Manage Learn to apply best practices and optimize your operations.

Nine memory management techniques for virtual servers

3/9

Memory ballooning allows the guest OS to be aware of host memory needs

Source:  TechTarget and iStock
Designer: Megan Cassello

This VMware feature works within the guest OS to be aware of the host's memory needs, and if additional memory is needed by the hypervisor, the balloon driver can work inside the guest OS to utilize OS freed memory pages to be released to the hypervisor. Since this works as a per-virtual guest option, memory ballooning is seen as a better memory management option than hypervisor swapping. It's important to note that in order to participate in memory ballooning, the VM must have the balloon driver installed or the hypervisor will not have any insight into what memory pages are freed in the virtual guest. The balloon driver also inflates purposefully to work with the OS to overestimate the amount of memory being used so that the guest OS will not simply cache physical memory. The key to this is to inflate enough to prevent caching, but not so much that the guest will start swapping out pages to disk. If the balloon is inflated too much, the VM won't have enough memory to run its own processes, which will trigger memory swapping and ultimately slow down the VM.

View All Photo Stories

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchVMware

SearchWindowsServer

SearchCloudComputing

SearchVirtualDesktop

SearchDataCenter

Close