Tweaking vCenter Server for home lab


Today I was looking for some tricks to tweak vCenter server 5.5 for my home lab as I have only 8 GB RAM available and my lab was damn slow. Below is my lab configuration

vCenter Server v5.5 (with embedded MS SQL Server) – Installed on Server 2008 R2 SP1 OS (Physical)

2 Esxi Server v5.5 – 2.5 GB RAM each (Virtual)

Domain Controller + DNS (server 2003) – 512 MB RAM (Virtual)

Openfiler – 768 MB RAM (Virtual)

After powering on all the VM’s which are running inside vmware workstation (installed on my server 2008) my LAB has become too slow and memory utilization was shooting upto 7.8 GB.

It was nearly impossible to work anything from GUI (VI Client + Web Client) as my Esxi hosts were getting disconnected from VC time and again whenever I was doing any configuration (addition or modification) due to the SQL timeout and I was relying on just command line.

This is when I decided to search some tweaking methods for my Lab and found some good stuff which I am sharing in this post.

I was doing some analysis in Task Manager and open Resource Monitor to find out what piece of my lab is eating more RAM and found that the main culprit was the “VMWare vCenter Inventory Service” and “VMware Web Client service”. The Web Client service had the 1.5GB Java process and the Inventory service java process was consuming around 800 MB of RAM.

1

Initially I thought of shutting down Inventory service as I have only a few components in my LAB and it will not affect much as it is only used to store the client INVENTORY data in a memory cache and helps in searching across vCenter faster.

I cannot shutdown the Web Client service as all the new vSphere 5.5 features are available with Web Client only and the thick VI Client is of very less use.

So I got some tweaks to fix this issue. Here are the fixes:

If you want the vCenter Inventory Service, and the Web Client running, there is a way to trim down the memory that JAVA uses.  You can tweak config files (wrapper.conf) on the vCenter Server. Here is how to reduce the memory requirements.

Inventory Service Tweaking

Edit C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Inventory Service\conf\wrapper.conf

Note: Before editing save a backup copy of WRAPPER.CONF

Open WRAPPER.CONF with a text editor and look for the section:

# Maximum Java Heap Size (in MB)

Modify “wrapper.java.maxmemory”

Mine was set to 3072, I changed it to 800 MB.

Save the file.

Open Task Manager and then open Resource Monitor and look for the JAVA process using the most RAM.

Shutdown / Restart the “VMware vCenter Inventory Service” and observe the memory difference.

You can also tweak the other services the same way.

Web Client Tweaking

Wrapper File Location

C:\ProgramFiles\VMware\Infrastructure\vSphereWebClient\server\bin\service\conf\wrapper.conf

SSO Tweaking

Configuration file location:

C:\ProgramData\VMware\CIS\runtime\VMwareSTS\conf\wrapper.conf

Search the below string and set the appropriate heap size for you SSO java process

wrapper.java.additional.9=”-Xmxheap_sizeM”

Virtual Center Management Web Services Tweaking

Wrapper File Location:

C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\tomcat\conf\wrapper.conf

Log Browser  

Edit: C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\vSphereWebClient\logbrowser\conf\wrapper.conf

If the wrapper.java.maxmemory value isn’t there you can add it.

Note: You could shut down the “VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices” also; however, this will cause an IE type error message in the vSphere Client if you try to look at OVERVIEW on the PERFORMANCE tab.

Windows Server 2008 Tweaking

Apart from tweaking vCenter Server components I also shutdown some of the unnecessary services running on my Server 2008 machine. Here is the complete list.

  • Clipbook service
    This service is a relic of NT3.x. Used to support Clipbook Viewer which allows remote viewing of the clipbook. Default for workstation is manual. Ensure it is set to manual or disabled.
  • Computer Browser
    The browser service is used to maintain the list of PCs you see in Network Neighborhood. This is normally a server function. A home user can set this to Manual.
  • Distributed Transaction Coordinator
    W2K/XP service. Coordinates transactions that are distributed across two or more databases, message queues, file systems, or other transaction-protected resource managers. A home user can set this to Manual.
  • Fax Service
    W2K/XP service. Set to Manual if you don’t need fax services.
  • Internet Connection Sharing
    W2K/XP service. If you are want to share an Internet connection for your home network, then set this to Automatic. If not, leave this set to Manual.
  • IPSEC Policy Agent
    W2K/XP service. Manages IP security policy and starts the ISAKMP/Oakley (IKE) and the IP security driver. If not, leave this set to Manual.
  • Network DDE
    Supports network transport of DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) connections. Such connectivity is mostly a relic from the NT 3.x days.
  • NT LM Security Support Provider
    Provides security to remote procedure call (RPC) programs that use transports other than named pipes. A home user can set this to Manual
  • Plug and Play
    Give something like PnP functionality but unless you are using unimodem modems, don’t bother.
  • Remote Registry Service
    W2K/XP service. Allows remote registry manipulation. A home user can set this to Manual.
  • Runas service
    W2K/XP service. Enables starting processes under alternate credentials. A home user can set this to Manual.
  • Server service
    you can disable the server service unless you are sharing files on your hard drive or your printer. If you have a DSL or cable modem, stop this service. Hackers will get nowhere if you do.
  • Spooler
    Print Spooler service in W2K/XP. Spooler in NT. Loads files to memory for later printing. If you don’t have a printer, you can set it to manual.
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    Provides support for name resolution via a lookup of the LMHosts file. If you are not using LMHOSTS name resolution, you can set it to Manual.
  • Telephony Service
    Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support for programs that control telephony devices and IP based voice connections on the local computer and, through the LAN, on servers that are also running the service. Normally set to Manual on workstations. Leave it on Manual.

The last tweaking which I had done is to increase the page file size in my windows server 2008 box by setting it to larger value than what my system was providing by default.

I hope this post is informational to you. Hit like and share it. Be socialable.

About Alex Hunt

Hi All I am Manish Kumar Jha aka Alex Hunt. I am currently working in VMware Software India Pvt Ltd as Operations System Engineer (vCloud Air Operations). I have around 5 Years of IT experience and have exposure on VMware vSphere, vCloud Director, RHEL and modern data center technologies like Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus 1000v and NSX. If you find any post informational to you please press like and share it across social media and leave your comments if you want to discuss further on any post. Disclaimer: All the information on this website is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. I don’t make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this blog is strictly at your own risk. The Views and opinions published on this blog are my own and not the opinions of my employer or any of the vendors of the product discussed.
This entry was posted in Vmware. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tweaking vCenter Server for home lab

  1. Ali says:

    A very nice post, I’ll use it to tweak my lab environment once I get the resources (aka a dedicated SSD). Cheers!🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s