Configuration best practices for Virtual RDS server hosted on ESXi host.

We are planning to deploy new virtual RDS servers on ESXi hosts. The operating system of the RDS servers will be Windows Server 2008 R2. Our aim is to offer the best performance possible to our users. Users will mostly use software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, outlook, adobe reader and an internal ERP system. We plan to accommodate approximately 25 users per RDS server.

What are the best practices for the VMs configuration:

1. Number of CPUs.
2. How do we break the number of CPU sockets vs number of CPU cores for best performance?
3. Is there any relation between the amount of RAM of the VM and the no. of CPUs of the VM?
4. Is there a maximum number of users that should be accommodated on each RDS server based on your suggested configuration?

Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. We assign 2 to 4 vCPUs per Server, 16GB RAM (fast SAS 15k disks or SSD)

2. Allocate sockets to the VM, not cores. Cores is only useful for licensing. So allocate virtual sockets.

3. We have found in testing that the bottelneck is CPU, and you will start to get poor performance before you use all the memory in the VM.

4. We have found the sweet spot to be 10-15 concurrent users, at which time, we deploy another RDS server, and have a cluster, or we switch to a physical server, which can support more users, e.g. 45-70 concurrent, with a similar specification, with RAM and CPU.

5. Test your server, by 5 ramping up users in multiples of 5, and you will find the sweet spot as to performance, concurrency, and users acceptance.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
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