OK here’s a cheap way to speed up VMware Workstation VMs whilst limited by the amount of memory your computer can take or even the 4GB limit posed by 32bit Windows operating systems.
The answer is simple providing you use Vista or Windows 7: Purchase a 4GB ReadyBoost USB stick.
ReadyBoost is a component of Microsoft Windows, first introduced with Windows Vista in 2006 and also included with Windows 7. It works by using flash memory, USB 2.0 drive, SD card, CompactFlash or any kind of portable flash mass storage system as a drive for disk cache and virtual memory.
Using ReadyBoost-capable flash memory for caching allows Windows Vista/7 to service random disk reads with performance that is typically 80-100 times faster than random reads from traditional hard drives. This caching applies to all disk content, not just the page file or system DLLs. Flash devices typically are slower than a hard disk for sequential I/O so, to maximize performance, ReadyBoost includes logic that recognizes large, sequential read requests and has the hard disk service these requests.
When a compatible device is plugged in, the Windows AutoPlay dialog offers an additional option to use the flash drive to speed up the system; an additional “ReadyBoost” tab is added to the drive’s properties dialog where the amount of space to be used can be configured. 250 MB to 4 GB of flash memory can be assigned. ReadyBoost encrypts, with AES-128, and compresses all data that is placed on the flash device; Microsoft has stated that a 2:1 compression ratio is typical, so that a 4 GB cache could contain upwards of 8 GB of data.
Under the preferences/memory settings of VMware Workstation make sure you select “Allow some virtual memory to be swapped”. Normally to enhance performance in VMware Workstation you’d select “Fit all virtual memory in reserved host RAM” but when using Readyboost swapping occurs a lot faster and it means we get the added bonus of additional memory to use. So not only is it quicker we can now fire up more VMs.
I was going to write a book on VDI at one point but myself and the other co-authors got overwhelmed with work so it’s come to a standstill. So I decided to blog some of my material and one of the sections I wrote was demonstrating how to automate windows installation.
First of all let’s not get this confused with automating the deployment of VDI desktops, you should use virtual machine templates to do that. But to create a template in the first place you need to prepare an operating system. I can show you how to reduce the time needed to perform this task if it’s something that is repeated often.
Click Here > Automate Windows Installs (2949 downloads)
This week we picked up on a potential problem with VDM creating new VMs in AD and placing them in the Computers OU which meant without third party intervention we would have to create a GPO on that OU which is messy, well I have a solution. You can use standard sysprep inf files as customisation specs in VC…Please review this document from Chris Skinner.