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Adding Memory and CPU to Windows 7 VM

Posted on 2013-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-23
Adding Memory and CPU to Windows 7 VM

I have windows 7 VMs 8GB RAM, 18GHZ, that run Excel Spreadsheets. They consume a lot of resources. I am trying to add more RAM to them through Vsphere Client, but when I select Memory in Edit Settings of the VM, I cannot add memory ,it is grayed out.
Does that mean I have to shutdown the VM in order to add memory?

Thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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17 Comments
 
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by:djcanter
djcanter earned 143 total points
ID: 39639496
Yes, you must power down the vm to change ram and processor specs.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39639499
I thought Hot Add and hot plug is supported in vsphere 5.1
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 214 total points
ID: 39639501
Yes, you must shutdown the VM, Windows 7 does not support the Hot Adding of Memory or CPU.

I would recommend Windows 7 64 bit, 2 vCPU and 8 GB of RAM.

Windows 2008, 2008 R2 and later support Hot Plug Memory and CPU, and then ONLY if enabled.

see here

VMware KB: Support for Hot Add Memory and Hot Add vCPU
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:djcanter
ID: 39639505
it may be  supported, but is it licensed ?  is this free vsphere ?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 214 total points
ID: 39639506
Windows 7 DOES NOT support Hot Plug Memory or CPU, and if it did, it needs to be enabled!

also see these tests here

http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php/2009/05/10/vsphere-memory-hot-add-cpu-hot-plug/
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by:djcanter
djcanter earned 143 total points
ID: 39639523
hanccocka, i was referring to vsphere supporting hot-plug not the WIN 7 OS.
Your original answer is concise and correct.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39639672
I shut it down and gave it:
16GB(16565MB) RAM and 10vCPU (26590MHZ)

I am afraid I gave it too much
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LVL 121
ID: 39639942
You may find your version of Windows 7 does not support more than 1 or 2 CPUs. So you have oversubsribed your VM, which can cause performance issues to the VM and Host.

@jskfan you may want to read the following:-

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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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39640161
I will see if performance is still an issue , i will decrease CPU. what about RAM I gave it 16GB
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39640185
I guess low performance is caused by disk I/O
at least by looking at the charts (Disk/RAM/CPU)
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39640187
cpudiskmemory
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LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 214 total points
ID: 39640927
Disk performance and I/O can be a factor

HOW TO:  Performance Monitor vSphere 4.x or 5.0
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:compdigit44
compdigit44 earned 143 total points
ID: 39645679
I know I am late to this conversation but I have the following questions.

1) What type of storage are you using on your host? Local, SAN etc..
2) How many VM share the same datastore?
3) Are other VM on the same host & data store experiencing performance issues?

instead of keeping throughing more resources at the VM, you should try to figure out why or what is causing the VM to consume a high level of resources.

1) How is the overall memory usage on the host?
2) Does the Vm run a specific applicatoin or is used as a general purpose desktop?
3) Is the VM slow all of the time or specific times?
4) Is AV running on the VM or another security application.
5) On the VM have you tried to run a Datacollect set to chart the VM's performance over a 15 - 30 minutes time period?
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39647924
The only VM which slow in the Resource pool.
it runs Excel, huge data.
AV is on all VMs

I wonder if Excel is recommended to be installed on physical machine instead of VM.
I have heard before that Databases Application as well as Excel,MSAccess have High disk I/O, and they need to be installed on physical box…
However we have Exchange 2010 infrastructure and it is installed on VMware, and it runs smooth. Exchange also uses Databases as far as I am concern…but works fine..

The next thing that I might think about is increasing Virtual Memory…?
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LVL 121
ID: 39647962
Workstations can use more resources!

It's pagefile (virtual memory should be set to automatic).

Try 2vCPU and 8GB RAM.

Is it just Excel is slow, and what do you mean by slow?
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:compdigit44
compdigit44 earned 143 total points
ID: 39648225
What type of storage are you using? Do all VM's in the resource pool share the same data store.

What version of Excel are you using? Check out the following link and give it a try. Make sure you take a snapshot of the VM before each test.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/3ac26a70-8db5-4e44-ba2c-e217cc5ae92c/excel-2010-high-memory-usage?forum=excel
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 39671644
Thank you
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