Is 8GB enough for a Virtualization software?

Nami February 16, 2011
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I want to install a VMWare having only one OS is 8GB enough? I will just going to use it to test some applications.

  1. FIDELIS
    February 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Hello, VMWare software itself does not occupy much space. It can use a lot of space if you are using VMWare and make system snap shots but that does not count towards the space you allocate for your virtual machine. What uses the space are the virtual machines inside. To answer you question, it all depends on what you are installing. If like you say, it is for testing purposes, 8 GB of space should be enough for operating system like xp and linux. It you are planning to install vista/windows7 or some kind of server, I would say set it at around 12 GB.

    If you are referring to 8GB of memory, it is more than enough to run a few virtual machines at the same time.

  2. Anonymous
    February 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    The memory is not permanently reserved for the virtual machine (VM). If it is not running, then the RAM is usable by windows just like any other application.

    A baseline template for a Windows XP VM with Microsoft Office might be something like 6GB HDD space and 512MB of RAM or higher.

    Most desktop virtualisation software such as xVM/Virtualbox allows you to use create a 'dynamic virtual hard disk'. That is, you tell the software to allocate, say, a 15 Gb drive (actually a file), but it will only be as big as the information in it. Your 15 Gb allocation might only be 8 Gb after Windows is installed, but will expand up to a maximum of 15 Gb as needed.

    The Right Hardware
    • Processor-the more powerful the processor or processors, the better the performance you can expect
    from the virtual machines.
    • RAM-the more RAM you have access to, the more machines you can run at once.
    • Disks-larger and faster disks will give better response times for your VMs.

    Any machines running virtualization software must have access to as much RAM and disk space as possible. Disk space is required because each virtual machine generally starts at about 4GB in size. RAM is required because it must be shared and allocated between both the host and any virtual machine that may be running.For performance reasons, virtualization software however tries to avoid emulation as often as possible, because it is much faster to execute an instruction stream on the real hardware instead of emulating it.

    It just depends on what type of VMWare program you run. Some run in the kernel, some run in user space. VMWare ESX is an OS by itself (a modified Linux version), the on top of another OS version usually run in both kernel space and user space, it installs drivers (which run in kernel space) for all the privileged tasks (networking, monitoring and so forth.)

  3. James Bruce
    February 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    In terms of hard disk space, 8gb will be enough to play around with, but won;t let you install much other software. If you're referring to memory, which I doubt, but anyway, 8gb is more than enough.

    A better option would be to use the option of a growing disk set large enough to start with. In Parallels at least, you can set the drives maximum capacity (as say 100gb or something) but make it growing, so it only uses as much as it needs. The OS you are virtualizing will see 100gb of space, but physically it will only use as much drive space on the host operating system as it requires.