Getting Tail Kicking Performance Out of Virtual PC
So there are plenty of posts around the web about how to get the best performance out of Virtual Machines. I thought I’d jot down what I do. I use VMs mostly for running training and demos- so my usage approach is optimized that way.
First let me say I am a Virtual PC guy. I’ve tried VMWare, I’ve tried Hyper-V, I’ve tried Virtual Server 2005 R2. In the end I just find VPC 2007 SP1 the best balance of performance and convenience. I use VMs mostly for presenting and I do so off a less than uber grunty machine- I run my VMs on a Lenovo x61t Notebook- it’s not the fastest machine in the world but it is tiny, light and versatile- all grat for regular travellers like me. My Vista Index looks like this
You’ll note I’ve invested in the important things- 300GB 7200RPM HDD and 4GB of RAM. Despite only being a 1.6Ghz Processor it still gets a 4.5.
Anyway, I digress. So here’s how I run my VPCs.
I do some basic Host machine tweaks per: http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?id=840193
Basically this is just configuring my Virus Scanner (CA eTrust) to ignore VPC and my VHD and other related files.
I follow some of the guest tweaks that Andrew Connell has collated here.
My key secret is my drive configuration.
I put my VHDs onto a fast Flash key. I’ve got a 32GB Patriot XT and I just got an OCZ ATV 32GB. Both are fast reading drives at about 30 Megabytes per Second..
I then configure my VMC so that the *.vmc file is on my primary HDD spindle (the 7200RPM drive above) and I turn on Undo disks. This means that all the write traffic is on the 7200RPM platter and the read access is split between this main drive and the thumb drive. The result is great performance. I’ll probably swap my primary drive to an SSD later this year which will probably mean a bit of a rethink.
YMMV.. but this works well for me.
.NET | Windows 7even|Friday, March 06, 2009 7:28:36 AM UTC||