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How much virtual memory should the host and guest virtual machines on a Hyper-V server have?

Posted on 2011-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
How much virtual memory should the host have on a server running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1? It is running three guest vm's all server 2008 r2 sp1. One Domain Controller with AD and DNS with Certificate Services, one SQL server with web based applications, and one terminal server with 10 users. I also have Diskeeper Vlocity 2 running on all host and guest vm's for improved I/O. The server has plenty of physical memory, 28 GB total. I have allocated in hyper-v manager 14 for the terminal server, 4 for the DC and 2 for the sql and app server vm. Now inside those vm's I can go to the properties of the computer and change the "virtual memory" size where it swaps out to disk. This is where I am confused. The vm's shouldn't need a page file right? and what about the host os running the hyper-v role? I have it set to 4-6 gb currently. I dont think any of the vm's need to be swaping out to the page file as there is enough physical memory for all the vm's. So I should be fine turning the page file off for all vm's shouldn't I? I know this means there is no room for the "memory dump" but is this really necessary in the first place because who would dig through all that information with so much memory..

Please correct me if I am wrong but I should just select No page file on all the vm's including the host right?
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Question by:gsco
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by:remixedcat
ID: 35160582
with windows at least 1GB is required and 2GB is recommended for guests

the RAM on the host is determined by how many VPS will be desired for the server.

Windows VPS has a higher requirement then Linux. Please note that.
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by:gsco
ID: 35160641
To clarify I am talking about this screen:   Virtual Memory Screen Capture
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by:remixedcat
remixedcat earned 500 total points
ID: 35160663
ok well I would have it as equal or greater to the VM's allocated RAM.

if they are 1GB give them 3GB at most

if they are 2GB then give them 4GB at most
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Author Comment

by:gsco
ID: 35160777
What is your reasoning behind this answer? There is 28 GB available Only 20 GB is allocated to VM's so that leaves 8 GB for the Host OS with the Hyper-V Role. I don't see any reason for a page file. This is a HP G6 Series Server with two amd hexacore cpus, and two raid 10 configs with 14k SAS drives. Total cost was almost 8k and I want to get the max performance I can out of this server. So I'm wondering why your recommending I use such a large page file when I already have so much extra memory. Maybe I'm missing something... @remixedcat you have worked with hyper-v and vm's before in production right? Just wondering because you never know who is giving you the info here... Thank You very much for the help.
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by:remixedcat
ID: 35160888
I am mostly a VMware cat here. I have worked with hyper-v some in a testing environment. but all production was VMware mainly and I mostly work with the hosting industry so my solutions were geared towards that.
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Author Comment

by:gsco
ID: 35161046
So do you see any reasoning for a page file as long as there is plenty of extra physical memory? I cannot find anything on this besides the memory dump issue... What I am concerned with is the host os pagefile... I removed the page file/ reduced it to 800-1024 mb on all the guest vm's and for the past two days people have been telling me the performance has been better. I am thinking of removing the page file altogether now. But the host os I'm not sure about. It is using less than 400mb out of the 4-6gb I allocated. I think I can reduce disk i/o with the page file by removing the page file on the host and the guests now. This server hosts most of the infrastructure for 9 financial services companies. So if it goes wrong I will be in deep sh*t.. I wish I had a test environment but unfortunately I do not have the resources to replicate this kind of scenario.
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remixedcat earned 500 total points
ID: 35161057
ok well if it performs well in your case then I would remove the PF then. pay very close attention to the usage.
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Author Comment

by:gsco
ID: 35161063
BTW I would love to use citrix or vmware instead of hyper-v but its what I know and have read a lot on. I am wondering now do you see any BIG benefits using vmware or citrix solutions? Which ones/products? I can get the funds to switch to a different hypervisor but I need to present some reasons to upper management... If backup and live migration was included that would be a definite reason for us to switch...
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by:remixedcat
ID: 35161084
I know that most of the top hosting companies use Xen or VMWare. I don't see a lot use hyper-v. This will tell you a lot that you need to convince them. That industry is very demanding. This is why I never got into hyper-v that seriously since I know that it wouldn't  do me that much good in the hosting industry because very few use it.
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Author Comment

by:gsco
ID: 35161096
Is there a way I could contact you outside ee possibly? I am looking into the hosting industry also...
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by:remixedcat
ID: 35161128
remixedcat at live dot com is my email.

so what will become of this question?
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Author Comment

by:gsco
ID: 35161144
I am going to make another question just to get more opinions but instead of using the word virtual memory I am going to post it as: What should the size of the "page file" on my vm's be?

Point are being awarded to remixedcat. Thanks and I'll shoot you an email.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gsco
ID: 35161153
Great Response Time -Thank You
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by:remixedcat
ID: 35161158
You're welcome!
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