The requirements of 2GB of RAM you are mentioning for VMWare are a joke. They are the minimum requirements to get things up and running. People who run virtual machines often, for software testing, for professional use, and for development, they load up their host machine with A LOT of RAM. They assign, to each machine, anywhere, at minimum, 4GB of RAM, especially if they're using it for real deal kind of operations.
But most of all, disk I/O is absolutely ruined under a virtual machine if you do not have a dedicated, physical disk and a high powered, multi-core CPU.
I will tell you the constraint is almost always hard disk and RAM for virtual machines. I can boot Windows 8 faster in VMWare than I can on my host system, because there is less hardware and less overhead. And because: Host
I am running G-SKILL 24GB DDR3 RAM, clock 666Mhz 9-9-9:24 timing 2:10 FSB to RAM ratio.
My host operating system is on a SATA-3 Samsung 830 Series SSD 512GB on the onboard Gigabyte controller.
I store all important documents on the host machine on another Crucial 128GB SATA-2 SSD on the Gigabyte controller.
I also run a Crucial C300 128GB SSD as a third drive for my host machine. (Gigabyte controller).
This equates to nearly 1TB of host alone that utilizes pagefile and all sorts of space. So I compartmentalized this for best practice and safety of my host OS. Virtual Machine
All virtual machines run on a RAID-0 array of 6x 128GB SATA-2 Crucial SSDs with >32MB cache on each drive.
They run on the on-board Intel RAID controller without problems and with Intel RST, if one becomes dislodged, I never lose the array because it is secondary.
I free up resources for the Intel controller because the host OS and other drives with most programs run on Gigabyte SATA-3.
The speed of this array is enormous. To give you an idea, there is 651.6MB/s read and 532.7/MB/s write sequential.
Comparing this to the one SATA3 OS SSD, sequential 359.0 read / 215.0 write. The random seek time is 5x less than the RAID-0 at 23MB/s vs. 125MB/s.
I can't make these numbers up. And this is with SSD. Now if I run, which I have, using a StarTech eSATA 4-port HD external enclosure.... if I run a regular drive, do you know what kind of sequential read I'll get? Its going to be around 60-80MB/s read and 50MB-60MB/s write. The random seek time will be around 5-10MB/s if lucky. It can be 1-2MB/s.
So thats the point. You need SSD. You need RAID. You also need a multi-core processor with hyperthreading, if possible. I use a Intel Core i7 Extreme 975 @ 3.33 Ghz. No overclocking needed.This gives me computing power now that the disk and RAM bottlenecks are gone. Running multiple VMs on my raid system is like they have their own computers. In development and in software QA, this is what modern software companies do. And my system is OLD. I built it to LAST. It is 4 years old. I also use a 4GB AMD Sapphire Radeon GeForce 6850.
Ultimately, this type of system is used for AutoCAD by architects, as well as other 3D modelling. I needed to encode videos fast. I needed to demo software fast. I needed to remote in fast. I have a Gbit ethernet and Internet because I need the files and resources on this system. This is not the forum server, this is my main system, and it has been used for all kinds of work. It eats virtual machines for breakfast. So I will tell you what you need here, and you should compute in confidence knowing this is definitely what you need if you want a fast, reliable, permanent virtual machine in 24 hour operation. Mostly this is RAM and disk I/O. But disk I/O only becomes a major factor when running multiple, simultaneous virtual machines. I can probably run 23 virtual machines simultaneously, each given 1GB of RAM, and they will run without latency, thats for sure. Your main problems:
- If you don't have SSDs get them. Get 2. Run the virtual machine(s) on the secondary SSD.
- For realistic, single, dedicated virtualization with one virtual machine online 24/7, have at least 8GB DDR3.
- Be prepared to assign 4GB DDR3 to this virtual machine. Assign two of your cores to the virtual machine. If this virtual machine is for real work, you want RAM and you want power. Windows is multi-core and designed to operate at peak efficiency with lots of RAM.
- Don't like slow visual rendering? Make sure you have at least as powerful a video card as I just mentioned. Its low-to-mid range now.
- Your virtual machine, at least with VMWare Workstation, will be just as fast as the host.
- It will still have limitations, but this day in age, those are very few. Your system will boot within 2-3 seconds.
- These recommendations are for professional, optimal virtual machine performance. Sure you can run it with one drive, with a little RAM, buts not going to be as fast or faster than the host. When I run a VM, it can write to disk faster than my host. It can never be faster in other areas, but it gets very close, to the point that its indiscernible.