The Memory Consumed chart displays the memory performance of the top ten virtual machines in the vApp or resource pool.

This chart is located in the Virtual Machines view of the vApp or resource pool Performance tab.

For resource pools and virtual machines in a resource pool or vApp, this chart is located in the Resource Pools & Virtual Machines view of the resource pool or vApp Performance tab.

Data Counters

Chart Label



Amount of host memory used by the virtual machine for its guest operating system's physical memory. Memory overhead is not included in consumed memory.

consumed memory = memory granted - memory saved from page sharing

For example, if a virtual machine has 100MB of memory that is shared equally with three other virtual machines, its portion of the shared memory is 25MB (100MB ÷ 4 VMs). This amount is counted in the memory consumed data counter.

Counter: consumed

Stats Type: Absolute

Unit: Megabytes (MB)

Rollup Type: Average (Minimum/Maximum)

Collection Level: 1 (4)

A virtual machine's memory size must be slightly larger than the average guest memory usage. This enables the host to accommodate workload spikes without swapping memory among guests. Increasing the virtual machine memory size results in more overhead memory usage.

If sufficient swap space is available, a high balloon value does not cause performance problems. However, if the swapin and swapout values for the host are large, the host is probably lacking the amount of memory required to meet the demand.

If a virtual machine has high ballooning or swapping, check the amount of free physical memory on the host. A free memory value of 6% or less indicates that the host cannot meet the memory requirements. This leads to memory reclamation, which might degrade performance. If the active memory size is the same as the granted memory size, demand for memory is greater than the memory resources available. If the active memory is consistently low, the memory size might be too large.

If the host has enough free memory, check the resource shares, reservation, and limit of the virtual machines and resource pools on the host. Verify that the host settings are adequate and not lower than those set for the virtual machine.

If little free memory is available, or if you notice degradation in performance, consider taking the following actions.

Memory Performance Enhancement Advice




Verify that VMware Tools is installed on each virtual machine. The balloon driver is installed with VMware Tools and is critical to performance.


Verify that the balloon driver is enabled. The VMkernel regularly reclaims unused virtual machine memory by ballooning and swapping. Generally, this does not impact virtual machine performance.


Reduce the memory space on the virtual machine, and correct the cache size if it is too large. This frees up memory for other virtual machines.


If the memory reservation of the virtual machine is set to a value much higher than its active memory, decrease the reservation setting so that the VMkernel can reclaim the idle memory for other virtual machines on the host.


Migrate one or more virtual machines to a host in a DRS cluster.


Add physical memory to the host.