VMware vSphere 4: The CPU Scheduler in VMware ESX 4

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October 11, 2010

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The CPU scheduler in VMware ESX 4 is crucial to providing good performance in a consolidated environment. Since most modern processors are equipped with multiple cores per processor, systems with tens of cores running hundreds of virtual machines are common. In such a large system, allocating CPU resource efficiently and fairly is critical. In ESX 4, there are significant changes to the ESX CPU scheduler that improve performance and scalability. This paper describes these changes and their impact. This paper also provides details of the CPU scheduling algorithms in the ESX server.