We're relatively new to VMWare. We have two physical boxes running that latest version of free ESXi. The servers are new HP Proliant ML350 G6's configured with RAID-5. Plenty of horsepower I would think. 32GB RAM. Each physical box is hosting 3 virtual servers, none of which have excessive load; i.e. they're basically file servers. The virtual servers are all running Win2K3 R2 and each is allocated 4GB of RAM.
We've noticed that if we initiate a Shutdown/Restart on a virtual server, it takes upwards of 30 minutes to finish the reboot cycle. Compare this with a similar Windows server, non-VM, that would take 4-5 minutes. If we pull up the console via the vSphere Client, we'll stare at a gray screen for 20+ minutes. Often times we end up powering off the instance in question just because it takes too long to wait for it to finish. Both physical boxes and all six virtual servers are exhibiting these symptoms. I'm thinking we must be missing some VM-101 setting that we're unaware of.