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I have many virtual machines on my system (6 at the moment) and many times 2 of them are running in the same time. I have 6GB of RAM but most of time it's on 90% of usage because of the running virtual machines. All virtual OSs are Win7.

I heard that installing VMware Server and logging onto the virtual machines via remote desktop would make them use less RAM.

Is this true? If not, is there any virtual server which will make my virtual machines use less RAM?

Maybe I should change OS on the virtual machines?! I use them for .NET development and for Photoshop editing.

PS. I know I can reduce virtual machine's RAM in the setting, but it's already set down to 1GB per machine which is the minimum for the normal work.

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RAM is cheap. Go buy some more? (dunno, sorry if you don't like my comment). –  r4. Jan 22 '12 at 18:54
    
Where did you "hear" this from? Have you considered trying it? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 22 '12 at 19:59
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If you need Windows for .Net development, all I can suggest trimming the VMs down by turning all the unneeded services on the VMs off. I think ESXi will only use the RAM needed by the machine. That way you can over provision the RAM. –  Scott McClenning Jan 22 '12 at 21:50

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

VMWare Server, Virtual PC, and VMWare workstation are Type 2 Hypervisors and run on top of the OS. To the best of my knowledge, No type 2 hypervisor supports memory overcommit technologies.

Hyper-V and VMWare ESXi are type 1 Hypervisors and (in the case of Hyper-V 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1) both support memory overcommit capabilities. VMWare, I BELIEVE, supports it on most if not all Windows operating systems. Hyper-V only supports it with Windows 7 (Enterprise and Ultimate (and I think Pro)), Server 2008, 2008 R2, and 2003 R2, and Vista (Enterprise and Ultimate (and I think Business))

The problem with a Type 1 hypervisor is that it's a bare-metal hypervisor - that means, in a simplistic description, it IS your operating system. If you were to use EITHER you wouldn't be able to work directly on your computer. Both require a separate physical server to effectively provide their services. Server 2008 R2 includes the Hyper-V Role and you COULD run that as your workstation OS and enable Hyper-V there - the base install becomes a guest OS with direct hardware access when the Hyper-V role is enabled.

Otherwise, wait for Windows 8 (or use the Developer preview). It will include (does include in the preview) Hyper-V on the workstation OS.

OR, upgrade your RAM. RAM is CHEAP. 16 GB of DDR3 for a desktop can be as little as $80.

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