SSD and Virtualization

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by arstacey, May 4, 2012.

  1. arstacey macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    I have a Mid 2009 13" Macbook Pro. Part of my job requires me to do alot of testing with virtual machines and the hard drive I currently use (WD 500GB 7200RPM) just isn't cutting it. I plan on buying an SSD drive (probably the Crucial M4 256GB) and will set up the system as follows.

    The primary OS will of course be OS X Lion. I will install Windows 7 as a Boot Camp partition for using the few windows only programs I need for work. Most of the time, I will use the Windows 7 Boot Camp installation through VMWare fusion, but occasionally I will boot directly into Windows 7 so I can test and demonstrate virtual machines with VMWare Workstation.

    Just curious if anyone else has had a similar setup? I would prefer to use VMWare fusion to only play the Windows 7 Boot Camp parition and do all my virtualization through VMWare workstation, but I am not sure if creating and running 64-bit virtual machines within a virtual machine is possible with this hardware (or current mac hardware for that matter). Also, is running several virtual machines going to drastically cut down on the life expectancy of the SSD drive?
  2. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    You should have no problem running VMware Workstation while in Windows 7 bootcamp. Performance will be horrible if you run VMware Workstation while in VMware Fusion to the bootcamp partition. SSDs and memory really help improve the virtual machine experience. I'd recommend grabbing 8GB for your 2009 MBP. On my 2010 27" iMac (in signature), I can run ESXi in VMware Fusion 4 and one Virtual Machine within it. There is a lot more I/O using virtualization, but its no where near video editing, so I would not concern yourself with excessive wear.
  3. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
  4. arstacey thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    Thanks. I already have 8GB of ram and that appears to be the most this model can handle. I believe that you have to have 1333Mhz or higher ram to get 2 x 8GB for the macbooks.

    I didn't even think about running ESXi, that might possibly be a good alternative for me. When you say you can only run one virtual machine under ESXi in Fusion is that because you are running into an issue with Ram or Disk I/O?
  5. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    You do not want to run ESXi in Fusion. The CPU virtualization kills it. Your best solution is to do as you suggested. Bootcamp is just dual boot.
  6. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    I recommend both actually but a 2009 MBP can't do more than 8gb.

    How much do you really need to run Windows? If not a lot I'd just virtualize it under Fusion. Reason I'm saying that is that most of us buy enough SSD to do the job, but costs have us buying less than we'd possibly like to have. By bootcamping Windows, you're essentially setting aside a portion of the SSD that you only might occasionally access. Can be a bit of wasted space.

    I run Fusion with 16gb of mem and a SSD, and it pretty much runs what I throw at it and is quick. XP and Win7 images, a Hyper-V one, 2x 2008R2 fullinstalls and even an Ubuntu instance. ESX it's not, but it's certainly workable.

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