12 Performance Tips for Your Virtual Machine

I spent my fair amount of years in IT operations, staying around enterprise VMware infrastructure for about a decade. During this period, I worked with development environments (with crazy stuff like developers running Visual Studio, Jenkins CI/CD pipelines, and automation testing clusters on top of Citrix XenApp farms on top of vSphere). I also worked with production infrastructures ranging from usual CRM and ERP applications to performance-hungry financial and real-time telco-grade applications.

Irrespective of the environment, there was always that user complaining about the slowness of a particular VM. It was not a general performance issue, but specific to one VM. And you know what? Sometimes the user was right and the performance of the VM was subpar. The easiest “solution” would be to add more resources and this was at many times the path supported by the user. “I don’t have enough processing power, give me 4 more virtual CPUs”. Sometimes it is the proper solution. But often these are just resources going out of the door. In fact, all you need to recover the performance is to tune your virtual machine configuration.

In this article, I want to highlight 12 areas worth checking at the virtual machine configuration. If nothing works, then you can look into changes that get easily translated into real money. I will not touch any configuration at a level above the VM and nothing at the operating system level.

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