The continual performance tweaking of VMWare

I have VMWare Workstation installed on my workstation. It is very handy. We have an ESX cluster so I could theoretically export VMs I work up on my machine directly to the ESX hosts. I haven't done that yet, but it is possible.

Unfortuantely, I've run into several performance problems since I installed it. The base system as it started, right after I switched from Xen:
  • OpenSUSE 10.2, 64-bit
  • The VM partition is running XFS
  • Intel dual core E6700 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB SATA drives
The system as it exists now:
  • OpenSUSE 11.0 64-bit
  • The VM Partition is running XFS, with these fstab settings: logbufs=8,noatime,nodiratime,nobarrier
  • The XFS partition was reformatted with lazy-count=1, and log version 2
  • Intel quad core Q6700
  • 6GB RAM (would have been 8, but I somehow managed to break one of my RAM sockets)
  • 320GB SATA drives, with the 'deadline' scheduler set for the disk with the VM partition on it.
It still doesn't perform that great. I've done enough system monitoring to know that I'm being I/O bound. I hear ext4 is supposed to be better at this than XFS, so I just might go there when openSUSE 11.2 drops. One of these would go a long way to helping fix this problem, but I don't think I'll be able to get the funding to do it.