Performance issues rank high on the list of technical concerns related to virtualization. Organizations are often ready to jump toward the use of virtual machines, but only if they can be sure that their applications will continue to perform well. Although virtualization overhead is inevitable, it's important to understand how to address bottlenecks and increase performance.
In some ways, this might sound like the not-so-good old days, when systems administrators would go to great lengths to squeeze the maximum performance out of 64MB of RAM on a mid-range server. Hardware constraints are nowhere near as tight as they used to be, but it is still up to IT staff to get the highest performance out of their systems. Fortunately, there are many ways to reach this goal.
This series will focus on strategies for optimizing the performance of virtual machines running on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2. While most of the general tips also apply to other virtualization platforms (such as VMware and Xen), I'll focus on Microsoft's platform when illustrating specifics. I'll cover methods to optimize CPU, memory, disk and network performance. The goal is to help you manage and optimize performance based on Virtual Server's architecture and your business and technical needs.
Note: The articles in this series assume that you're already familiar with the Virtual Server platform and have experience working with virtual hard disks, virtual networks, and other settings. If you're new to virtualization, be sure to check out my previous series of articles: "Microsoft Virtual Server from the ground up".
Here are the parts of the series, for your reference:
- Monitoring CPU and memory resources
- Managing CPU and resource allocation
- Designing virtual hard disk storage
- Maintaining virtual hard disks
- Using network-based storage
- Optimizing network performance
About the author: Anil Desai is the author of numerous technical books focusing on the Windows Server Platform, Virtualization, Active Directory, SQL Server and IT management. Most recently, he has written The Rational Guide to Managing Microsoft Virtual Server and The Rational Guide to Scripting Microsoft Virtual Server. See http://AnilDesai.net for more information.