This fast guide to optimizing Microsoft Virtual Server offers an overview of Anil Desai's related series. Not using Virtual Server? That's OK. Most of the general tips also apply to other virtualization platforms.
The author of the series, Anil Desai, has worked extensively with Microsoft's Server products and managed datacenter environments that support thousands of virtual machines. He is an MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA and a Microsoft MVP (Windows Server -- Management Infrastructure).
In the Optimizing Microsoft Virtual Server series, he covers methods to optimize CPU, memory, disk and network performance.
The first part of the series explains why changes to Virtual Server can help keep your virtual machines running at optimal speed and outlines the series.
Monitoring CPU and memory resources
The primary purpose of any virtualization solution is to act as a referee between virtual machines (which are always asking for access to hardware resources) and the underlying hardware itself (which can only respond to a limited number of requests at a time). In this article, Anil covers how you can monitor CPU and memory resources.
Managing CPU resouce allocation
By default, Microsoft Virtual Server will treat all virtual machines (VMs) with equal priority. In production environments, however, some VMs are more important than others. This tip tells you how to tell Virtual Server which VMs should get preference.
Designing virtual hard disk storage
Much of the power and flexibility of virtualization solutions comes from the features available for virtual hard disks. Unfortunately, because so many different configuration types are available, you can end up reducing overall performance if you're not careful. A key concept is virtual hard disk (VHD) file placement. In this section, Anil gives some scenarios and suggests recommendations that can have a significant impact on performance.
Maintaining virtual hard disks
Just like physical hard disks, virtual hard disk (VHD) files need to be maintained over time. In this article, Anil tells you how to maintain VHD performance on Virtual Server host computers.
Using network-based storage
In this article, Anil shows you how to use network-based storage options to improve the performance and manageability of virtual machines running on Microsoft Virtual Server.
Optimizing network performance
General networking principals apply to virtual machines just as they apply to physical ones. But because the host's network adapters will be providing resources for all VMs, there are some special considerations. In this article, Anil presents some ways to design networks with virtualization performance in mind.
This was first published in March 2007