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Virtual Server 2005 R2 CPU usage

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Hi Guys

Hope someone can help me with this.

I seam to be getting mixed message from Forums and MS products support.

I have windows 2k3 standard with Virtual server 2005 R2 installed on Duel Quad core system.

MS products support tells me that Virtual server 2005 R2 enterpise supports upto 32 CPU but will be limited to 4 CPU as it is running on W2k3 Standard. Also that there is no different version of Virtual server 2005 R2 or Virtual server 2005 R2 Enterprise.

The forums I read say that Virtual server 2005 R2 is limited to one CPU and if that is install on a duel Quad core system, (Like my system.) Then you are limited to 1 core. Thus only getting 12.5% of the CPUs.

When I look at taskmanger on the VM system it only shows 1 CPU, and system info shows that to be a 1.66 ghz. (speed of 1 core of my duel quad core.)

I ran a CPU test using some freeware software that returned a speed of 1.66 ghz. This test is likly invalid as I am sure the software did not take into account multicore processors.

Also if I look at VM administrator I can only set the VM to utalize a max of 12.5% of the CPUs.

So I guess I have 3 questions
1) Is Virtual server 2005 r2 limited to 1 core
2) Dose Virtual server 2005 r2 become the enterpise version if install on a W2k3 enterpise server, and then let you access 4 CPUs.
3) Is there a test I can run to confirm the real performance of the Virtual Machine.

Thanks for your time.
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Question by:BrendanKing
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kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
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The information that you have received is correct, but are referring to two different things.

How many CPU cores Virtual Server will use is limited by Windows.  Thus, if you have an dual quad core machine, Windows 2003 Standard will use all 8 cores, and so will Virtual Server 2005.

Each guest VM can only use 1 virtual CPU, and each virtual CPU is limited to running on a single core.  Thus, if you have an 8 core box but are running only 1 VM, Virtual Server will only allocate 1 core to that VM (12.5% of the total CPU in your system).

Hyper-V will let you allocate up to 4 virtual CPUs per guest.

So to answer your questions:
1.  Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is not limited to 1 core, but each VM is.
2.  There is only one version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, and it is "Enterprise".
3.  Run whatever benchmarks you want.  The CPU speed indicated is correct in MHz.
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by:BrendanKing
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Hi Kevin.

Thanks for that explanation.

Quiet simple when you explain it clearly like that. Wish some of the product experts at MS knew what they were talking about.

In that case the new system that I am planning to build which with be an SBS 2003 (SBS 2008 not realised so cannot use Hypervisor.) With a Virtual server to run Terminal server (Only for 2 users.)  Would be better build on a Duel core system than a quad core.

Do you agree.
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by:kevinhsieh
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The real question is,what is it that you're trying to do?

SBS 2008 will be released November 11.  You can also get Hyper-V Server now, and then run SBS 2003 inside that.

Hyper-V is Microsoft's "stand alone hypervisor".  It's Windows 2008 Core with Hyper-V loaded.
http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/default.mspx
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by:BrendanKing
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Hi Kevin.

Well for the customer I am about to install a server for we were planing to install SBS 2003, but they require Minimal Termail server access and SBS can not be a terminal server. My plan solution to this was to install Virtual Server 2005 on top of Sbs 2003. Yet the VIM would then be limited to 1 core, and although  this would work would be port utilization. Natrually they are a small company and cost is important.

From what you have just said it may be worth delaying the installation until Sbs 2008 is released. Then I could install SBS 2008 with Hyper-V and create a Terminal server VM. (I do not want to charge the custoemer for a 2008 just for Hyper-v if not required.)

Second option could be along your lines. Create a 2008 Terminal server with Hyper-V and then install SBS 2003 as the VM.

Any suggestions which would be more stable better configuration option.




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by:kevinhsieh
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Wait for SBS 2008 if you can, simply because 2008 is better than 2003.

You may not be able to install the terminal server role on SBS, but you can use the normal 2 remote desktop connections.  I used to do it all the time when I was working with SBS.  When you run a VM, you lose access to a lot of hardware, such as SCSI devices.  If you are planning to backup to disk or backup to the Internet, that's okay.  If you wanted to backup to tape or a USB device, you can't be running in a VM.

So, simplist thing to do would be to just enable remote desktop for your 2 users and configure their membership in the remote desktop users group so that they can connect to the server.  If you really need a separate terminal server, I would run it under Hyper-V or Virtual Server, depending on whether or not you are running Windows 2003 or Windows 2008.  Either way, I suspect that a single dual core processor is more than enough.  Remember that SBS 2003 is 32bit only so it can only go up to 4 GB RAM.  That may or not be important when running Exchange 2003 and your terminal session applications.
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by:BrendanKing
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Hi Kevin.

I do not like the idea of giving remote user remote access to the SBS server. They always find a way to crash it. Also that would then require that I install the office suite on the SBS server. Again not something I like to do.

4GB of ram is normally enough for a system to run, but with more programs using Version of SQL and running exchange I find this can quickly Vanish.

Not sure if you can Answer this but does a copy of 2008 server allow you to install a Hyper-v host system and then a VM guest system using the one 2008 server Standard license.

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