3D Software Rendering with View 5.2… What’s Changing!

When VMware View 5.1 was release I wrote about the changes to storage and memory footprint when the 3D software rendering option was enabled.

Just to recap:

ESxi 5.0 implements a second .vswp file for every virtual machine created either with hardware version 7 or 8. This second .vswp file is dedicated to memory overhead and will be used when the host is under resource constraint. When the virtual machine is created the memory overhead is defined, however the VM and the VMkernel will not use the whole reserved memory until required.

With Horizon View 5.2 and vSphere 5.1 new changes have been implemented, modifying the amount of storage footprint and memory allocated for the video .vswp file. The new values are more aggressive than used to be with vSphere 5.0.

Couple things to highlight before getting into the numbers:

  • Horizon View 5.2 does not allow selection of 24-bit or 32-bit color palette. 32-bit is the default option.
  • The resolution mode has been narrowed in Horizon View 5.2, only allowing administrators to select between 1680×1050, 1920×1200 and 2560×1600. 1920×1200 is the default option.

3D Software Rendering Disabled

  • Memory footprint per VM in MB.
Memory Number of Displays
Resolution/Displays 1 2 3 4
1680×1050 6.73 21.54 32.30 43.07
1920×1200 8.79 28.13 42.19 56.25
2560×1600 31.25 62.5 93.75 125
  • Storage footprint per VM in MB
.vSWAP Number of Displays
Resolution/Displays 1 2 3 4
1680×1050 107 163 207 252
1920×1200 111 190 248 306
2560×1600 203 203 461 589

3D Software Rendering Enabled

When the 3D software rending is enabled for a desktop pool the amount of storage utilized for the .vSWAP file is not dictated by the resolution and number of displays, but rather by the amount of video RAM assigned for display. In previous releases of VMware View when 3D software rendering was enabled it would automatically add 256MB to the .vswp file – but that mathematics does not work anymore. I performed some reverse engineering to identify the most common cases.

  • Memory footprint per VM in MB

When you create a VM using vCenter you will see the following information: “Extra 64MB plus 16MB per display”.

  • Storage footprint per VM in MB
64 MB 1076
128MB 1468
256MB 1468
512MB 1916

Now, you might be asking yourself. Do I need to compute all that into my VDI solutions design? The answer is yes, you do. The simply fact of adding 512MB video ram will increase the VM storage footprint in 1.9GB. However, you don’t have to be concerned about all this calculation because I have included in a the release of my VDI calculator (http://myvirtualcloud.net/?page_id=1076).

This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net.

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