I replaced my external hard drive, that I use to run my virtual machines (vm) on, today. My old Lacie Rugged 100GB 7200 rpm is replaced by an OCZ 120GB SSD drive. There is clearly a difference, although not as much as I was hoping for.
Here are some results that I recorded :
|Lacie rugged 7200rpm||OCZ Vertex 2 SSD|
|Boot to login||3m23||1m19|
|1st time Starting SharePoint Admin||45s||16s|
There is clearly a performance gain. Especially the login and the shutdown are a lot quicker with the SSD.
I’m using VMWare player. The virtual image I used contains Windows 2008 Standard, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2010 , a configured SharePoint Server 2010, Active Directory Domain Controller, DNS, IIS7,…
How I do SharePoint 2010 development?
Personally, I prefer to develop in a virtual machine. The major drawback is that running a virtual machine can be a resource hog. If you don’t have a recent fast machine a virtual machine can be slow.
On various SharePoint blogs people mentioned that using a Solid State Drive can speed things up a little. So I bought an OCZ vertex 2 120 GB SSD and a Dell drive caddy to put it in ( HP, Acer and Lenovo caddies are also available).
The idea was to sacrifice my DVD drive and put in the SSD as a 2nd hard drive. My requirements: a fast 100Gb SSD under 300 Euro (400$). Since I’m planning only to run one vm at a time a 100GB should be plenty.
There are faster SSD drives at the moment but with a >1000 Euro (>1300 $) price range.
If you have an older CPU (Intel Core 2 and Intel Core 2 Duo) you might want to check in the BIOS if the vt-X extensions are enabled. (The Macbook Pro and the new Intel i3, i5, i7 range have the vt-x extensions enabled by default)
Tips to speed up your vm
- Exclude your virtual images from your virus scanner.
- Disable anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software in your vm image
- Disable extra virtual appliances like DVD, USB, …
- Disable video hardware acceleration
- Set display mode to best performance
- Disable the services (if applicable):
- System Restore,
- Error Reporting
- Wireless Zero Configuration
- Windows Audio
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
- Remote Registry
- Shutdown event tracker
- Smart Card Access
- Remote Dektop Help Session manager
- TCP-IP / NetBios Helper
- Help and support
- Print spooler
- Avoid fragmentation!!!
- Run 1 (one) virtual machine at a time from the SSD.
- Don’t clutter your SSD with other data (downloads, music, temp files, etc..)
An SSD speeds up the virtual environment. Before buying, do a little research and compare model speeds and IOPS. There are faster but also slower devices available.
If you are a heavy virtual machine user like me, I certainly recommend using a (fast) SSD drive to put your vm images on.