Tuesday, August 17, 2010

VMWare Server + Windows 7 = RAM hog

I've been annoyed in the past with installing Dev tools on my PC and having so many new services slowing my gaming down that I spend hours killing services just to get things back to normal again.

So I figured I would try creating VMWare virtual machines for the dev tools, and just run the images when I want to do some development. It also lets my try a few things that I hadn't had the opportunity to explore, such as Windows Server set up and configuration. The plan was to set up a Windows Server 2008 R2 system with TFS (Team Foundation Server) to track a mini project, and a Windows 7 development PC to do the work on.

Installing the base OSs was straight forward, and the individual VMs ran well enough with 1gb ram assigned to them. TFS stand-alone (TFS application and database on the one server) requires 2gb ram before it will even install however, which begain the problems. Adding the extra ram took a reboot, TFS installed, and everything seemed to be ok. Time to boot the Dev machine.

I figured i'd be good to go with them both running, 3gb for the VMs, 1gb for my host system (win7 64bit, 4gb ram). Unfortunately running both at once brought my system to a grinding halt. Fail. Ok, so try drop the server image to 1.5gb, slightly better, but not much.

Finally, dropping both systems to 1GB allowed them to run in tandem, but unfortunately the TFS image ran too slowly to be of much use. Fail.

In the end I decided to drop the TFS server, and just stick to a 2gb development image. It works well, I am just a little disappointed because I was hoping to use the TFS instance to help plan the mini-project, and having a plan in place might help with my procrastination.

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