View Full Version : vmware-server and guests on a NAS

2nd June 2007, 04:10 PM
Here's my setup:

Host Server Specs:
IBM eSeries xServer 225
Intel Xeon 1.??? - I forget off the top of my head
140GB in RAID 5

Fedora Core 6 + linux-kernel-PAE

VMWare Server

So here's what's unique: The VMware guests are on a separate NAS server and the two servers are connected by a Gigabit switch. Both servers have gigabit NICs. The Fedora host sees the NAS through a samba mount. I have added the following to my /etc/rc.d/rc.local
mount -t cifs -o username=name,password=passwd //ip_address/Share /mnt/Share

I have verified that this samba mount is established correctly when the Fedora host server boots up

I have 4 guests
(I actually have many more, but they're aren't involved yet)

Turning on 3 of the guests, and the server runs smooth. Turning on the 4th guest, and the server slows terribly, and the 4th guest never fully turns on.

Other reserarch:
Using Ubuntu 7.04 as the host, my linux-based guests turn on great. My windows-based guests lock up the host server, and I have to reboot the server.

Using Windows 2003 Enterprise Server, I can run 7 guests simultaneously without breaking a sweat. I don't have the $$ to buy Enterprise Server from Microsoft.

My next steps:
Try moving the 2 guests locally onto the host server to see if the samba mount, the NICs, or the gigabit switch are the culprit.

The final design must have the guests on the NAS server, though. I have 2 other identical servers, and I am trying to roll out a VMWare Server "farm" to my development & test staff. In total, we'll have ~15 guests running at the same time across these 3 servers, so I need each server to run at least 5 guests at the same time. With the 8GB RAM and the hyperthreaded Xeon processor in each, I do not expect my server specs to be a problem.

I'm curious to explore Fedora Core 7 to see if it works any better. A good friend of mine has had fantastic success with Ubuntu and strongly recommended it, but my research has not proven very successful with Ubuntu. I'm not sold on any flavor of linux, I just don't have the budget for Windows, so I've got to find a solution.

Thanks to anyone who can offer some guidance.