Using RAM Disk with VMware

Started by Kin

Kin

Using RAM Disk with VMware   15 February 2022, 11:16

Hi there,

I am running Windows Server 2019 (WS19) on latest hardware and VMware. The VMware is running Windows Server 2003 (WS03).

WS19 has 32G of physical RAM and has your RAMDisk running now.
VMware/WS03 sees only 6G of RAM - limitation of WS03.

Question is what is the RAMDrive settings I should make in WS19 so both WS19 and WS03 run fast and without wear to my NVMe drive in WS19?

I read your article and understand that I can point the temp, cache and download folders to the RAMDisk. And disable page file. Is this true in my case for both WS19 and WS03?

I am having trouble seeing the RAMDrive from inside WS03 (perhaps since it has to pass through VMware?). Will the Cache Relocator utility help here? Or must I set up the RAMDrive inside WS03 instead of outside in WS19?

Thanks for your advice in advance,
Regards, Kin
SoftPerfect Support forum - Ann avatar image
Ann

Re: Using RAM Disk with VMware   15 February 2022, 11:34

It all depends on what you want to achieve and how you use those systems. Since I don't know how you are using them, the following advice is rather generic.

As far as I understood, you have Windows 2019 host running Windows 2003 guest in VMWare and you want them to use RAM disk as much as possible to spare the NVM drive. In that case you would probably need two instances of the RAM disk app: one on the guest OS and one on the host OS. Sharing a RAM disk on the host via shared folders would likely be too slow.

For general use you could create one RAM disk in the guest VM and one RAM disk on the host, depending on how much free RAM you have. Then redirect temporary files and browser caches to those drives in both systems respectively. Depending on what you use those systems for there may be other folders that you could move to the RAM disk.


Another approach may be to run the guest OS entirely from a RAM disk. For that, you could create a RAM disk large enough to hold your guest machine VMDK file. Copy the VMDK disk image to the RAM disk and boot the VM from it. Then any I/O from the guest would end up in the RAM disk and the guest OS will run extremely fast due to high-speed storage.

The downside to that is it's a volatile RAM disk - everything is gone upon reboot, including any changes written to the VMDK image. To work around that, you could create a persistent RAM disk, though data loss is still possible in case of a crash or power loss.

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