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VMWare Workstation 9, 10

What is the Max physical RAM I can put in a host, that VMWWs will recognize and make available for me to use with VM's.   I know the Max ram of a single VM is 64GB, but can find any info on Max for VMWWs Host.

Example:  ESXi 5.0 max physical ram that can be recognized is 64GB.
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tech911
Asked:
tech911
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2 Solutions
 
mariofxpCommented:
On this page
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1014006
you will find all the information related to max memory available to VMs in vmware.

As far as I know, since vmware workstation is a type 2 hypervisor (hosted), it will use all memory he could, if the underlying operating system make it available. So, it's up to Windows or MacOSX or whatever recognizing all the ram you put in the system and make it available to vmware workstation.
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AbhilashBloggerCommented:
You are right about the VM's Max configurable memory.
The Host's memory totally depends on the type of OS you are running. If you are running Windows Desktop OS it will at max see 8GB of RAm if its a 64Bit OS.
On the other hand server OS's see greater amount of RAM.

If you are going for Higher amount of RAm you can buy a server that can run ESXi and install it on bare metal than using workstation. This optimizes the memory usage and also its free of cost if you are using Free Hypervisor.
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tech911Author Commented:
So, if I have a host, running Win7 Pro, 64 Bit, I can install 192 GB of RAM and the system will see it.

How much of the 192GB will VMWWS recognize and be able to user for VM's

That is the question I am asking.

Sorry for the confusion.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I do not know of any Windows 7 machine that can use 192Gb of memory. I have never seen one.

So answering your question in a different way, a VMware Guest can use all the memory your Windows 7 Host can provide less what the host needs (2 - 3 Gb in normal use).

I use VMware Workstation V10 on Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and I did use VMware Workstation V9 on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and that is how they both worked.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
the first comment should have answered your question
the table shows 64gb is the per-guest limit for an x64 host
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So, if I have a host, running Win7 Pro, 64 Bit, I can install 192 GB of RAM and the system will see it.

Yes, provided it's supported by the OS.

How much of the 192GB will VMWWS recognize and be able to user for VM's


VMware Workstation 9 &10 limits for a Virtual Machine are

64 GB for systems with 64-bit host operating systems
8 GB for systems with 32-bit host operating systems

as posted in the first post http:#a39916142

If you need to use more than this, I would suggest using the VMware Hypervisor

from this VMware Article

Virtual machine memory limits and hardware versions (1014006)
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Thomas RushCommented:
Side note to John Hurst, re:
> I do not know of any Windows 7 machine that can use 192Gb of memory. I have never seen one.

Take a look at the HP Z800 Professional Workstations, which support 16 16GB DIMMS for 192GB -- http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/getDocument.aspx?docname=c04110962 ... and dual processors to boot, all under Windows 7 (64-bit, obviously).
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I had not seen that. Of course, if you get a Workstation with that much memory, the 64Gb limit for a guest machine kicks in as noted before.

I use Lenovo Workstations or Laptops and they do not go that high.

@tech911  - do you think you could use that much memory?  I cannot image, so I ask.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
A little off topic, but we use 128GB development workstations, with Windows 7/8 for Development, it's very difficult to use ALL the RAM, unless for hosting VMs, so we use a RAM DRIVE for lightening fast results for virtual machines, and target development code, for faster compile times.

A RAM DRIVE is much faster than SSD.
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tech911Author Commented:
Great comments, thanks to all, so here is why I ask...

Most of our customers are 15 - 75 users, which usually requires somewhere between 1 and 4 servers, usually one is a SQL server that is a beast and eats memory..the more the better.

So our typical config would be to have a heavy duty host server running Win7 or Win 2K8 R2 or 2012
Install VMWare workstation
Then build out the the 1-4 VM Servers we need
so...

We need an Active Directory Server 8GB RAM
We need an Exchange Server 16GB RAM
We need a SQL Server 32GB RAM
We need a backup Server 16GB RAM

So 72GB of RAM + The HOST OS using 8GB or 16GB (RAM IS CHEAP)
So now you can see my interest

Furthermore...

In these smaller installs, we like backup to External USB Drive Array's.  Accessing a USB Device from ESXi is not practical, which then puts us in the position of needing a NAS of some type for backup, the cost of which would make the project significantly more expensive.

We have been using this config for the last 4 years and it is great from an ease of management point of view, you don't need vSphere, understanding drive space and memory allocation is much easier, as is accessing the Host's devices (DVD, USB, Etc...)

Don't get me wrong, ESXi is the superior performance and large scale tool for the job, but these installs are not terribly demanding on the CPU or the hardware, so in this case, ease of management trumphs sophistication and performance.

Hope that clears up some of context surrounding the question.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I interpreted an earlier comment from you that you want 192 Gb in a workstation. A beefy server running ESX can do what you want.
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tech911Author Commented:
Hey John,

Thanks for the feedback.
Think about it... even if it was just a basic computer (i7 or i5 processor, 3TB SATA HDD, Win 7 Pro) if it could natively support say 64GB of RAM, you could, in theory, install VMWare Workstation, create your VM's and allocate the required RAM to the VMs.

My question really revolved around the limitations of VMWare Workstation as a HOST environment platform.  Meaning, that IF the computer I was using could physically handle 64GB or 128GB of RAM and the OS I was using would also support the RAM and make it available, would there be any limitation of how much of that RAM VMWare workstation would see, from the comments, I don't think there is a limitation of what the HOST can see.  I am aware that a GUEST can only have 64GB of RAM in the VM, but that is not my issue.

This is in contrast to ESXi, where the most memory that ESXi will make available to create and run VM's is 64GB, if you need more than that, you have move up to a paid version of  (Also a more complicated version from a management point of view) version of ESX.  So with ESXi the most RAM you can have in a VM is 64GB because that is most RAM the ESXi will recognize, even if you put in 128GB only 64GB will be available to create and run your VM's

Does that help provide more context as to where/why I was asking?
Do you think there is a limitation on how much RAM VMWorkstation will make available?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Any machine (workstation or server) that can handle more than 64Gb of memory can allocate a max of 64Gb to a guest as has been noted prior.

I do not see many beefy workstations (but one was mentioned above).

However servers can do this and so a server here is recommended.

I only use ESX at clients, not ESXi, so I cannot comment on that part.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
By design VMware workstation will not use more than 64GB of RAM in a computer (even if the computer has 128GB/256GB.

The reason maybe, probably VMware would rather you use VMware vSphere Hypervisor as a hosting platorm, if you need to allocate more than 64GB of RAM to VMs!

This is in contrast to ESXi, where the most memory that ESXi will make available to create and run VM's is 64GB, if you need more than that, you have move up to a paid version of  (Also a more complicated version from a management point of view) version of ESX.  So with ESXi the most RAM you can have in a VM is 64GB because that is most RAM the ESXi will recognize, even if you put in 128GB only 64GB will be available to create and run your VM's

Your information is outdated here.

VMware have removed the memory limitation even on the FREE version of ESXi! "Other complicated versions" - your quote! of VMware vSphere just add availability and resilience functions! - which your customers may not want now, but they will in a few years!

So ESXi can use ALL the memory in the host! (1TB if you wanted).

see my EE Article, it shows the FREE version using 1TB of RAM!

HOW TO: What's New in VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.5 (ESXi 5.5)

I would highly recommend VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) or Microsoft Windows 2012 Hyper-V for want you want to do.

Building Hypervisors on workstations, and treating them as servers is a bad idea.

Servers are designed with RAID Arrays, and Dual Power Supplies at least which help with redundancy.
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tech911Author Commented:
John, thank you again for the comments.

Andrew -

Thanks for the comments and finally clearing up the VMware Workstation question.

Here is the rub, I have a client, we have 4 ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 SERVERS (Dual Xeon, 6 cores, 12MBCache, RAID-5, Dual Power Supplies, etc...) running in production, they have the 64GB limitation.

Sounds like we will need to upgrade those to ESXi 5.5 to get the amount of RAM we want to use (128GB)

Do you have any links or documentation on upgrading, is it difficult?

Thanks again,
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@Tech911

Your ESXi discussion is off topic in this thread....please post a new question, and myself or other Experts will gladly discuss the issues.

Thanks

Andy
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