Proper resource allocation is critical to effectively hosting virtual machines. This article series explains how it is done. When virtual machines were initially introduced, the basic idea behind using them was fairly simple. Many servers, such as DHCP servers and DNS servers don’t even come close to using the hardware’s full potential. In fact, often times less than ten percent of a server’s processing power is actually used on an ongoing basis. This under utilization of resources has been further compounded as processors have grown to be more powerful over the years. Virtualization allows companies to save money on hardware costs by making better use of a server’s available resources, by allowing multiple virtual machines to use resources that would otherwise have gone to waste. When implemented properly, this is a great alternative to spending lots of money on multiple physical servers.
Of course the real trick is configuring the host operating system and the guest operating systems to use resources in an efficient manner. After all, you want to gain the maximum usage out of your hardware, but at the same time, you don’t want to end up in a situation in which the server’s resources are spread too thin and performance begins to suffer. In this article, I’m going to try to walk you through this rather delicate balancing act.