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Page files on VM guests and host - best practises

Posted on 2009-06-28
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Hi experts,

I have set up a server, Windows Server 2008 Datacenter SP2 with 12 GB RAM and Intel i7 920.

The host will be used occasionally for streaming live video (which will require video encoding). No other processing will be done on the host, except running Hyper-V.
Hyper-V will run two guests, each guest is running Windows Web Server 2008 SP2 with IIS and SQL Server 2008.

RAM distribution: (depending on the accepted soluton)
Host: 2 or 4 GB RAM
Guest 1: 2 or 3GB RAM
Guest 2: 6 or 7 GB RAM.


Question is:
Since the server only has a 80GB (75GB usable) hard drive (Intel SSD), the storage space must be used efficiently.

1. How big should the page file on the HOST be? Right now it's 16 GB which seems uneccesary.

2. How big should the page file on the GUESTs be (see the setup above).

2.1 Is it problematic if we disable and delete the page file on the guests? No programs will be run on these guests, as they will only function as servers.

3 : As mentioned the host will host the two guests, and will occasionally encode and stream live video. How much RAM should be left for the host? 2, 3 or 4GB?

3.1 How would you assign the number of CPU cores (4 available)? 2 cores for the host, and 1 on each guest? Or 1 for host, 2 for one guest (most busy one) and 1 for the other guest?


Thanks a lot.
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Question by:Buginator
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plimpias earned 500 total points
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How big should the page file on the HOST be? Right now it's 16 GB which seems uneccesary.

it should be the standard recommendation memory amount +32MB

2. How big should the page file on the GUESTs be (see the setup above).
same memory +32MB

2.1 Is it problematic if we disable and delete the page file on the guests? No programs will be run on these guests, as they will only function as servers.
i would recommend you setup the page file, you may run into some memory prolems since your limited on the amount of RAM

3 : As mentioned the host will host the two guests, and will occasionally encode and stream live video. How much RAM should be left for the host? 2, 3 or 4GB?

512 is the default for the reserve, i would increase it to 2GB depending on the size of the media and the type of condec you are converting.

3.1 How would you assign the number of CPU cores (4 available)? 2 cores for the host, and 1 on each guest? Or 1 for host, 2 for one guest (most busy one) and 1 for the other guest?

All cores will be available to the host, i would do 1 on each host and add more if you need them. a best practice is 1core per VM.
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