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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Don't forget or neglect VMs

    For example, I keep VMs of legacy Windows for client support. IF, for whatever reasons, you are running VMs of Operating Systems remember they, too, require updating... (their) browsers, Adobe, Java, Microsoft Updates, security tool(s) for A-V & A-M, CCleaner, et al; AND the same TLC, too... clean-up, Defrag, et al. VMs must treated like any other computer and be given identical care & attention.

    And, yes, VMs of Operating Systems cannot go w/out security, like MSE or something. They, still, need it, same as a physical machine.

    Cheers,
    Drew
    Win8Logo.jpg
    Last edited by Drew1903; 2012-12-27 at 22:02.

  2. #2
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    Virtual machines (or specifically their hard drives) also need maintenance from the host side too.

    Take Virtual Box for example. A small VM of XP with a dynamically allocated 40GB disk was recently getting very full. The virtual platform saw 15GB of data and OS but due to the way the Virtual Hard Drive is constructed changes to the disk on the host side were not reconciled, resulting in a host virtual hard drive of 39.5GB. The VM had slowed to a crawl and I suspect much more fragmentation would have crashed the VM

    A quick cleanup using VBox tools fixed the issue and now both host and VM see 15GB drives.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  3. #3
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    Would that be a property (slowdown) of actuator arm drives? I have a 55.8 GB SSD, just used for dynamic virtual and it grew to 54.3 actual and I haven't ever experienced any slowdowns, unless of course the actual content of the VM encroaches on the allocated size (that's how it grew into full occupation in the first place of course), then it just stops working altogether, but as long as I keep it below 51 GB or so, no problem.

    Reconciliation, or shrinking the VM to actual content size is a bit of a bear in VMware Player, involves making a side by side copy, so first I have to copy the VM to a drive that is large enough to contain both and the actual copy can take a fair amount of time, so I rarely bother with that in an established install that's just going to grow again anyway.

  4. #4
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    I assume the slowdown was a function of the internal fragmentation within the .vdi hard drive file. The host .vdi file was defragged regularly, so physical fragmentation on the platter shouldn't have been an issue. However, the vdi file was growing due to lack of reconciliation, so the armatures would have been working hard to find data inside the vdi file relative the the structure of the VM hard drive as opposed to the structure of the host vdi file.

    I didn't really notice anything until it got within a couple of hundred MB of the dynamic disk limit whereupon the VM appeared to slow dramatically when writing data to the the virtual hard drive from the VM side. My assumption is that Virtual Box Manager had a problem finding space inside the vdi file when the guest OS asked it to write to the VM hard drive.

    Previously in Virtual Box, I shied away from tinkering with the host .vdi files except to move them from one location to another. This thread on the VBox support site describes in detail the method to reconcile the vdi hard drive from the host side by using the CloneVDi Tool as opposed to the Command line tools. It worked a treat and I increased the dynamic disk to 100GB to give plenty of room at the same time.

    I had to ensure that I had no snapshots in the vdi file and I also had to fix some NTFS file permissions after the clone (the original vdi file was built using a different User Account to the one I used to clone). The tool runs a side by side clone similar to what I expect VMWare does so, yes, sufficient room on the host drive would be needed for both old and new vdi files.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  5. #5
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    One thing that surprised me was when I used the Paragon Alignment tool to check my W8 VM (on VMware Player) which was installed on a W7 host, it was reported as not aligned. So I went ahead and aligned the VM. Later I checked the built in defrag and it reports properly as an SSD so it seems like it was probably aware of that designation from the beginning, yet it was not aligned.

    Then I remembered I was using ver. 4.x of WMWare player at the time, since updated to 5.01, but to install then (not sure with 5.01) required preparation of the VM space ahead of time before the space would be recognized properly by the W8 install. So I'm thinking it was simply a matter of the VM software not creating an aligned VM disk, even though one might assume it would be the default regardless these days, since alignment is not detrimental in any way, unless it is to some very old or non-Windows installations in some way that I don't know about.

    Anyway, glad I had the notion to check because the W8 VM seems even faster than it was previous to alignment.

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