VMWare Server on Windows... memory hog?

blargoeblargoe Self-Described HuguenotNC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
I put the free VMWare Server on my new x64 Vista PC at home remembering the good experiences I had with it several years ago when it first came out.

The 2.0 version seems to be grabbing way more memory from my host than it should though. I had 4 vm's with system memory of 384MB, 384MB, 512MB, and 1024MB repectively. After they were all fired up and running for a while, I came back to my computer and it was so slow to the point of usability. My memory was 100% utilized.

I used Process Explorer to look at the running executable and handles, and each instance of vmware-vmx.exe was using almost 50-75% more memory than the virtual machine that it was running was configured with! The machine with 1GB ram was actually using about 1.5GB of the host memory, and <700 with the other machines.

This just doesn't seem right at all.
IT guy since 12/00

Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
Working on: RHCE/Ansible
Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...

Comments

  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Posts: 1,940Inactive Imported Users
    Haven't run VMware Server on Vista, so not sure if that might be why. Runs fine on my W2K3 x64 virtualization server.
    Good luck to all!
  • kerbydoggkerbydogg Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I know that on ESX, there is a memory overhead. About 80-100MB per VM. And a minimum of 256MB for the VMkernel.

    For VMware Server I'm pretty sure there is a memory overhead and I think they should be close to ESX. But the numbers you posted seems a bit high.
    WIP: can't decide.
  • cnfuzzdcnfuzzd Posts: 208Member
    How much memory is installed on the host?

    What is the storage situation?


    John
    __________________________________________

    Work In Progress: BSCI, Sharepoint
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Oh sorry, I included that originally but erased it when I reworded my post and didn't put it back in.

    4GB RAM, on a decidated 250GB SATA drive, the VM's are 10GB or so each in size. My system should be able to handle it.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was running VMware server on a Windows 2008 box w/2GB RAM

    It ran slow but decent. Upgraded to 4GB RAM and now it is blazing fast

    It uses a lot of memory because you're sharing your RAM with all the virtual machines
  • shednikshednik Posts: 2,005Member
    I haven't run it on Vista, but it runs wonderfully on Linux Mint 5 x64 on a 2.8 Core2duo and 4 GB of ram. I've had 6-7 running with no real problem and I had all the *cool* effects of mint running. I did have it running on a slower machine an Athlon XP 2600 with 2.5 GB of ram and it ran like crap on windows xp, but when I had linux on a similar pc VMware ran perfectly fine. So I think it may be a windows thing icon_lol.gif
  • bwcartybwcarty Posts: 422Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I haven't tried VMware Server 2.0 on my Vista 64-bit box, but I've been running Workstation 6.5 on it with no problems for several months now. Have you tried installing an eval copy of Workstation to see if it behaves differently?
    Help eradicate blood cancers with a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Netwurk wrote: »
    It uses a lot of memory because you're sharing your RAM with all the virtual machines

    I understand how the memory sharing works, my point is that the individual vmware-vmx.exe processes on my host under which each VM runs is using what I see as excessively greater amount of memory than what that VM instance should be using. Each process on the Host that runs a VM is using a LOT more physical memory, per VM, than the configured memory on that VM.

    Maybe it's the norm, maybe it's a Vista thing... who knows. I might have to switch to Virtual PC for my home lab I guess.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • cnfuzzdcnfuzzd Posts: 208Member
    VMWare Server 2.0 is not supported on Vista. How exciting.

    I am not sure if that is the cause of your problem or not.

    Also, I am not sure if you can install 1.x on x64 without dancing through the signed driver hoops.

    I have been no help. Good Luck!

    John
    __________________________________________

    Work In Progress: BSCI, Sharepoint
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    You'll get a free copy of Workstation when you get your VCP, so try to hold out a couple more weeks ;)
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Posts: 1,940Inactive Imported Users
    cnfuzzd wrote: »
    VMWare Server 2.0 is not supported on Vista. How exciting.

    I am not sure if that is the cause of your problem or not.

    Also, I am not sure if you can install 1.x on x64 without dancing through the signed driver hoops.

    I have been no help. Good Luck!

    John
    It's never been supported on desktop versions of Microsoft OS's, including WinXP, but it ran on XP fine in my experience.

    Just FYI...
    Good luck to all!
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I never realized it wasn't supported on the desktop OS, like you I've used the 1.x version a lot in the past on XP. Sure enough, I RTFM and it's not really supported. I don't think that really means anything though other than don't expect to get support when it breaks. Other than it using a lot more memory than it should, everything is working fine.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    dynamik wrote: »
    You'll get a free copy of Workstation when you get your VCP, so try to hold out a couple more weeks ;)
    LOL

    Does the new version of Workstation use this @#$% web console too?
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    No (thankfully).
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Posts: 1,940Inactive Imported Users
    Gotta agree there. I'm not a big fan of the web console in Server 2.0. Making web access more robust I'm down with, but completely eliminate the "thick client" app that works so darn well? Not so much.
    Good luck to all!
  • shednikshednik Posts: 2,005Member
    Its not that bad :)
  • astorrsastorrs Posts: 3,139Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    shednik wrote: »
    Its not that bad :)
    Yes it is. :p

    Go use Workstation 6.5.1 when you get your VCP welcome letter. You'll never turn back ;)
  • astorrsastorrs Posts: 3,139Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    kerbydogg wrote: »
    I know that on ESX, there is a memory overhead. About 80-100MB per VM. And a minimum of 256MB for the VMkernel.

    For VMware Server I'm pretty sure there is a memory overhead and I think they should be close to ESX. But the numbers you posted seems a bit high.
    It can be way higher than what you list there. A 1vCPU/256MB guest will take 79MB or 174MB (32/64-bit), while a 4 vCPU/16GB guest will take 350MB/734MB of RAM. ;)

    Table 9.2 in the Resource Management Guide lists the memory overhead numbers. Memory overcommit technologies like TPS, and vmmemctl (balloon driver) can help compensate for this loss.

    The service console in ESX uses 272MB on average, the VMkernel uses less than that. ESXi would use a little more VMkernel memory than ESX but since it lacks a service console the overall footprint would be smaller.

    While I realize this thread is about VMware Server 2.0, I think the above illustrates that the memory overhead of virtualization is often assumed to be a trivial amount, it's not (but it's still worth it!).

    Try doing the same thing, but this time running VMware Workstation and see if the system settles down a bit, it's likely a problem with Vista64 and VS 2.0.
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    You're already using over 2GB without including any overhead. Vista will want around 1-2GB by itself. Once you've added in the VM overhead and whatever else you're doing at the same time, you don't really have that much free memory left.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I didn't realize the overhead could get to be that high astorrs (I'm running ESX servers at work so it's certainly relevant to me)... I'll take a look at that link you shared.

    Thanks
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    tiersten wrote: »
    You're already using over 2GB without including any overhead. Vista will want around 1-2GB by itself. Once you've added in the VM overhead and whatever else you're doing at the same time, you don't really have that much free memory left.

    Actually, no. My Vista install is only using about 900MB when I have VM server turned off.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • astorrsastorrs Posts: 3,139Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    Actually, no. My Vista install is only using about 900MB when I have VM server turned off.
    Exactly people look at taskmgr and see that the amount of free memory is really low, that's because Vista is more efficient than XP at using memory. It's a good user of cache - why not cache stuff in memory if you have the space...

    ASP.NET worked the same way and everyone complained that it was a dog and consumed memory like there was no tomorrow... when in reality it was just making use of caching.

    My laptop currently has 2GB of memory with 59MB free... but 1029MB of that is cached, hence I actually have ~1.1GB of memory available! icon_thumright.gif
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Server 2.0 is not the way to go, at least not yet IMO

    I use 1.6 and it runs great on 2008

    2008 is the server version of Vista, and I know how to configure it (at least for my home lab), so your results may vary

    I don't use Vista, as I consider it bloatware. My workstations all run XP, 2000, or Linux
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Posts: 1,940Inactive Imported Users
    astorrs wrote: »
    Exactly people look at taskmgr and see that the amount of free memory is really low, that's because Vista is more efficient than XP at using memory. It's a good user of cache - why not cache stuff in memory if you have the space...

    ASP.NET worked the same way and everyone complained that it was a dog and consumed memory like there was no tomorrow... when in reality it was just making use of caching.

    My laptop currently has 2GB of memory with 59MB free... but 1029MB of that is cached, hence I actually have ~1.1GB of memory available! icon_thumright.gif

    +1 for SuperFetch!
    Good luck to all!
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    blargoe wrote: »
    Actually, no. My Vista install is only using about 900MB when I have VM server turned off.
    I did say 1-2GB :P My Vista install uses around 1.2GB and thats not including the massive cache.
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