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VMWare ESXi 5.1 Running W2008r2 RDP and a Second DC

Posted on 2013-01-16
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Last Modified: 2013-02-28
Dear Experts,

Looking for some advice.

I'm brand new to ESXi and don't know how to allocate the resources for processors, memory etc.

I have a requirement for two new servers in my small Windows 2003 domain.

We need a second domain controller ( Windows 2008r2) and a Windows 2008r2 Remote desktop server (Terminal Server) we estimate around 20 remote users at any one time.

For hardware we have a spare HP PRoliant DL360 g7, please see below hardware :

2 x E5606 @ 2.13Ghz Intel Xeon
30gb ram
1 x Raid 5 Array with spare drive:800gb
4 Nics

So far I have installed the HP version of the ESXi 5.1, this includes the HP agents.

IS there anyone that can recommend how i should configure the processors and memory for best performance for these two new servers.  At the same time if there's anything special that i should also be doing.  I've carried out so much research and now need some solid advice from some experiences users.

If there's any thing else that you think i need to look at please shout.  

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:roger_patel
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LVL 120
ID: 38785098
Second domain controller  - 1 vCPU, 4GB RAM

Windows 2008r2 Remote desktop server (Terminal Server)  - 2 vCPU, 8GB - 12 GB RAM

with the Terminal Server, I would check performance, in stages, with 5 concurrent users, 10 concurrent users, and also ask what you users perception of performance is, and check performance of the server CPU and Memory.

HOW TO:  Performance Monitor vSphere 4.x or 5.0

Never get carried away with adding too many processors to VMs, because this can cause the VM to be slower.

Install VMware Tools, and use the VMXNET3 network interface, not the E1000 legacy interface, change it after installation.
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by:traoher
ID: 38785109
If you only need two vm, you got plenty of resources for them.

Your DC won't take much resources at all, so do 4 CPU (2 cores x 2 sockets) and 4 GB of ram.

Your RDC server will likely be hit the most;

Allocate 16 CPUs (4 cores x 4 sockets) and 16 GB of RAM; if that isn't enough, allow more RAM.

Things to remember:  CPU allocation is software, but RAM allocation is hard, so be careful.  What I meant is that if you allocate the CPU but that server isn't using the CPU, it will release the resources; not true for RAM.  This is probably why ESXi 5 is now license base on total RAM allocation now.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 38785137
you don't need 4 vCPUs for a DC, and you do not need 16 vCPUs for a Terminal Server!

allocate only sockets (cores are only allocated if you have licensing restrictions)

vSMP (virtual SMP) can affect virtual machine performance, when adding too many vCPUs to virtual machines that cannot use the vCPUs effectly, e.g. Servers than can use vSMP correctly :- SQL Server, Exchange Server.

This is true, many VMware Administrators, think adding lots of processors, will increase performance - wrong! (and because they can, they just go silly!). Sometimes there is confusion between cores and processors. But what we are adding is additional processors in the virtual machine.

So 4 vCPU, to the VM is a 4 Way SMP (Quad Processor Server), if you have Enterprise Plus license you can add 8, (and only if you have the correct OS License will the OS recognise them all).

If applications, can take advantage e.g. Exchange, SQL, adding additional processors, can/may increase performance.

So usual rule of thumb is try 1 vCPU, then try 2 vCPU, knock back to 1 vCPU if performance is affected. and only use vSMP if the VM can take advantage.

Example, VM with 4 vCPUs allocated!

My simple laymans explaination of the "scheduler!"

As you have assigned 4 vCPUs, to this VM, the VMware scheulder, has to wait until 4 cores are free and available, to do this, it has to pause the first cores, until the 4th is available, during this timeframe, the paused cores are not available for processes, this is my simplistic view, but bottom line is adding more vCPUs to a VM, may not give you the performance benefits you think, unless the VM, it's applications are optimised for additional vCPUs.

See here
http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10131

see here
http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/how-too-many-vcpus-can-negatively-affect-your-performance/

http://www.zdnet.com/virtual-cpus-the-overprovisioning-penalty-of-vcpu-to-pcpu-ratios-4010025185/

also there is a document here about the CPU scheduler

www.vmware.com/files/pdf/perf-vsphere-cpu_scheduler.pdf
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by:traoher
ID: 38785148
He is right, you don't need to allocate that much resources for either server, but if you are not running anything else, might as well assign them.
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LVL 120
ID: 38785169
@traoher, see my post Overallocation of vCPUs!
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Expert Comment

by:traoher
ID: 38785340
If I understood correctly, VMware had relaxed the "strict co-scheduling" in ESX 4, allowing vCPUs to progress individually and the start and stop is now per vCPU so the rest of the vCPU can continue processing.
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Expert Comment

by:david_IPSG
ID: 38785783
hanccocka hit this one right on the nose. I just recently read a case study about VM admins allocating unneeded resources to VM's. This can cause performance issues, I have seen it.
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