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supprteng

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vmware slowness

I have a HP DL385 G6 with 1.8TB (5 7.2K 500GB SATA drives, RAID 5) storage, 16GB RAM, 1 AMD 6 Core processor running VMWare VSphere 4.  I am running Local Attached Storage (RAID Controller is a P410) with 6 virtual machines (2 DC, 1 file server, proxy server, LiveCom, and sharepoint).  The VMs are allocated about 10GB of RAM and am using about 800GB of storage.  VMs are assigned 1 - 4 CPUs based on the server.  I have 2 NICs connected to the network.  

My users (80ish) login to Windows 2003 terminal servers (Quad Processor, 8GB RAM) utilizing roaming profiles.  The terminal servers have been recently reinstalled from scratch.  

My network is running Gigabit at the servers with the desktops running 100/1000.

Prior to the rebuild, we have been experiencing freezes on the terminal servers when accessing Excel spreadsheets, searching for files, writing/replying to emails, etc.  It was working fine, then the delays just started occuring, somewhat fairly frequently.  Nothing had changed at that point.  For fun, I defragged the file server, didn't have any affect.  Looking for any suggestions on what may be causing the delays.
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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I would start with assigning 2 vCPUs only to the terminal servers, use 4GB of RAM, reboot nightly, and use the VMXNET3 interface.

If you find, you have high CPU with 2 vCPU and 4GB RAM, increase the number of Terminal Servers, e.g. Scale out, and increase more in the farm.

I would anticipate you would need approx 4-5 Terminal Servers to support your 80 users, maybe 6.

also check roaming profile sizes, being copied to and off the servers.
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supprteng

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The terminal servers are physical machines, I have 3 of them.  CPU utilization is at 30%, 5GB RAM available, 100GB HD available (3 drives running RAID 5).

Roaming profiles range in size from 570MB to 10MB with the vast majority at or below 50MB.
I need more information on what is where, but as a quick guess, i'd say your 500g 7200 rpm drives in raid 5 are the bottleneck.

You could get 6x 600GB 15k drives for $380 each and put them in raid 10 for 1.8TB usable.
Note that raid 10 performance would be far superior to raid 5 performance, and, the 15k rpm drives would obviously be faster than the 7.2k rpm drives you are using.
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vmware was starving for memory.  doubled the memory on the server (which doubled the amount vmware uses) and significantly improving matters.  not perfect but much liveable.