20 Virtual machines on vmware

Posted on 2014-04-22
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Lets say I wanted to setup a home lab using VMware (rackmount or any other server) to host approx 20 virtual machines, what kind of setup would I need?

at the moment I have an 8 gig dell power edge 1950 with 2 processors I think..... I want to install sccm 2012, sql , scom 2012 - whole mini corporate infrastructure!!!!!!!!!!!
Question by:Ikky786
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 40016750
for setting up a lab of all 2012 series OS and application servers, the 8G RAM seems not sufficient for runnig most or all VMs at the same time.

you do need large memory and fast storage. try at least 64 GB RAM and 1TB SSD.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Shaik M. Sajid
ID: 40016849
the present configuration is sufficient as per requirements mentioned in the VM host Hardware requirements.

it's depends up on how many vm you will run at a time online...

for example about the memory u can easily calculate on the base machine or host machine u should have atleast 1 gb, and assigned memory to Vm's .. and assigned processors to vms...

for example u have 4 core processors x 2 = 8 cores

u assigned 7 vm's each core...and left 8th core for the host machine...  as well as ram


it's Ok

if u want to assign more than avail .. i.e u can shut down the host and created another host... vise versa... u can create but it'll be heavy to get performance ... and it may be crash...

so hardware sizing is very important...

all the best
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 40016855
> u assigned 7 vm's each core...

are you able to assign one VM to use a specific core of your CPU in VMware? i am afraird you can't do that, you can SUMULATE (not assign) multiple cores for a VM, but you can't assign one or more specific cores to a VM.
Portable, direct connect server access

The ATEN CV211 connects a laptop directly to any server allowing you instant access to perform data maintenance and local operations, for quick troubleshooting, updating, service and repair.

LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 40016914
First of all check with the VMware "Hardware Compatibility List" whether your server is supported. It looks as if you need a PowerEdge 1950-III for VMware ESXi 5.5, while for older VMware versions (5.1) you can also use the normal PowerEdge 1950 (without the -III).

As already has been mentioned, you will need to add RAM. Generally you need as much RAM for your host as the separate hardware would need for running the physical servers you want to run simultaneously. So check the minimum requirements of all the OS's you want to run at the same time. The ESXi host itself hardly needs any RAM (+/- 32MB), not "at least 1GB" as has been mentioned above,

Get a USB stick to install ESXi to (or an SD card). many Servers include an internal USB port or SD card reader just for that.

You also won't need SSD disks, that's too expensive just for a test environment, Standard Server disks will do fine. But make sure you have enough capacity for all your VM's.
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

garycase earned 125 total points
ID: 40016977
To really answer your question you need to be more specific.

For example, I have about 40 VM's ... just about every incarnation of Windows plus a few with multiple configurations; plus several Linux VM's; plus some old DOS systems.   HOWEVER, I rarely use most of these -- and never have more than 3-4 running at once.

If I wanted to run all of them at the same the the hardware requirements would be FAR different.

From your initial description it sounded like you want to run quite a few at once ... to essentially emulate a small corporate infrastructure.    That will require far more than 8GB of RAM ... and to get good performance you'll likely want a high-end dual processor system.

But without more specifics, it's simply guesswork to speculate on just what you need to run these all with reasonable performance.
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

bbao earned 125 total points
ID: 40017098
let's say the author does need to run 20 VMs simultaneously for whatever reasons.

as nowadays all MS 2012 series servers, including Windows 2012 and heaps of application servers such as SCCM 2012, SCOM 2012 and SQL 2012, need 2 GB as a practically minimum memory requirement. hence 40 GB memory MIGHT be required. the reason of saying 'might' is because latest VMware technologies now allow sharing memory across active VMs, therefore running 20 VMs does not actually need 2 x 20 = 40GB RAM to be allocated.

but in a real world, some VMs do need more RAM for their services to be accessed or shared by other servers, e.g. SQL services may be accessed by all S**M 2012 servers, so 2GB is obviously not sufficient.

IMHO, SSD is reuqired for such as a lab environment running 20 VMs simultaneously, because the disk storing the  VMs will be very busy in responding the activities of the VMs. althoughit is only a lab for testing or demonstration, disk will still be a major bottleneck due to physics limitations of traditional HD in term of track seeking ,space addressing, file writing and reading.therefore, running VMs on SSD can siginificantly improve performance in such a scenario.

i personally have such as an environment at home: VMware running on 64 GB RAM and SSD. it runs beautifully. :-)
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40017110
On such a server he'll be using several disks in RAID arrays, so the disks shouldn't be that much of a bottleneck even for several VM's running simultaneously. Besides, SSD's for so many VM's would require pretty large SSD's, and those are still very expensive. In a testing environment where data redundancy isn't that important, you could even use RAID 0 to get optimal performance.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 40017129
> using several disks in RAID arrays

i guess hardware RAID0/5 or even SAN could be more expensive than single SSD for a home user? :)
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40017158
It's a Dell PowerEdge server with RAID controller, he probably already has some disks with it.

Expert Comment

ID: 40017345
You need Enough memory to run the host operating system


memory required for EACH guest operating system running at the same time

This includes memory for applications that are running on host system
and on the guest systems.

If you were to run several Virtual Linux machines, or several Windows machines, look at the memory suggested for each virtual OS, plus the suggested memory for the hosting machine.

Every VM uses memory, the host uses it.

Assume minimum 4 GB for the host
plus 1 GB min for each guest (VM) x 20 = 20 GB

Total of 24 GB. If your guest VMs need 1.5 or 2 GB each, factor that in as well.

Hope this helps.

LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40017395
As I mentioned earlier, ESXi requires only very little RAM, something around 32MB, which is in no way close to 1GB or the 4GB you mention now. You can safely say that what the host uses is irrelevant compared to the VM's, and you don't have to take it into account.

Other HyperVisors may need more, like Hyper-V, but not ESXi.
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Seth Simmons earned 125 total points
ID: 40017605

the present configuration is sufficient as per requirements mentioned in the VM host Hardware requirements.

it was sufficient nearly 10 years ago when that article was written


I would look at the system requirements for each application you want to run and base your capacity plan on that.  Clearly your dell server is insufficient to handle that.

Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager

System Requirements for System Center 2012 - Operations Manager

Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2012

Featured Post

MS Dynamics Made Instantly Simpler

Make Your Microsoft Dynamics Investment Count  & Drastically Decrease Training Time by Providing Intuitive Step-By-Step WalkThru Tutorials.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

While rebooting windows server 2003 server , it's showing "active directory rebuilding indices please wait" at startup. It took a little while for this process to complete and once we logged on not all the services were started so another reboot is …
In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Perform a Physical to Virtual (P2V) Conversion the easy way from a computer backup (image).
This Micro Tutorial will give you a basic overview of Windows DVD Burner through its features and interface. This will be demonstrated using Windows 7 operating system.
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

739 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question