Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tuning my virtual machines

I do a lot of demos of MOSS to clients, and have a pair of VMWare virtual machines with lots of software installed including Windows 2003 Server, Exchange 2003, LCS, MOSS, SQL Server, Office 2007, Visual Studio 2005, Outlook 2007,Sharepoint Designer, Office Communicator, Groove etc.

I have been having a lot of performance problems with them recently, they seem to be getting 'too big'. The VMs total about 26GB now....

I spent some time today 'tuning' them and have dramatically improved the performance of these so they are now quite usable again.

Some of the things I have done are;

Looked at the document on the VMWare site about Performance Tuning VMWare - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/WS6_Performance_Tuning_and_Benchmarking.pdf

From this, I reconfigured my VMs to use a single processor (I have a dual core machine), reduced the amount of RAM allocated to the main VM to 1640MB, changed the priority of the VMs so that the Domain Controller VM with Exchange and LCS runs with Low priority and the main MOSS VM runs with High priority (when input grabbed). I have also backed up and shrunk all of the databases in SQL.

One of the biggest improvements comes from some advice from one of my colleagues – David Marsh – who suggested turning on IIS compression. This has made a huge improvement to the performance of SharePoint as the page sizes have reduced dramatically.

In addition to all of these things, I have turned on Disk caching and Page Output caching in SharePoint 2007.

My VMs seem to be humming along nicely at the moment and I hope it stays that way.

(I run a Lenovo T60p, dual core with a 100GB 7200 RPM drive, 3GB of RAM with Vista as the host operating system.)

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