John Sequeira


Monday, May 02, 2005
Joel on Software on VMware

We bought high-end, dual-Xeon Dell workstations with dual monitors and 2 GB of memory each (that's our new standard developer workstation) which will make it easy and fast to simulate the complete production environment on every intern's computer. It's probably overkill and you can run VMware happily on less pumped-up computers, but if you're simulating a network of three machines VMware definitely benefits from lots of RAM and CPUs.

I've got a similar vmware-tuned rig: dual athlon w/2g RAM, and I'm actually finding it to be overkill. VMWare Workstation 5 stole an important memory optimization from ESX and GSX server. It keeps a single copy of memory pages that are identical in different VM instances, so running three pristince copies of W2K eats up the RAM of just one copy (less if your host is running the same OS). I'm running an IIS instance with 384M and a SQL Server with the same, and task manager shows my total system memory (including host running emacs/firefox/word/thunderbird/vnc/logmein/prevx/spybot/radiouserland/etc) at 532Meg. With 5.0, I expect it'll be a long time before I tap into that second Gig of RAM.
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