Two days ago (but it seems longer) the drive that holds my VM images started vomiting bad sectors. Even more unfortunately, one of the bad sectors took out the MFT clusters on my main Win XP management VM. So far that's the only data-loss, but it's a doozy. I said unto my manager, "Help, for I have no VM drive any more, and am woe." Meanwhile I evacuated what data I could. Being what passes for a Storage Administrator around here, finding the space was dead easy.

Yesterday bossman gave me a 500GB Western Digital drive and I got to work restoring service. This drive has Native Command Queueing, unlike the now-dead 320GB drive. I didn't expect that to make much of a difference, but it has. My Vista VMs (undamaged) run noticibly faster now. "iostat -x" shows await times markedly lower than they were before when running multiple VMs.

NCQ isn't the kind of feature that generally speeds up desktop performance, but in this case it does. Perhaps lots of VM's are a 'server' type load afterall.