64-bit OS very poor performance in ESX 3.5

Experts,

I have an HP ML350 G5 lab server that is running ESX 3.5 with 2 X 3ghz dual cores, 16GB RAM, 2TB storage (SATA). The bios is the most current avaialbe and the VT option is enabled in the BIOS. The server hardware is all on the ESX hardware compatibility list.

I am having terrible performance issues when running 64-bit Windows OS. Server 2008 64-bit, or server 2003 64-bit. My 32-bit OS have no issues. I have tried throwing memory at the problem but of course it is of no help.

Does anyone have any information about 64-bit windows issues on ESX? Are there any troubleshooting tools that will help me narrow down the issue?

Thank you in advance
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juggernaughtyAsked:
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juggernaughtyConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Whatever the issue is, its unresolved. I have noticed recently a client of mine that has poor EMC performance on their virtual Exchange Cas/Hub servers. The machines/SAN these are running on is very powerful. So I don't believe issues are with hardware, its gotta be Vmware.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
There shouldn't be any issues other than 64 bit OS take a bit more memory.  Make sure the vmware tools are installed. What type of performace issues are you experiencing CPU? Memory? Network?

You may want to download a trial copy of vizioncore vcharter to get a better insight, this should provide information on what is causing issues.  
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juggernaughtyAuthor Commented:
Two items specifically.
- On Windows Server 2008 64-bit its the Server Manager.
- ON WIndows Server 2003 64-bit its the Exchange 2007 management Console.
We're talking minutes to open and then once they do, it just lags trying to navigate them. Vmtools are installed on all Vms and is current. Hardware accelaration helped a little bit but not enough. To test I ran the Server 2008 management tool, and the Exchange management tool on a 32-bit XP VM not on the ESX server and it worked great in each case. So im connecting to the same servers, accessing the same information, but  with much better results.
Haven't seen too many posts on this but one of them I found the user went to Hyper-V on the same hardware and problem was solved. I think that may be what I have to do.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
We've installed Exchage 2003/2007 on ESX at several customers without any major issues.  Did you P2V the from physical or were these fresh virtual machines?
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juggernaughtyAuthor Commented:
These are fresh builds. The drives are SATA drives, but this is a lab machine and the servers are only for testing/learning purposes. I doublt that just using the EMC in EX 2007 would cause the drives to be over taxed in any way.
Maybe you could recommend a tool to help me narrow down if its a perf issue? I downloaded a trial one the other day...it installed as a VM on the server....can't remember the name. Anyway, it didint have the functionality to tell me if my system was performing poorly because of misconfigured or insufficient hardware.
I guess this is just one of those things that you bang your head against a wall to figure out and never quite get it. I'm sure someone knows but i dont know where to ask. It could be an issue with my HP hardware, the BIOS, the performance, etc.
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juggernaughtyAuthor Commented:
Come to think of it, both the items that are giving me the most trouble are build on MMC 3.0. I wonder if that has something to do with it.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Exchange is more sensitive to Disk I/O than anything else. Look at the disk performance for both the host and the guest

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-Troubleshooting-Assistant.html
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juggernaughtyAuthor Commented:
Yeah ill look into that but the issue is on a Server 2008 member server that is doing nothing. The EX servers are basically doing nothing too.
I may have added some performance back by changing my VMs to use only one processor instead of 2. not sure why, but ill investigate more.
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juggernaughtyAuthor Commented:
This is unresolved.
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