VMware Virtual Machine Optimization tips

Focus : How can we optimize the performance of a virtual machine ?

Below are a few points you can consider during your virtual machine deployment time:

  • Ensure that the proper guest OS is selected for the VM
    • Selecting the correct OS during VM provisioning helps in installing the correct drivers for the VM
    • Incorrect selection of guest OS could result in VM boot failure
  • Use the latest hardware version supported for the vSphere
    • Upgrading the vSphere alone to a new version will not give you all the new features. For that, the VM should be upgraded to the latest hardware version.
  • Install the latest VMware tools 
    • VMware tools helps the VM in Memory overcommitment. It uses ballooning for this feature.
    • VMware tools helps the VM in syncing time with the ESXi server
    • VMware tools enhance user experience for the VM
  • Assign only the required number of vCPUs to a VM
    • CPU over commitment can cause high ready time
    • CPU over commitment is more critical than memory over commitment 
  • Set cores and sockets cautiously
    • Try to make cores a divisor of the physical cores
    • I've often seen VMs with 9 or 7 cores when we they have a 8 or 16 core physical machines. But this will not help the performance. VMware suggests to use the socket and cores in a more intelligent manner. For eg: if you want a VM with 8 vCPUs, you can consider using 2 sockets and 4 cores
  • Do not use CPU affinity unless it is badly required
    • CPU affinity can result in Unbalanced load and scheduler complexities
  • Consider putting swap files on local disk or an SSD cache
    • This will help in enhancing the performance of the VM
  • Choose memory intelligently
    • Ensure enough memory for the VM's working
  • Check the number of deployed and powered on VMs 
  • Use the correct virtual SCSI adapter
    • Incorrect SCSI controller will cause guest OS to fail to boot.
  • Always prefer to use vmxnet3 network adapters
    • vmxnet3 is the most suited adapter for VMs. It supports jumbo frames
    • Next preference goes to 'Enhanced' and finally 'Flxible'
  • Enable Jumbo frames to improve the network performance
If you take care of the above points, I can assure you that your VMs will get extra wings to fly!!!


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