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Limiting disk I/O from a specific virtual machine (1038241)

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This article provides a method to limit the disk I/O for a specific virtual machine using the vSphere Client.
Note: Use the VMware Web Client in ESXi 5.5 with VMwaretools hardware versions 9 or greater.


To manually configure disk I/O limits for a virtual machine:
  1. Power off the virtual machine in preparation for changing the configuration parameters.
  2. Locate the virtual machine in the vSphere Client inventory.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  4. Click the Resources tab.
  5. Select Disk, and enter the desired IOPs value under Limit - IOPs for each disk. By default, this is set to Unlimited.
  6. Start the virtual machine. The virtual machine I/O is limited to the specified values.

Note: These steps work for an ESXi 5.5 environment if the VMwaretools hardware version is less than 9. If your hardware version is not less than 9 use the VMware Web Client to access the same functionality. For more information, see Use Disk Shares to Prioritize Virtual Machines in the vSphere Web Client from the VMware vSphere 5.5 Documentation Center.

Additional Information


All limit values are consolidated per virtual machine per LUN.

Examples for a virtual machine with four virtual disks:
  • Example 1: All virtual disks located on one LUN. Each virtual disk IOPs set to 100 IOPs.

    As each disk is limited to 100 IOPs, the total IOPs for the datastore is 400 IOPs. If disks 1, 2, and 3 issue 10 IOPs each, disk 4 could issue 370 IOPs without being restricted.

  • Example 2: Disks 1 and 2 on LUN A, disks 3 and 4 on LUN B. All limits are set to 100 IOPs per disk.

    The IOPs are consolidated to 200 IOPs to LUN A and 200 IOPs on LUN B. If disks 1 and 3 issue 10 IOPs each, disks 2 and 4 could issue 190 IOPs without being restricted.

  • Example 3: All virtual disks located on one LUN. One disk is set to Unlimited, all other disks are set to 100 IOPs.

    As one of the disks on the LUN is set to Unlimited, the IOPs for the LUN are also Unlimited for that datastore.

Alternate options for controlling disk usage


configuration-change  vm-configuration  storage-io-control  configure-esx-options  configure-esxi-options

See Also

Update History

08/14/2012 - Added ESXi 5.0 to Products 06/18/2013 - Added ESXi 5.1 to Products

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  • 19 Ratings