When you decide on the placement of the VMkernel swap file of the virtual machines running in a virtual infrastructure workload domain, consider the configuration efforts and traffic related to transferring virtual machine system data across the data center.

When a virtual machine is powered on, the system creates a VMkernel swap file to serve as a backing store for the contents of the virtual machine's RAM. By default, the swap file is stored in the same location as the configuration file of the virtual machine. The co-location simplifies the configuration. However, it can lead to generating additional replication traffic that is not needed.

You can reduce the amount of traffic that is replicated by changing the swap file location on the ESXi host. However, the completion of vSphere vMotion operations might take longer when the swap file must be recreated because pages swapped to a local swap file on the source host must be transferred across the network to the destination host.
Table 1. Design Decisions for Virtual Machine Swap Configuration of ESXi Hosts

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication


For tenant workloads running in the shared edge and workload cluster, save the virtual machine swap file at the default location.

Simplifies the configuration process.

Increases the amount of on-disk storage required to host the entire virtual machine state.