How to improve Virtual Server Performance

Author:

Yuval Sinay

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SUMMARY

The following article will help you improve Virtual Server Performance.

Abstract

Virtual Server provides an excellent solution for many companies today.
To "get more with less" the following article will provide you with guidelines how to improve
Virtual Server so that you can load more applications/users on the same hardware,
without the need to buy extra hardware.

How to improve Windows Virtual Server Performance

 
Recommended Server Specification:
 
  1. Dual - Quad CPU's with Quad Core and Virtualization Technology (VT) support.
  2. Memory - 8-32 GB RAM.
 
  • The size of the memory required for the server should be decided after testing in the lab and
                calculated based on the number of users and the average size of RAM required for a virtual machine.
 
    c. Optional: DVD + Floppy.
    d. Backup Battery for Raid Adapter.
    e. Raid Adapter with at least 512 RAM, that support Raid 1 with Hot Spare disk and Raid 5/6/10.
    f. Three disks of at least 74 GB Ultra SCSI 3 15000 RPM or 74 GB SAS 15000 RPM (Raid 1 + Hotspare).
 
          Note: Its recommended to dedicate a unique Raid 5/6/10 logical disk for hosting the Virtual Machine/s files.
 
     g. Dual Power Supply.
     h. Remote Management Adapter.
     i. Dual Network Adapter 1-10 GB (Server Adapter) with an option for "Teaming" (Network Adapters recommended)
                   and an option for 802.1Q support.
 
     j. Optional (But Recommended) a add on - Dual Network Adapter 1-10 GB (Server Adapter) with an option for "Teaming"
               (Network Adapters recommended) and an option for 802.1Q support - This will allow you to increase the server
               network performance and allow the host server to host a virtual servers from a few VLANS (Virtual LAN).
 
     k. Optional - A dual port FC (Fiber Channel) HBA (Host Bus Adapter) 4 GB, to allow connection to SAN (Storage Area Network).
 
 
 
How to choose the correct operation system?
 
Most of the new servers today support running Windows 200x 32 Bit and
Windows 200x x64 Bit.
 
The first step is required to choose the runtime environment for the operating system.
 
 
The recommended runtime for a host that serve as dedicated Virtual Server host is:
         Windows 200x X64 Bit Edition.
 
 
  • Its recommended t verity that you are using the latest operating system version and latest hotfixs/service packs.
 
  • Its recommended to update the server drivers and hardware Firmware/BIOS every three months.
 
 
The second step required is should choosing the correct edition of Windows 200x
 
Compare the Editions of Windows Server 2003
 

 
Evaluate the Windows Server 2008 Public Beta today
 

 
Note: Its recommended to consider using Windows Server 200x with limited extra services.
 
 
The following guidelines should be consider during the design on Virtual Server solutions and
  Virtual Server maintenance:
 
  1. Use a dedicated server for Virtual Server tasks.
  2. Verity that third party products are supported under Virtual Server environment.
  3. Consider using "User Profile Hive Cleanup Service":
 
     
 
    4. Consider using a large page file:
 
       How to overcome the 4,095 MB paging file size limit in Windows

      
 
 
      How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP
 
     
 
    5. Go to "Control Panel" -> "System" -> "Advanced" -> and change:
 
  1. "Visual Effects" to "Adjust for best performance".
  2. "Advanced" -> "Adjust for best performance of:" ->
  3. "Advanced" -> "Memory usage" ->
 
  • The settings of section "a" and "b" should be tested before applying them to production systems.
            If you not sure if you need to change this settings, leave them with the default settings.
 
 
     6. Optimize memory management by editing "boot.ini" file:
 
     Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
 
    
   
  • Changing "boot.ini" settings should be tested in a lab before being implemented on production systems.
            If you are not sure if you need to change these settings, leave them with the defaults settings.
 
 
     7. Use latest RDP client:
 
 
          Remote Desktop Connection (Terminal Services Client 6.0) for Windows XP (KB925876)
 
         
 
          Remote Desktop Connection (Terminal Services Client 6.0) for Windows Server 2003 (KB925876)
 
         
 
          Windows Vista have a build in Remote Desktop Connection (Terminal Services Client 6.0).

 
     8. Design a separate VLAN (Virtual LAN) to host the virtual server.
 
     9. Implement QoS (Quality of Services) to improve the network performance.
 
     10. Don’t allow using RDP (Remote Desktop Connection) for regular virtual machine management
              Most of the operations can be done from the remote management web site or/and using a
              management tools like:
 
              Virtual Machine Remote Control Client Plus (VMRCplus)
 
              ).
 
 
               Operation Manager 2007, Virtual Machine Manager 2007
 
              
 
     11. Design and implement a hardware limitation for each virtual machine.
 
     12. Design and implement a security boundaries, so only one Administrator (or limited Administrators) will have a full control
                 on the Virtual Server. A delegate permission per Virtual Machines is recommended.
 
     14. In WAN (Wide Area Network) environment consider to deploy a traffic compression device/software.
 
     15. Reduce the using of Virtual Server scripts or/and Virtual Machine scripts.
              In case that you must use scripts, consider to use WMI/VBS/Power Shell scripts,
              instead the old legacy batch scripts.
 
     16. Disable unnecessary services/option in the user GUI (Graphical User Interface) such as:
 
              "Wallpaper", "Active Desktop", "Screen Saver" etc.
 
      17. Eliminate a real time scan and schedule scan of the virtual machine/s files and hosting folder/s.
 
      18. Schedule Compact of the VHD's and host disks defrag.
 
      19. You can use "Microsoft ® Windows Server ™ 2003 Performance Advisor" to optimize the server performance:
 
          Microsoft ® Windows Server ™ 2003 Performance Advisor
 
        

      20. When you create a new virtual machine, use a virtual SCSI Disks and install VM-Additions on the guest machine.
 
      21. Consider to use:
 
          The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack release
 
         
 
 
 
Further information can be obtain from:
 
Improving performance
 

 

Using Microsoft Virtualization Technologies: Today and Planning for Tomorrow
 


 
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Article ID: 555975 - Last Review: 14 Feb 2017 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)

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