Drown a VM using Ressource Allocation

Just came across a strange effect, at least strange for a system administrator, related to VMware Ressource Allocation. When checking one of my virtual servers I’ve noticed a high memory usage compared to the running processes in Task Manager and Process Explorer. The barely no free RAM left. I was not able find a relation between running processes and consumed memory.

It turned out that someone around messed up the Memory Ressource Allocation for this specific VM and nearly downed it completely. I was not even able to perform a proper backup and the application was no longer responding in a proper fashion.

After changing the Memory Limit from 512MB to Unlimited the system returned to normal memory usage after some time.

The impatient would choose to reboot because Windows will need some time to reclaim the memory once the ballooned area is removed.

Ressource Pools and Ressource Allocation are really useful. Both features helped me survive times of memory shortage in the past. Use them appropriate to prevent unnecessary swapping.

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