Does SSD drive increase performance when using Vmware or GNS3

Posted on 2014-07-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-07-23
I would like to know whether a laptop like the one advertised in the link below, with RAM upgrade to 32 GB will have the same performance as if it had an SSD drive ?

the Specs for the laptop in the Link below, does not specify the number of processors it has. if it can be expanded to 32GB , does that mean it got to be a quad core processor ?

The purpose of selecting this laptop is to install Vmware workstation and few VMs on it as well as using GNS3 to run few routers on it. After upgrading the RAM to 32 GB, would that become very fast ? I know that it depends on how many VMs and Routers will be running on it…but just want an approximate idea about how fast it will be…

I am sure there are Vmware and Cisco Experts out there that use their Laptops to set up Vmware and Cisco LABs.

Thank you

Question by:jskfan
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Assisted Solution

jhyiesla earned 500 total points
ID: 40211932
No unless you make the RAM a RAMDISK and store it all there, which probably won't work since the RD will disappear any time you shut down the laptop.

That amount of RAM will help the VMs to run better than a lower amour because you can run more processes in RAM without it having to page out to disk. But if you're. looking for overall performance for the who environment an SSD should provide you with better performance.

RAM is where the OS and apps do their thing, but they still need to go back to the disk as well and a spinning disk will always be slower than SSD.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 40211965
VMware virtual machines do a lot of disk I/O and so using an SSD to hold virtual machines will subject the SSD to a lot of write cycles. Be sure it is a commercial SSD. However, yes, it will be faster as noted above.

I do not think a CPU must be quad core to have 32Gb of memory (just a 64-bit CPU). But a good CPU today will be quad core.

Once stuff is loaded into memory, adding memory will not make things any faster. In the case of virtual machines, each machine needs memory allocated so having lots of memory allows lots of machines.
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Assisted Solution

rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40212100
The i7 of that PC is a Quad core CPU. But the number of cores makes no difference to the amount of RAM you can use. The amount of RAM, as thinkpads' has mentioned above, limits the number of VM's you can run at the same time, it doesn't necessarily increase performance. Below are the specs of the CPU:


Your bottleneck will probably be the disk, and an SSD will get you better performance, but their sizes are still limited, or very expensive. Remember that each VM will need the same amount of space as they would on physical hardware.

Servers use several Physical disks in RAID arrays, and the VM's are distributed on those arrays, this increases the throughput. With Laptops you are limited in the number of disks you can install, as they just don't have enough room. So you just won't be able to run too many VM's simultaneously without performance loss, so I don't really think that you need the 32 GB RAM...
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Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40212136
Disk Performance will not be the same, Rotational Magnetic HDD have latency, because of the disk, SSDs have no latency so are faster and peform better, they have more IOPS, OS load faster, and operations are faster.

As for virtualisation, and VMDKs, you want as much performance as possible.

We use laptops, with SSDs, and we use laptops with RAMDISKS, where we convert the RAM into a super fast RAM DISK, and then stuff the VMDK into a RAM disk.

We host multiple VMs onto laptops, but we now also use the CLOUD for Labs, VMware Hybrid Cloud and Windows Azure.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40214288
Thank you Guys!!
LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40214340
@jskfan - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.

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