Virtual Machine Performance Tip: Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware Software


Being that I have quite a bit of history over the years in dealing with computer and network security, I definitely believe that your environment should be as secure as more-than-humanly possible, even if it causes some inconvenience. It’s all fun and games until your network gets compromised, or worse, all of the thousands of photos of your children are deleted from your hard drive by some unsuspecting virus, intruder, etc.

Now, with that out there, if you are running any sort of resident anti-virus/anti-malware software on your host system – in my case, I have a Windows 7 laptop as my host for my own development images – while you are working on your virtual machines, consider turning off this software while you are working on your system. I have Windows Security Essentials running on my host. Instantaneously  after shutting it down, my performance increased. Pages loaded faster, builds took less time to run, etc.

This is because you are constantly reading and writing to your disk when you use a VM. If you can exclude that VM from your AV & AM software – great! If not, just turn it off for a little bit, you will notice a serious improvement in performance. The same goes if you are running any software of the sort on your guest operating system.

Just make sure the rest of your network is protected, or, you are not connected to the internet… just in case something sneaks by 🙂


About Geoff Varosky
Geoff Varosky is a Senior Architect for Insight, based out of Watertown, MA. He has been architecting and developing web based applications his entire career, and has been working with SharePoint for the past 15 years. Geoff is an active member of the SharePoint community, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group, co-founder for the Boston Office 365 Users Group, co-organizer for SharePoint Saturday Boston and speaks regularly at SharePoint events and user groups.

2 Responses to Virtual Machine Performance Tip: Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware Software

  1. Good tip. Also consider using pre-allocated VM disks rather than VM disks that grow dynamically. Once I converted a VM to pre-allocated disks, I saw a 3-fold performance gain without altering anti-virus.


  2. Pingback: Virtual Machine Performance Tip: Defragmentation « Geoff Varosky's Blog

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