Richard Post

Virtual Machine Setup Recommendations

Discussion created by Richard Post on Mar 24, 2016

We often get requests for how to setup virtual machines for utilizing our on-premise Pharos software suites...


These are my personal recommendations for a typical setup.  As every environment is different, please read through the documentation to decide for yourself, what works best for you.


  • CPU/VPU – 2+ VPU (Typically 2 sockets, 1 core, or for heavier loads add more sockets, keeping 1 core-per-socket)
  • Memory – Minimum 4GB, Recommended 6GB, (If SQL server, heavier load, or all-in-one then 8GB or more)
  • Hard Drive Capacity - 100-120GB HDD for one drive typical (or if you must split, at least 50GB for C:\ (Sys&Prg) & at least 70GBD:\ (Data&Logs)



In the past, I had previously recommended keeping sockets and cores close to equal (i.e 2x2), but on further reading up on the topic, utilizing cores is only useful primarily in big (8+) CPU environments and getting around licensing requirements.  Most Uniprint environments are not so large that they need 8+ CPUs.  This is why a 2 sockets & 1 core-per-socket is a great baseline. Also, sockets can be increased or decreased while a machine is hot and doesn't require a reboot.  Also, keeping with one core, you can have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on VPUs, so wonderfully flexible.  As soon as you go to 2 cores, you are forced to 2, 4, 6, 8, as your options (which is somewhat more limiting).   Four cores only affords you 4, 8 as options (very limiting).   There is some more information directly from VMware on the topic...    "Does cores-per-socket Affect Performance?" - VMware vSphere Blog


For Memory, I like to see 6GB on all the servers, even though the documentation shows a minimum of 4GB.  I like to feel more confident with that little bit more of memory overhead.


For disk space, the main consideration is for Print Servers as you'll need enough overhead to hold all the print jobs that will be held by that server.   If you decide to split your drive space, which is more of a personal preference these days, I would recommend that you install the applications in their default locations and then move only the data and logging to the secondary drive.   For instance, the application program would exist in the standard C:\Program Files (x86)\Pharos directory, but you can move the Pharos Application Data directory to the secondary drive.   This directory will hold the print jobs after they have been received through the Print Spooler.   Logging should definitely be done on the secondary drive because some logging applications have no limits and will fill a drive if you let them, resulting in less desirable results.


Once again, read up on the docs and make your choices based on your experience and your environment.  Good luck and happy computing...