Windows 10: VM - run on SSD or Spinner?
About being HDD or SSD aware, I'm not sure about VMWare(I haven't used it in a while, but Hyper-V for example won't do anything hardware oriented, it will tell you to do it in your host. For example, running WinSAT Formal, or perfmon /report and many other things alon those lines. I suspect al hypervisors are so though, as they only simulate their hardware, to create the machine.
As to using VMWare, or Hyper-V, they both have their pros & cons, and just like browsers and AV's it's a matter or personal preference. But if you also run any Linux distros, I recommend staying with VMWare, because Hyper-V support for Linux just plain sucks. No sound, and no chance in adjusting the screen size either. I have an Ubuntu machine, and have these problems, but I use it only as a glorified browser anyhow, when I want to browse really private, and a tad safer too.
To learn more about Hyper-V: Hyper-V
If you have the disk space, put them on the SSD. Much quicker, better I/O.
Heck, you can pick up 240GB SSD's for about $65.
To me it is no contest as Hyper-v is more integrated into Windows and definitely outperforms vmware or virtual box.
The only real downside to Hyper-v that may affect you is if the guest OS does not support RDP as a server (Windows 10 home is only one in W10 versions).
The effect of this is you can only use OS as a basic rather than enhanced session which means you will not get any sound (and from memory inability to plug in flash drive - not certain here).
I like the way that once you set a hyper-v session going, it just executes in the background even if you shut down the hyper-v menu system. You can run multiple sessions in parallel if cpu is powerful enough, and enough RAM.
With vmware etc, you have to have vmware running all the time, and trying to run two vmware sessions in parallel is pretty much a no no.
I also like the way (in enhanced mode) you can share a hard drive between host and vm guest. With vmware, when it is accessing a hard drive, the hard drive is not available to the host.
I only use vmware when I have to (great tool though to be fair but imo Hyper-v is generally superior).
Hyper-v is not as intuitive to set up but many great guides in the tutorial section on this forum (under letter H) written by Kari - our resident Hyper-v MEGA Guru.
One great feature that can be only done with Hyper-V is to use a tool called Macrium ViBoot which is a sister program to the great Macrium Reflect program to make system image backups. This tool allows to to open up a Macrium backup mage and run the imaged OS as a hyper-v session. In V7 of Macrium Reflect in a few days time the two programs are to be merged as one which is awesome.
Hyper-V is more integrated on Windows, as long as you have Windows 10 Pro. It's not available on Windows 10 home. I'm not entirely sure I would agree that it outperforms VMWare workstation, at least in my experience. And VMWare by far has better support for Linux OS's than Hyper-V, so depending upon what you are doing, there could be advantages to VMWware Workstation Pro. However, VMWare Workstation Pro is not free, it's around $250.
What is the benefit of running 2 VMWare sessions? You can run as many VM's as your hardware will support simultaneously, you just cannot close the core VMWare application, but you can minimize it and not have to see it.
Interesting. I usually only access the host drive running from a guest, or I access a guest from another guest, so I've not had a need to access a guest's hard drive directly from the host.
Granted my experience is with enterprise IT, but I'm not a fan of Hyper-V. I find they are still playing catchup in many areas to VMWare. They might beat them on cost, but management of VM's with Hyper-V is a pain in the arse.
Hmmmm, I find it strange that you were seeing bad performance running 2 or more VM's under VMWare. I regularly run a 4 node LAB on my Core i5 and a Core i7 desktop at work, each with 16GB of RAM and I don't experience poor performance. I wonder if you might have configured multiple CPU's when you didn't need them, or didn't have the VMware tools installed. Both of those could result in poor performance.
Yeah, I haven't connected to external physical drives. So, I wouldn't have stumbled upon that limitation
The free vmware product is the vmware workstation player. And yes, it doesn't have a huge number of features. I sprung for the license as I use virtual labs all of the time and I run more Linux than I usually do Windows.
HYPER-V is good for Windows VM's but I'm not sure if anybody has got a Linux VM to run on it yet --- also getting peripherals like external USB HDD's to easily work with the VM is somewhat tricky - and for sound and video you'll have to use something like RDP if you need those features on your VM.
That said there's no need to create a new VM from scratch - HYPER-V will read / use VMWARE type of Virtual disk .
Why not save your existing VM(s) - simply save the VM file -- all the files in the folder, and then test out HYPER-V with your existing VM --if you don't like it or hose it up -- nothing wrong - just delete from Disk. Remember though VMWARE (and VBOX) can't concurrently run with HYPER-V so you'll have to boot with one or the other. You CAN though run VBOX and VMWARE concurrently though.
If you use Linux as VM's then IMO use VMware. For Linux DATA (have the OS on an SSD) pass RAW HDD's as ext4 format to the VM i.e as physical HDD's and then use mdadm as Linux RAID - if you use RAID 0 this will considerably speed up I/O from Spinner physical data disks. OK RAID 0 doesn't give you protection - but if you've got backup then who cares - and it really speeds up the I/O even on slow spinners
mdadm is probably installed by default. Decent HDD's are reliable anyway so you shouldn't run into problems here - especially if you take backups regularly of your data.
Once you've created your array say /dev/sda and dev/sdb you'll get a single device /mdx where x is any number. Now simply mount that to any mount point and you are in business !! Google for mdadm as there's a lot of options - but it sure works on any Linux distro I've tried.
With Linux once the system is loaded from the SSD you shouldn't have too much I/O on the SSD so IMO it's a mute point whether to run the VM from spinners or not. As Linux OS is quite small I'd keep it on the SSD and don't put too much in / and /home directories - keep data on separate HDD('s).
With Windows - VM's - different consideration -- my own view would be to put a SMALL OS on the SSD and again pass the spinners as physical data drives and then use Windows storage spaces --again this will speed up considerably the I/O on the Guest OS.
Like all these things - depends on size and speed of HDD's, amount of RAM and CPU -- CPU is usually the least problematic resource in running VM's - unless you are really doing a lot of stuff on them like video editing etc.
Thanks for your response.
Cliff S said:
Using my VMs solely with Windows-7 and Windows-10 Guests, no Linux.
Perhaps you missed my earlier post - I have 1TB SSD and 750GB HDD
Some additional information based on the posts that I've seen so far.
Have license for VMWare Workstation, Win-10 Pro and VMs are a mix of Win-7Pro and Win-10Pro, Expect to run 2-3 VMs simultaneously, All windows OS Guest under Win-10Pro Host.
So no hardware issues as far as running multiple VMs simultaneously...
Last edited by nkaufman; 10 Feb 2017 at 18:48.
Thanks for your reply.
Am not sure what you meant by "two vmware sessions in parallel is pretty much a no no". On my Win-7 box, quad core CPUs and ample RAM, I've been running multiple VMWare VMs simultaneously with no issues.
I've used Shared folders to share data from VM to host and did not quite get "With vmware, when it is accessing a hard drive, the hard drive is not available to the host". Are you taking about the internal hard drive where the VMs reside/Host or external drive?
I'm in the process of downloading Win 10 latest ISO. Can it be installed on an eSATA spinner HD as standalone, or must it be installed over existing OS such as Vista, 7 or 8?