I have a Windows Vista inside a VMWare workstation virtual machine, which I need to boot as fast as possible (for testing certain software).
I can commit about 4GB of RAM for cache, which, in theory, can make Vista boot mostly from RAM. While the filesystem image is 40GB, I doubt more than 4GB is accessed during boot.
So I need to:
Disable all synching, enable write caching, so all writes go into cache and flushed to disk only asynchroniously (I don't care about integrity, this is a throw-away testing image).
"Force" host OS to commit certain amount of memory for caching that one specific file (VMWare image). Currently, host OS is Windows 7, however I'm open to all suggestions. I thought about making iSCSI target on Linux and then booting VMWare from it, but I don't know how to enable such "file-specific" caching in Linux either.
How can I do this?
Notes: I don't care about data integrity, don't care about performance after boot. I realize that adding RAID0 with several SSD disks solves my problem neatly, but I need quick-n-dirty solution now, without adding expensive hardware.