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TomSerious

VMs loading programs very slow

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello!

 

We have a small HP server (ProLiant ML310e Gen8) in our office which is running 2 VMs (besides some other stuff).

 

Those VMs are very slow > the server only has

- old HDDs (2 x 2 TB in Raid 1) 

- Xeon E3-1220 V2

- 24 GB RAM (1600 MHz ?)

 

I upgraded one VM to Windows 10 some time ago, today I am upgrading the second VM from Win 7 to Win 10.

 

If I start Word i.e. in Task Manager under the Performance tier I can see:

CPU ~ 40%

RAM not max

Disk ! : pinned at 100% / average response time all over the place from 30ms to over 4 seconds

 

Anyone know how to improve the performance? Would a SSD upgrade help?

 

If you need more information, let me know.

 

Thank you!

 

Regards

Thomas


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Your whole issue is that you are using HDDs, SSDs would help a lot.

Your next bottlenech would be CPU, 4c4t is not a lot for 2 VMs.

 

But SSDs should be a night and day difference 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, The Benjamins said:

Your whole issue is that you are using HDDs, SSDs would help a lot.

Your next bottlenech would be CPU, 4c4t is not a lot for 2 VMs.

 

But SSDs should be a night and day difference 

Thanks that's what I thought too! 

Our "IT consultant" said SSDs would make no difference 😅😓😓😓

 

We think about upgrading in the near future anyways but to add a SSD which can be transfered to a new machine anyways can't hurt.


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21 minutes ago, TomSerious said:

old HDDs

That's your problem. SSDs should solve it.


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Usually when hosting VMs the pool will consist of several drives in a RAID10 or some 5/6 configuration. The VMs are basically drawing on one disk which is slow enough for one OS instance to use.

 

If a significant amount of storage isn't necessary 2x SSDs should help and be cheaper than forking out for a pool of HDDs (which is the other option). Look into the Intel DC/D3 series of SSDs. They work great as server SSDs.


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21 minutes ago, TomSerious said:

Thanks that's what I thought too! 

Our "IT consultant" said SSDs would make no difference 😅😓😓😓

 

We think about upgrading in the near future anyways but to add a SSD which can be transfered to a new machine anyways can't hurt.

How old is your IT consultant?

 

has he never seen the difference of a normal PC booting up on a SSD or HDD, its the same thing but with 2 VMs off the same array it is even slower for HDDs.

 

In Big file transfers/reads a SSD is about 10x faster, but in small file transfers/reads (like booting a OS) its about 100x faster. also SSDs have a far shorter seek time due to no physical moving parts.


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Have you over-provisioned the CPU on both VMs?  I would myself...and 2 SSD in raid1...if not worried about HP warranty I'd go with Samsung 860 Pro...I've used a single 850 Pro (over-priced) and it works like a dream compared to my 2 HDD in raid1...made it feel like a brand new machine, but it's a gen 7.  Think the increase in IOPS, not bandwidth, is what makes all the difference.  Also, are you monitoring ram usage from inside the VMs?  Might be they are trying to cache to the page file a lot...hence eating up all your IOPS?  In that case maybe increasing ram allocation might help?  

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how much RAM and CPU are allocated to each VM?

 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank you all!

 

Does it matter if the OS (Windows Server 2012 R2) is still on the Raid1 HDD array?

 

14 hours ago, Slayerking92 said:

how much RAM and CPU are allocated to each VM?

 

We have allocated 2 cores and 4GB of RAM per VM!

 

16 hours ago, Stu_Bear said:

Have you over-provisioned the CPU on both VMs?  I would myself...and 2 SSD in raid1...if not worried about HP warranty I'd go with Samsung 860 Pro...I've used a single 850 Pro (over-priced) and it works like a dream compared to my 2 HDD in raid1...made it feel like a brand new machine, but it's a gen 7.  Think the increase in IOPS, not bandwidth, is what makes all the difference.  Also, are you monitoring ram usage from inside the VMs?  Might be they are trying to cache to the page file a lot...hence eating up all your IOPS?  In that case maybe increasing ram allocation might help?  

With over-provisioned > you mean i.e. 4 cores per VM even though the Server only has 4 cores?

We will most definately get the HP drive since we need to have the Warranty and stuff.

RAM is not maxed out and they are not using "dynamic" RAM if that'S what you mean.

 

Following a Picture of the Taskmanager inside one of the VMs while starting MS Word, which takes about 10 seconds (the average response time maxed out at about 400ms):

 

image.png.e5e375674c2c82e4e537f7e47b6b4e6f.png


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I'd up the ram on each VM to 8gb....how many machines these days run Win 10 on 4gb?  I never use less than 3gb at anytime and can exceed 8gb on rare occasions at work...hence why I stole a stick of ram from a coworker's machine and upped mine to 16gb ;)  Yeah a 4c/4t cpu powering 2 VMs and a hypervisor of some kind...that could make for poor performance.  The ssd will help a ton...make it snappier.

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5 hours ago, TomSerious said:

 

 

With over-provisioned > you mean i.e. 4 cores per VM even though the Server only has 4 cores?

 

Yes, exceeding the sum of real cores.  The hypervisor should manage CPU usage depending on how it's setup.  If each VM has 4 cores assigned...and literally needs 4 cores to do some multitasking...and all 4 cores are free...then it can crunch through the tasks quickly.  That said it shouldn't degrade performance of either VM compared to what it is now...but will boost performance on the rare occasion lots of tasks are introduced.

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5 hours ago, TomSerious said:

 

Does it matter if the OS (Windows Server 2012 R2) is still on the Raid1 HDD array?

 

It can cause you are sharing all your limited IOPS with essentially 3 manchines...Win 2012 & 2 VMs.  In a perfect world you'd have 3 disks...one for each.  Me...I'd keep Win 2012 on a completely seperate raid from my VMs...just as a safety measure, but I'm sure you are backing stuff up a lot where as I am not.  Maybe keeping your old HDD raid1 and leaving Win 2012 on it...then migrate your VMs to the new SSD raid1 ?  I doubt Win 2012 is consuming many IOPS for itself, but rather for the VMs.  If you aren't rebooting Win 2012 often...leaving it on HDD raid1 shouldn't cause much, if any, performance issues.  Don't think it would cost you any headaches nor extra money to test it out.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 1/14/2020 at 3:25 PM, Stu_Bear said:

It can cause you are sharing all your limited IOPS with essentially 3 manchines...Win 2012 & 2 VMs.  In a perfect world you'd have 3 disks...one for each.  Me...I'd keep Win 2012 on a completely seperate raid from my VMs...just as a safety measure, but I'm sure you are backing stuff up a lot where as I am not.  Maybe keeping your old HDD raid1 and leaving Win 2012 on it...then migrate your VMs to the new SSD raid1 ?  I doubt Win 2012 is consuming many IOPS for itself, but rather for the VMs.  If you aren't rebooting Win 2012 often...leaving it on HDD raid1 shouldn't cause much, if any, performance issues.  Don't think it would cost you any headaches nor extra money to test it out.

Thanks for your input! 


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