Saturday, July 2, 2011

10 Simple Steps to Improve Virtual Machine Performance in VMware

Improve Virtual Machine Performance VMware
Follow these easy steps to improve virtual machine performance in VMware Workstation; some methods can be used in VMware Player too. Most of the users missed to tweak virtual machines to work better and end up with blaming software. Speed up VMs can be done easily and let’s feel the power of desktop virtualization.
VMware has more options than VirtualBox to speed up virtual machines.  The below methods are applicable in VMware console mode, I meant not inside guest OS. In Two ways you can improve virtual machine performance.

Two Ways

1)      Virtual machine configuration in VMware
2)      Tweaks inside Guest OS (Windows disk defragmentation, remove startup programs  …etc,)
This post covers the first way.
Improve Virtual Machine Performance VMware
Simple Steps to Improve Virtual machine performance in VMware
1) Hardware Allocation
Yes, Increase the memory size and processor cores (if supports) to guest operating system. You have to consider host usage while allocating memory, but processor cores can be set to maximumwithout considering host usage.
2) Allocate Disk Space Now
If you frequently transfer data to guest machine then better to allocate all disk space now. Expanding storage option may slow down disk performance when data transfer happening to guest machine as it should increase virtual disk size in real time.
Improve Virtual Machine Performance VMware
3) Delete Snapshots
Snapshots are saved in different virtual disk files than original disk file. More snapshots keep more disk files. If really snapshots are not required then delete them and merge with original disk file. I’m sure this method will improve disk performance by reducing access time and help in next step also.
4) Defragment Disk File
This doesn’t mean defragmentation inside guest Operating System. You can defragment virtual disk file from VMware console to compact and fragment data in VMDK file. Disk access time can be saved lot in this method.
Improve Virtual Machine Performance VMware
5) Do not Forget to install Latest VMware Tools
Have you installed latest VMware Tools in workstation or VM Player?.VMware Tools, increase the network speed to 1 GB, increase display performance, allow easy file transfer between host and guest, Mouse integration and unity view which all help to improve virtual machine performance well. VMware recommends running virtual machine in full screen to get better performance.
6) How about 64Bit OS?
If host computer supports 64bit architecture, and you will not install 32Bit software inside guest OS, then consider about 64Bit guest OS installation. 64Bit Guest works well in VMware workstation and VM Player.
7) Access via Remote Display
For me, this helped lot. I felt easy by accessing virtual machines via Windows remote desktop instead of direct console view. Moreover, you can start guest OS in headless mode and access via remote display in other networked computers. This will reduce the resource load to host and guest machines.
8) Save and Play
Instead of shutting down and starting every time, just save and resume VMs. Resuming works faster than starting a virtual machine from beginning.
9) Keep Virtual Disk files in non-busy and high speed physical disks.
Again this impacts the disk access timing and gust performance. This will be useful when you have multiple running virtual machines. Keep VMDK files in high speed disks.
10) From Guest OS
Finally, use the all methods you know to improve guest OS performance from inside VM.
I combined all above steps from my experience and how it worked for me. If you have any more methods to speed up VMs in VMware, share it here.  Also, I will be happy to listen from you if these steps work for you.