To manage workload demands, you can change the amount of CPU resources allocated to a virtual machine by using the shares, reservations, and limits settings.

A virtual machine has the following user-defined settings that affect its CPU resource allocation.

Places a limit on the consumption of CPU time for a virtual machine. This value is expressed in MHz or GHz.
Specifies the guaranteed minimum allocation for a virtual machine. The reservation is expressed in MHz or GHz.
Each virtual machine is granted CPU shares. The more shares a virtual machine has, the more often it receives a time slice of a CPU when there is no CPU idle time. Shares represent a relative metric for allocating CPU capacity.


Power off the virtual machine.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine in the list and select Edit settings from the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Virtual Hardware tab, expand CPU, and allocate CPU capacity for the virtual machine.
    Option Description

    Guaranteed CPU allocation for this virtual machine.


    Upper limit for this virtual machine’s CPU allocation. Select Unlimited to specify no upper limit.


    CPU shares for this virtual machine in relation to the parent’s total. Sibling virtual machines share resources according to their relative share values bounded by the reservation and limit. Select Low, Normal, or High, which specify share values respectively in a 1:2:4 ratio. Select Custom to give each virtual machine a specific number of shares, which express a proportional weight.

  4. Click Save.