Settings for various VMs and PFSense How To

Looking for your experience with the best settings for a smooth software testing environment in various OSes. How many cores, allotment of RAM, HD size and type etc.

Windows, 7, 10 as well as Windows Server 2016, Tails, and Mint. I have a 6850k, 32GB of DDR4 3200, and a GTX 1070TI.
I’ve been running VMs on a spindle drive, just recently moved to an SSD….yeah that’s embarrassing hence why I am here making sure I haven’t missed something else hampering my performance.

Also, wanted to check in with the latest PFSense setup. I always had trouble getting my VMs online and secure since my workstation that has vmware uses a VPN. Seemed to only be able to connect if I let the VM bypass the VPN an get an IP directly from my ISP. I guess what I am trying to say is that given my workstation in behind a VPN and I want to run a VM securely, what are the recommended approaches?

Thanks for reading!

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  1. When I deploy any version of MS server I go 4 cores, 4GB ram, and that’s probably overkill. I do 80GB drives, thin provisioned, and if I need more, add a second virtual disk at the required size. I have a windows 10 VM because I got bored with 8 cores and 8GB ram, but 4 cores would probably be perfectly fine.

  2. I assume you are referring to VMWare Workstation on Windows?

    Theres no right answer to this, the amount of cores and RAM for each VM really is dependant on the job the VM will be performing, I generally give everything 2 CPUs unless its something that requires more CPU grunt.

    Regarding your PFSense question I don’t think Workstation is really the right environment to be running PF, it should ideally be its own hardware or a proper hypervisor, not running as a VM on top of Windows otherwise you are at the mercy of Windows. My PFSense (actually OPNense) is hosted on an ESXi Hypervisor with dual NICs, NIC 1 is WAN and connects directly to my DSL modem, NIC 2 is LAN and a virtual switch connects the OPNSense LAN interface to the VM’s and NIC 2 which then connects to a physical switch and the rest of the network.

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