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Four virtual pc's on one

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 26, 2010 1:12:14 PM

i wish to run four virtual pc setups on one single desktop running Windows 7 64 bit ultimate ,

which processor should i upgrade to and what should be the optimum GB of RAM which i should install to get maximum performance?

More about : virtual

December 26, 2010 2:45:09 PM

Core2 or new and that depends on how much ram you're assigning each VPC
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a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2010 2:49:35 PM

Hello capital_one;
To get maximum performance fo each virtual machine I should think 8GB of RAM would be nearly ideal. You could do it with 4GB RAM, but you'd setup each virtual machine with a restricted amount of RAM. 512MB is the usual default RAM setting for the XP virtual machine.
A fast multi-threaded dual core CPU will do an excellent job, but if you have a choice of CPUs for a four virtual machine working enviroment you'll want to look at the quad core CPUs like the i7 860/i7 870 or better.
If you're getting ready to buy a new computer system - don't forget the new Sandy Bridge CPUs are due out in the next 30 days or so. Could be worth your while to check th em out.
Sandy Bridge CPUs: http://techreport.com/articles.x/19670
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December 26, 2010 4:12:37 PM

WR2 said:
Hello capital_one;
To get maximum performance fo each virtual machine


what about the guest operating system ? is it possible to install guest Win 7 64 bit on to the main host Win 7 64 bit ?
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December 26, 2010 4:48:40 PM

WR2 said:
Yes it is. XP, Vista or Win7 as explained here.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/req...

What will the guest machines be doing? What type of workloads?


as of now each virtual machine will run the same single application (theres a financial real time app from different vendors), however from four different providers.

where i will be testing incoming data on different test conditions. to see how they all(the four apps) behave to the same set of test conditions

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a b $ Windows 7
December 26, 2010 5:37:54 PM

I haven't seen anyone recommend anything less than 1GB per Win7 guest virtual machine.
Even though your workload on the guest machines looks to be very light you probably want to think about 6GB RAM as a baseline and 8GB if you don't have any budget restrictions.
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December 26, 2010 11:57:48 PM

WR2 said:
I haven't seen anyone recommend anything less than 1GB per Win7 guest virtual machine.
Even though your workload on the guest machines looks to be very light you probably want to think about 6GB RAM as a baseline and 8GB if you don't have any budget restrictions.

ok what about hard disk space, how much disk space should i allocate to each if i am thinking of Win 7 32 bit VMs?

and will i have to also download all those windows 7 updates on to each VM?
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December 27, 2010 3:52:58 AM

I'd say give each VM as much RAM as you can afford, 1GB doesn't go down well.

For a VM, cores matters. Try and obtain a Phenom II X6.

For each VM, allocate about 20GB + amount of space you intend to use for a program.

No, you don't need to download updates each time, simply download them as a file, then set a shared folder on the host which can access all the files, that'll save you some bandwidth.
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December 27, 2010 11:15:56 AM

amdfangirl said:
For a VM, cores matters. Try and obtain a Phenom II X6.

For each VM, allocate about 20GB + amount of space you intend to use for a program.

No, you don't need to download updates each time, simply download them as a file,


--> compared to phenom, how about a core i7 ,
--> why 20 GB?, i think win xp takes far far much less space, wont 5 to 10 GB suffice?
--> its one pain of a job to download each win update as a file and there are countless of them, through automatic updates i don't think they download as a file.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 27, 2010 2:29:24 PM

As far as disk space goes, it's safer to be overgenerous. Most virtualization software works with dynamically expanding disks. You can assign a size of, say, 30GB but only the space actually used will be allocated (this is done via what are called "sparse" files); thus there is no hit in allocating more space than is needed for the hard disk.

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a b $ Windows 7
December 27, 2010 2:42:02 PM

What you'll do is make a separate Win7 installation - your testing candidate. Do all the applicative updates and software installations to get a virtual machine candidate. Once you are satisfied with the installation you'll make an ISO image which you'd then use for each virtual machine you create. Update your testing candidate as necessary and create a new ISO image.

The basic size for a Win7 Pro 32bit ISO image is about 8~9GB before any user's programs/data are added. As for VM's disk size allocation you can let the size of your testing candidate ISO image guide you. ISO image size + 50% should work out OK.

With 4 VMs planned you should have their disk space allocations on a high performance HDD separate from the OS HDD. Disk I/O can be a major bottleneck when using multiple VMs.

Since you're not testing application performance the amount of physical RAM you use shouldn't be a major issue. You can certainly get by with 1GB per 32bit VM. You might vary one VM's RAM or disk allocation just to see if you have even a hint of a performance factor creeping around the edges of your testing results.

I think a i7 CPU would be ideal for what you plan to do.
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December 27, 2010 3:30:34 PM

Ijack said:
Most virtualization software works with dynamically expanding disks. You can assign a size of, say, 30GB but only the space actually used will be allocated (this is done via what are called "sparse" files); thus there is no hit in allocating more space than is needed for the hard disk.
does this 'sparsing' also happens with the allocated RAM too in a similar fashion ?
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a b $ Windows 7
December 27, 2010 7:14:10 PM

I'm afraid not. It would be nice if it did.
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December 28, 2010 1:02:16 AM

capital_one said:
--> compared to phenom, how about a core i7 ,
--> why 20 GB?, i think win xp takes far far much less space, wont 5 to 10 GB suffice?
--> its one pain of a job to download each win update as a file and there are countless of them, through automatic updates i don't think they download as a file.


Phenom II X6 just in case you want 6 VMs. Having a "real" core would be better than a HT "virtual core" Each VM can access their own core without waiting in line. Plus the Phenom is cheaper.
I forget what, but there's a application that lets you auto-download and save Windows update files, so you can burn them.
20GB, for future. Considering 500GB drives are practically the bare minimum, 20GB is nothing. Make is dynamic-expanding, and it'll only use the data the VM needs.
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December 28, 2010 12:27:14 PM

amdfangirl said:
I forget what, but there's a application that lets you auto-download and save Windows update files, so you can burn them.

20GB, for future. Considering 500GB drives are practically the bare minimum, 20GB is nothing. Make is dynamic-expanding, and it'll only use the data the VM needs.

-->an application really , which one is that , please tell me !!!
-->since i am using a SSD(solid state) as main boot disk, that was why i was thinking of giving VMs a share of SSD, which is only 64 GB,of which 25GB is remaning free as of now, i also have a 500 GB HDD SATA which i generally use to back up stationary files.
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December 29, 2010 1:47:16 AM

Look I saw it at a computer shop, thought it was awesome but I can't find it online. I really need to ask. I have honestly no idea.

Well, allocate as much as you can, disable system restore and move the pagefile to the secondary drive.
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December 30, 2010 3:24:55 PM

amdfangirl said:
Look I saw it at a computer shop, thought it was awesome but I can't find it online. I really need to ask. I have honestly no idea.
:ouch:  :(  :??: 
tell me the address of the shop please.
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December 30, 2010 3:27:04 PM

Best answer selected by capital_one.
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