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What is CPU Priority?

When a virtual machine is created it is allocated a CPU priority as well as a number of CPU cores. You can think of CPU priority as its "share percentage". This value is used to determine how much CPU resource that VM is given, by multiplying CPU priority by the number of cores allocated to the VM. The result is a minimum number - VMs can burst over it, up to 100% multiplied by the number of cores.

For example, consider a VM which has been allocated the following CPU priority percentages and cores, on a hypervisor with a number of 3GHz CPUs:

  • 100% x 1 core = 3GHz CPU resource available (burstable to 3GHz)
  • 10% x 2 cores = 600MHz resource available (burstable to 6GHz)
  • 5 % x 4 cores = 600MHz resource available (burstable to 12GHz)