VMware workstation 8 for a quick monster vm test

A client for whom I’m working on some virtualisation and backup issues had a rather large (1.6TB) vmware convertor image of one server 2008 r2 that needed checked for viability. I removed the  image from site and was about to convert it up to the ESX server to check that it would start okay. I decided to to try and start the image on vmware workstation 8 even though this was probably the biggest image that I  had moved from a client site. I was surprised that the machine actually coped whilst running Windows 7 64 bit with the plethora of apps I normally have opened. The server image was given 10GB of memory and 4 cores. The image started slowly – and at the logon screen paused with a black screen with Windows server 2008 enterprise in the bottom righthand corner.

However I let the system finish starting for ten minutes or so  and was able to log on and install vmware tools. After that the system performed slightly better and I was able to test the image and confirm to the client all was well.

So before you go transferring a large image to an ESX host – its  worth opening with Workstation 8 if you have the local memory and processing resources needed to boot the virtual machine.