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January 2010, Vol. 18

Four mistakes that can kill virtual machine performance

Ah, how I love the easy ones. In many cases, the easiest mistakes cause some of the biggest performance problems in virtualization environments. In my consulting, I've seen a few major errors that are worth sharing. Some of these may seem obvious, but consider checking your settings. You may be surprised at what you find. Easy Mistake 1: Virtual machine screensavers Screensavers are an absolute requirement for desktops in the hallways of our brick-and-mortar offices. They ensure that a user who walks away from his computer returns to one that has been secured against prying eyes. Screensavers can also provide protection in data centers. If screensavers on servers activate and lock the console after a few minutes of inactivity, they can protect that environment from an intruder who gains physical access. But screensavers are a quiet consumer of processor resources. No matter how insignificant that screensaver seems, the processor power required to draw the pipes crawling across the screen or to scroll your favorite company slogan...

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