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Disk Performance inside a Guest Virtual Machine is never as fast as on physical hardware and Scheduled Scans are very disk intensive. But 8 hours vs 1.5 hours is a big difference. Are your Scheduled Scans running on multiple Guests on the same ESX Host at the same time? If so, try staggering their scans so they don't try to run at the same time.
I was reading the release notes for 8.7i patch 1 and it might have something that will correct or at least improve the CPU utilization of the Agent communication. So I will do a wait and see on that one.
The Virus Scans are not running at the same time. I did forget the meantion that the physical server is actually running ePO 3.6.1 while the virtual server is running ePO 4.0. The physical server has more then 60,000 files on it (according to the logs) and it takes about 1.5 hours to complete. The Virtual has over 70,000 files and takes 8 hours. I also have windows 2003 virtual server with more then 20,000 files and that takes just under 3hours to complete.
The setups aren't exactly the same, but the numbers shouldn't be that far off. Especially, strange that the virtual Windows Server with ~20,000 files takes twice as long as the physical server with ~60,000 files.