As you described, you have some active snapshots on the maschines. This will be the biggest cause of slowness seen from this point of knowlage i have from your description.
Let me explain a bit why and how snapshots work.
Lets assume you create a new machine and install an operating system you wish.
After this installation one might think it is smart to make a snapshot.
Actually a very logical thought!
You could have the possibility to set your system back to its start point.
Or by making regulary snapshots you would have a very good backup system.
BUT here is the problem with the snapshots.
A snapshot means that in the moment you create it, your "harddrive" will freeze and a new file will be created where everything you do that would effect the "harddrive" will be stored.
The "harddrive" will never ever be changed from that moment since the snapshot.
Now lets assume you work for hours and hours and everything you change, even changes of the change you made will be saved in this file.
An example, you save the amount of candys you have in the candy.txt.
- Lets say you save 5 candys.
- Then you make a snapshot.
- I eat one of your candys and you change the amount in your file from
5 to 4. (Normally you would save this information directly in the
candys.txt. But because of the snapshot this will not happen. What
happens is that VMWare create a file (lets call it SERVER.changes)
where it saves the change "chronically".
- You eat one of you candys and again you change the amount in your
file from 4 to 3. Since time passes you will now save a change of the
change you made before.
So if you want to start your computer from suspend or normal boot or access candy.txt, following happens.
- the system will boot from the "harddrive"/open the file changes.txt
- then every change will be loaded from the SERVER.changes
- changes of changes will be loaded
- and so on
- now you finally can work on your system/file
So what can you do to have a backup and when would one use snapshots?
- Backup. I don't know the workstation-version but i guess you can freeze your machine and export/duplicate/clone your machine. This will take a lot of storage, and a lot of the storage will be used for saving data you already saved.
So you should back up your data in an other, more efficient way. For the use of backing up your System it is one of the simplest!
- Snapshot. Well use snapshots when you have to do something you're not 100% secure with.
If you have doubt about changing something, or installing some updates and you're not sure if your system will work well afterwards, DO snapshots. You can make a lot of snapshots for every step if you like. It will get slower with the time. But that's ok, since you only want to "try" things and if they work you can delete the snapshot.
Deleting a snapshot means that VMWare will put all the differences recorded into the "harddrive" so when you access your data you'll be working directly at the "harddrive".