I use VMWare all day long on my SSD and have found a few little tricks to make it run smoother with less writes to the SSD.
My host is Windows 7 64-bit. My VMs are mostly XP pro and home (and a Server 2008R2)....
Basically, the tips are as follows and assume you are running VMWare:
With the exception of the page file, follow the tips for configuration in the VM as you would if it was the host OS. Even in a VM, a page file is needed (to a point). Just google things like XP SSD tips, etc.
If you have 2 drives (The SSD and a normal HD), then you can really pump up the speed of the VM if you are running it off the SSD...
1) In the VM settings, create a new virtual drive. Put it on the normal Hard drive (I set mine to 1 gig). Inside the VM, set the new virtual drive as the VMs page file drive. This off-loads a lot of writes to the normal hard drive without really affecting performance.
2) (advanced) Did you know you could run a VM in an almost read-only state from the SSD? Did you know that you can have a VM reading from both drives at the same time during VM boot and operation and writing to the HD only without raid? Basically, we can use the snapshot feature in VMWare to create a fake raid setup for each virtual machine:
In the VMX file for the VM, we need to edit/add the line
workingDir = "E:\VMWare Images\XP Home Personal SnapShot\"
where the directory is where you will be storing the snapshot on the spinner.
In the settings for the VM in VMWare, make sure to uncheck "independent" under advanced options for the virtual hard disk on the VM.
Click on VM up top then create snapshot. As of that point on, all the writes will go to the snapshot file on the spinner and all the reads will come from both.
There is a trade off after a while... Since all writes to the VM drive (snapshot) are block level writes, the more you use the VM, the less performance gain U will get (more and more reads will come from the snapshot file). To prevent that, I merge the snapshot file once a week or once every 2 weeks to the VM on the SSD.
Also, to save space on the SSD, I only put my most used VMs on the SSD (the 2 that are used all day).
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