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Topic Title: F@H on Virtual Machines
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Created On: 04/23/2006 12:53 AM
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 04/23/2006 12:53 AM
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Megadeth
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Is it possible to use F@H on virtual machines? Would I be folding more WUs or the same or less, if I use 2 VM? I have VMWare...so that would be the program I'd run 'em in.
 04/23/2006 01:04 AM
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Mime
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It wouldn't help production any if you were already running the client on the host OS, but yeah it's possible.

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 04/23/2006 10:28 AM
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Megadeth
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I mean if I don't run on the client, I run on the VMs only.
 04/23/2006 01:20 PM
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Mime
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If you ran it on only the guest OS, it'd probably be about the same as if you ran it only on the host.

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 04/24/2006 07:51 AM
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Logan[TeamX]
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As long as you're not getting any disk thrash from your VM and OS eating up all your RAM, you'll probably lose somewhere between 2-5% in performance if you're using VMWare Workstation.

The good thing about the VMWare session is that it preloads all the RAM it needs in its entirety. The bad thing is... it's just another process to the Host OS, and if it's pre-empted or anything... performance will suffer.

Make sure you're allowing for enough RAM for all possible RAM usage by F@H, otherwise you'll have virtual machine paging, which will be at least as bad for performance as real machine paging, if not worse.
 04/24/2006 04:24 PM
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Megadeth
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Yes, but would I be finishing anymore WUs if I run an F@H in each of the VMWare VMs and not in my actual machine.
 04/24/2006 07:01 PM
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Mime
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No... that's not quite the way virtual machines work. A physical machine will have the same amount of physical resources no matter how many VMs you run on it, if any at all. If you ran three VMs on a single machine and ran the folding client in each of them, then CPU usage would show as being 100% in all three VMs, but that's only because each VM "thinks" that it's the only OS running on the system. The virtual machine software its self is written such that the guest OS can do its thing just like it always would and have no need for any knowledge of anything outside of that. You could be running three or three hundred VMs on the same hardware(something other than a one, typical PC /excl.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":excl:" border="0" alt="excl.gif" /> ) and you wouldn't be able to tell any difference from inside any of them. From inside the host OS, each of those three VMs would only be using a third of the overall physical resources, so what you'd really be doing is slowing everything down by quite a lot. Like Logan said, a VM is just another program that competes for resources just like any other program.

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 04/24/2006 07:11 PM
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Logan[TeamX]
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quote:

Originally posted by: Megadeth
Yes, but would I be finishing anymore WUs if I run an F@H in each of the VMWare VMs and not in my actual machine.



Simply put - no. Not on a single-core/socket box.

Mime is also bang on, and has expounded on what I meant.

IF you have one total core/socket to compute on, you'll be lucky to get 1/3rd of the work done that you would by just running one instance of F@H. If you have multiple cores/sockets and oodles of RAM... that might work for you and increase your Folding throughput. There ARE easier ways though

WWLD - What Would Logan Do? Probably the same thing as Mime and build a Network-booted VM-based monstrosity for kicks and giggles... 4 cores/processors on one box? 4 VM sessions, each session bound to a different CPU/core by way of setting affinity and let each VM boot off the network server

Or... just use ImageCFG.exe to force affinity on each executable, separate folders for each instance you wish to run.
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