Minimizing the vCenter memory footprint – Appliance

In my previous post I described how to reduce the vCenter memory requirements on Windows. Basically the same is true for the vCenter appliance, but the files are a bit harder to find. Besides that the same disclaimer applies – this is in no way supported by VMware.

Single Sign On:

  • /usr/lib/vmware-sso/bin/
  • Change “JVM_OPTS” (default: “-XX:MaxPermSize=256M -Xms2048m -Xmx2048m”) to “-XX:MaxPermSize=128M -Xms128m -Xmx256m”

Inventory Service:

  • /usr/lib/vmware-vpx/inventoryservice/wrapper/conf/wrapper.conf
  • Set (default: “3072”) to “384” (MB)

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Minimizing the vCenter memory footprint – Windows

With vSphere 5.1 the memory requirements of the vCenter server have dramatically increased. If all components reside on a single Windows server [VM], even the smallest inventory size will require 10 GB of memory, according to the VMware Installation and Setup guide. Although this document states a minimum of 4 GB memory for the vCenter Appliance, it is in fact configured for 8 GB RAM after deployment. This will most likely exceed or significantly reduce the resources of small home labs or all-in-one setups with VMware Workstation.

Is this necessary? Nope. But due to the default JVM memory settings a simple reduction of the VMs’ RAM could lead to swapping and have a negative impact on the overall performance, obviously. The following adjustments to the application settings will allow to reduce the VM memory to 4-5 GB. This posting covers a Windows-based vCenter server, the following post will be related to the Appliance.

The home lab

I suppose most of the virtualization blogs will include the description of the author’s test & lab gear, so I’ll start with that. 😉

I decided not to virtualize the lab itself, but to use real equipment. Yep, it’s possible to build an all-in-one setup with a standard PC and VMware Workstation. But you’re not able to try out the pros and cons of different network setups and configurations or reproduce problems of customer environments. A high performance PC with lots of RAM would even have been more expensive at that time – I built my home lab in early 2011, so please keep in mind that it is 2 year old stuff. So, here’s the list.

Two ESXi hosts:
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T E0 (6 x 2.8 GHz) on Asus M4A88T-M mainboard with 24 GB RAM DDR3-1333. One HP NC360T Intel-based dual port NIC, one Intel Gigabit CT Desktop NIC, together with the onboard Realtek a total of 4 NICs. I got the HP NICs from eBay where you still can find them (or even genuine Intel dual port NICs) for around 50 Euro.

Let me introduce myself…

Dear reader! 🙂

This blog came to life in April 2013, with the intention to use it to post my thoughts, findings, hints, tips & tricks around all virtualization aspects I come across (and some other stuff maybe), with the main focus on VMware products. I started it on Blogger and moved it to a hosted WordPress site with own domain in June 2013.

My journey to Virtualization and Cloud Computing started in late 2005 with Solaris 10 Zones / Containers. Later on I started to focus on x86 technologies and VMware products. In early 2008 I took my first certification and became VCP3 #25734. Continued to keep my certification as VCP4 and VCP5-DCV and became VCAP4-DCD #483 in February 2011.

I am working for the consulting company SEVEN PRINCIPLES, Germany. Usually available for challenging projects – please don’t hesitate to contact me.