Increase VMWare Host upload speeds?


  • Developer

    First of all I want to give props to Ozzy, he did an AMAZING job on his custom kernel guide. I used it to set up drivers for my SCSI drives that VMWare insists upon using. However I run into problems uploading, the speeds are painfully slow. So I was wondering if anyone has anyone found a setting for the VMWare e1000 network card? What do I need to update?

    I get painful upload speeds and I am interested in increasing the speeds, I have added the VMXNET 3 driver but I have not switched to it yet; I was going to give this a shot tomorrow, but I was curious what others would recommend.

    With the stock e1000 I start out at a decent speed of 1GiB/min but it quickly drops to down around 500MiB and eventually falls around 100MiB and it takes almost 8 hours to upload an image :(


  • Senior Developer

    [quote=“gwhitfield, post: 36037, member: 344”]I know it’s an old thread but I’ve looked at others and didn’t get any closer to an accurate description of the problem we’re struggling with and now may have solved for ourselves.

    We have server (A) FOG 1.2 on Ubuntu 14.0.4.1 hosted by vCenter Server 5.5.0. 2CPU/4GB RAM/e1000 NIC/SCSI drive. With PIG_Z_COMP set at 3, upload speeds were no better that 500MB/min while download speeds were in the 3GB/min range. After much googles I find some references to VMWare driver issues solved by command line “(sudo) ethtool -K eth0 tso off gso off” which worked. Upload went to 4.5GB/min on 1Gb connection, download went to 5.1GB/min without a restart of FOG server. There’s also an rx-checksumming edit suggested but we didn’t implement it to get to the speeds we’re at now. Maybe we can live without it.

    Funny, we have another server (B) FOG 1.2/Ubuntu 14.0.4.1 VM 2CPU/4GB RAM/e1000 NIC/SCSI drive on ESXi 5.1 that required no changes to achieve 4.3GB/min uploads on 1Gb connection.

    Now to get handle on how to make this change stick after a restart, something in /etc/network/interfaces but nothing worked yet, maybe a syntax thing idk. Also trying to get mysql service starting at the right time to avoid the Database Schema issue on restart. I know it’s in here somewhere, just haven’t found it yet. When I do I’ll try to update this.[/quote]

    I’ve add the ethtool -K eth0 tso off gso off command to the S99fog scripts so this should be on your systems as well. I don’t know if we should add this to the installer though, as the interface is subject to be changed.

    Maybe we can get a wiki entry explaining this?



  • I know it’s an old thread but I’ve looked at others and didn’t get any closer to an accurate description of the problem we’re struggling with and now may have solved for ourselves.

    We have server (A) FOG 1.2 on Ubuntu 14.0.4.1 hosted by vCenter Server 5.5.0. 2CPU/4GB RAM/e1000 NIC/SCSI drive. With PIG_Z_COMP set at 3, upload speeds were no better that 500MB/min while download speeds were in the 3GB/min range. After much googles I find some references to VMWare driver issues solved by command line “(sudo) ethtool -K eth0 tso off gso off” which worked. Upload went to 4.5GB/min on 1Gb connection, download went to 5.1GB/min without a restart of FOG server. There’s also an rx-checksumming edit suggested but we didn’t implement it to get to the speeds we’re at now. Maybe we can live without it.

    Funny, we have another server (B) FOG 1.2/Ubuntu 14.0.4.1 VM 2CPU/4GB RAM/e1000 NIC/SCSI drive on ESXi 5.1 that required no changes to achieve 4.3GB/min uploads on 1Gb connection.

    Now to get handle on how to make this change stick after a restart, something in /etc/network/interfaces but nothing worked yet, maybe a syntax thing idk. Also trying to get mysql service starting at the right time to avoid the Database Schema issue on restart. I know it’s in here somewhere, just haven’t found it yet. When I do I’ll try to update this.


  • Developer

    I never thought about this, but what kind of a network environment do you have?

    We operate on a Novell NDS environment we are on NetWare version 6.5


  • Developer

    [quote]Personally I am running fog in ESX 5.1 on a gig nic and on a dedicated vswtich on a private deployment vlan and i don’t have any issues[/quote]

    I want to quote you on this.

    ESXi 5.1 server with a 1 gig card.
    Dedicated vSwitch and a Private vLAN

    I have not tested all environments, but I can tell you that there is a difference in the hardware you use to build a server. Our antiquated technology I was using as a “server” was a poor excuse for a server. I’m not pointing the entire blame at the hardware, but I can see where it could be the issue. However, installing a valid OS and a Virtual Box Image resulted in MUCH faster upload speeds ON THE SAME MACHINE! I can’t explain why.

    We do not have a dedicated switch that FOG is running on, nor was I using a dedicated switch for the ESXi server.

    Perhaps there needs to be a “minimum requirements” thread on the successful set ups with VMWare.

    I’m glad ESXi works in your environment, but without cash to throw at a server for the only specifics of creating a virtual image, I would say ESXi is an extremely poor choice. If you have other uses for ESXi then using it as an imaging solution could work.

    I’m not here to bat for either company, but Virtual Box is far easier to set up an manage, and I hardly notice a difference with the Virtual Machine running. I can’t say the same for VMWare, the only time I got good speeds was when I remote desktop to the machine and leave out the VMWare Fusion connection program.

    Virtual Box is FREE, 100%, and you can run it on practically any hardware as long as an OS can live on it. This is a much better solution if virtual imaging is the only purpose for it.

    We do have ESXi servers, they run some of our datasync, our mailbox programs, and a few others. But these machines are built to be servers and handle the load that they are given. I need to check to see if I can upload an image from those servers with any better speeds. However, I am not really that interested in troubleshooting the issue unless someone has a direction to send me down, because I am really happy with Virtual Box.

    To be more specific, the EXACT same machine I use as a FOG server, I was using as a ESXi server. We have left over tower units of the same model and they include 8gb ram, 500 gb hdd, intel core 2 duo processor at 2.86 ghz, NX8800GT Video card. My FOG sever hits speeds of 6 gigs and I normally see it float around 4.25 gigs, I’m sorry but that hardware should be more than suffice for a server housing virtual Operating systems for imaging with only 2gb ram per machine, only one virtual machine running at a time.



  • Personally I am running fog in ESX 5.1 on a gig nic and on a dedicated vswtich on a private deployment vlan and i don’t have any issues



  • This post is deleted!

  • Developer

    I can confirm that Virtual box uses the same Intel e1000 device driver, however it uploads in only 20 minutes, A LOT faster than VMWare.

    I prefer VirtualBox anyway, I’m going to stick with it!


  • Developer

    highly unlikely that anything is obstructing the path, the ESXi server and the FOG server are on the same switch within my office, eliminating the outside signal has not effect on the EXSi upload speeds :/

    I was more of hoping there was a driver I could compile, or perhaps I had a setting wrong in the ESXI but it is pretty easy to set up and not much to alter.

    Anyway I’m about to upload an image form Virtualbox shortly, I’ll let you know if the problem is persistent.



  • Ahhh okay. That would explain why I’m not seeing them - I currently have a deployment VM as a local guest on my personal machine. I have it bridged, so it would be using my Intel NIC drivers, I believe.

    I actually have been intending on pushing this VM to our vSphere ESXi host as well at some point - If I find time I’ll do some troubleshooting, but I haven’t done any uploading from there yet.

    Any chance there are some VLAN/QoS settings which are throttling the upload speed?


  • Developer

    Yeah I figured out how to change the drive, but it doesn’t help any that the virtual machine I have set up started on a SCSI style and it’s been a pain to get it to do anything other. If I decide to use VMWare again I’ll give the IDE solution a shot. Using the SCSI drives has made it ANYTHING but fun to work with virtual machines and it’s even more of a pain to import to another virtual set up.

    I’m actually working with an EXSi Server, latest version, I work through the vSphere client console, latest version, to talk to my virtual machine and upload, but I use RDC to connect to the machine and install drivers and such.

    Personally I prefer to use Virtual Box, this image was started for me and I’ve run into a number of problems and since scrapped the project and started a set up with VirtualBox. However I think it uses the same e1000 driver as VMWare :/



  • Really? I haven’t had a problem using VMWare to handle the uploads.
    What version of VMWare are you using? And is it player or workstation?

    On a side note, you actually can use non-SCSI drives. Getting to that point is anything but intuitive, though.
    Upon VM creation, VMWare will force you to start with a SCSI drive. However, before booting, you can open up the configuration for the VM, delete the SCSI device, and upon re-adding a hard disk, you can select IDE – which FOG detects and handles innately with the Kernels it has built in. I tried both ways, and found that just using a VMWare IDE disk was the best solution for us.


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