[CentOS] CentOS 5.8 crash/freeze running VMware

Thu Jun 28 16:45:06 UTC 2012
Michael Eager <eager at eagerm.com>

Hi --

I have a server running CentOS 5.8.  It has a 6-core AMD processor,
16Gb memory, and a RAID 5 file system.  It serves as both a file server
and to run several VMware virtual machines.  The guest machines run
Windows 7 and various versions of Linux.

The system is running the latest version of VMware Workstation.
Until recently, I started VMs using the VMware Workstation GUI.
The system has been very stable and seldom crashes.

Recently, I set up an init script to start several VMs at boot
time using the vmrun command.  This appeared to work correctly,
but the system has become unstable, freezing at various times.
When the system freezes, there is no console response and it
does not respond to a ping.  There is nothing in syslog to
indicate any error.

The script started 8 VMs.  I've cut back to now running 4 VMs
and the system appears stable.

Is there some relation between the number of cores and the number
of VMs one can run?

Is there something else which might cause the system to crash
when running multiple VMs?

Any suggestions to identify why the system crashed?

Michael Eager	 eager at eagercon.com
1960 Park Blvd., Palo Alto, CA 94306  650-325-8077