Windows VM is slow

Please help me to resolve this issue. I provisioned 4 Windows XP VMs on a ESXi server to bunch of users. Subsequently I received complaints saying that the Server performance is slow. To check the system performance, I used a benchmark tool " Novabench" and found the Drive access speed for VMware VM is very slow, when compare to a normal Windows PC. I tried few options by adjusting the share value and by making it High, but it didn't result in any performance improvement.

FYI, the VMware tools have been properly installed.

Please let me know what could be the problem and how to correct it. Please let me know if you need more information. Hereby I have attached screenshot of VM and the Novabench benchmark results. In the benchmark results, you can see the Drive write speed for VMware VM is very slow when compare to Normal Windows PC.

Thankyou. Guest OF screenshot     Benchmark result of VMware VM Benchmark result for Normal Windows PC
ashsysadAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, with a single 300GB SAS, 15k which can only provide approx 120 IOPS this is to be expected.

For top performing read and write performance on the datastore, you need more disks, more disks = more spindles = faster performance = more IOPS. Also remember that you also have the "Hypervisor" between the Virtual Machine and the datastore.

just as an example of 5,400 rpm SATA disks, not on a particular fast system

two disks - 84.5 MB/s Write,  150 MB/s Read
four disks - 196 MB/s Write, 276 MB/s Read
eight disks - 212 MB/s Write,  287 MB/s Read

Test with CrystaldiskMark
http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-e.html
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What underlying datastore are the virtual machines stored on?

What type of RAID, Type of disks?

I've also noticed that you've allocated 4 Processors and 10GB of memory to your XP Workstation, is there a need for 4 processors, multiple vSMP can cause a virtual machine to go slower, because of the scheduling.

The general rule is to start with 1 Processor, and add more if required, do not just add processors because you can!
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
I'm using the Local datastore  (No external storage are attached to this server).  Please look at the below screenshot. I haven't chosen any RAID.  I added more processors and Memory, just to see if it is improving the Disk write performance. For rest all the Guest OS, I have assigned just 1 vCPU and 1GB Virtual Memory.



 Local datastore details
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, I understand you are using a local datastore, but what is it?

RAID, How Many Disks, SAS or SATA, 7.2k, 10k, 15k?
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
It is just one 300 GB SAS disk, speed 15K.  No RAID stuff configured.
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
Allright, thanks for your suggestions.  As you said, I will go with more Disks to improve the Disk R/W performance.  Thanks for your time answering me.
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
Thankyou !
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems, also if using HP Server, ensure you have the optional Battery Backup Write Cache module (BBWC), and enabled and configured as 75% write, 25% read.
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
FYI, The server what we have is a product from Cisco known as UCS - Unified Computing System. I have very less knowledge about this Server type. I read that Cisco designed this H/W specifically for Virtualized or Cloud-computing environment.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, we know the UCS range!
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