windows servers). Since it's for testing porpoise (deploy websites and databases), I think it'll be usable. What do you think? – stacker Nov 18 '10 at 22:51
  • That should be fine - you just want to give each system a healthy amount of RAM and leave enough for the host to do whatever else it needs. As a general rule keep memory within the VMs as tight as is practical without forcing excessive paging and leave your host with some headroom. – Helvick Nov 18 '10 at 23:19

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