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ESXi configuration - Installing multiple machines, how to configure vprocessors

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a DL380G6 server installed with ESXi and i want to install Windows Small Business Server 2011, Windows Server Standard 2008 R2 and a Windows 7 environment.
The server contains 2 quad cores processors.

But i always wonder how to setup the processors.

Some say, setup 1 vprocessor per machine, because ESXi will balance itself, some say you need to setup multiple cores in the virtual machine.

Could someone explain me what to do with this kind of setup?
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Question by:RemcoVi
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9 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
ianmellor earned 1000 total points
ID: 35179202
Hi,

You should start with one vCPU and increase if you see performance problems. You will max out your memory before you will max out the CPU. The more vCPU you add the more resource you use to virtualize them. Below is a link to the CPU scheduler document for  ESX 4.

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/perf-vsphere-cpu_scheduler.pdf

Hope this helps.  
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Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 1000 total points
ID: 35179769
Setting up 1 vCPU to begin with is indeed the way to go as mentioned above. The Resource Mgmt Guide explains this is more detail beginning on pg.15. If the app or server OS req's more vCPU, you should give the VM hosting the app and/or OS the amt of CPU it requires, but as a general rule, and per VMware, most of the time you start with 1 vCPU then increase if needed.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35179772
Forgot to give you the Guide :)
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_resource_mgmt.pdf

~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:RemcoVi
ID: 35180445
And about adding processors later on the installation or even later this year, that wouldn't be a problem? I thought Windows keeps in mind if the server contains 1 or more processors and adjusts his installation regarding this.

Or is this some weird fairytail?
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35180466
You can add vCPUs later. You power down the VM, modify the VM settings (CPUs), then power in back on. After logging in, Windows will have 'detected new hardware' and the VM will need to be rebooted. 90% of the time, when modifying my VMs with more vCPUs, I haven't had a problem. But, I have had a problem once or twice to where the VM (Windows) got corrupted. So, regardless, take a b/u of the VM before modifying the hardware (vCPUs).

~coolsport00
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:ianmellor
ID: 35180468
Hi,

You can add/remove vCPU's later at will. Just shutdown your VM and adjust the vCPU count. Once you have started the VM it will ask for a reboot because it has installed new hardware, reboot server and continue.

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:RemcoVi
ID: 35180497
How to add the vCPU's is not the problem, i thought i have read somewhere that when installing Windows OS on server with 1 CPU or on server with multiple CPU's, windows copies different files.

But @coolsport00 hasn't have any problems yet, so i think this statement is bull....

Thanks for the information
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35180506
I haven't heard that anywhere. What it sounds like you're referring to is OEM OS licensing, where the OS does detect hardware of the host the OS is on.

~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:ianmellor
ID: 35180557
Hi,

When you start the VM with the added vCPU windows installs a Multi-processor HAL file in windows. A clean install of windows with 1 x vCPU will have a uni-processor HAL file. That is what you read about.

Cheers,
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