Running Confluence in a Virtualised Environment

This page provides pointers for things to look at when running Confluence on virtualized hardware.

Summary

Running Confluence in a virtual machine (VM) requires specialized skills to set up and manage the virtualized environment. In particular, the performance of Confluence can be affected by the activity of other VMs running on the same infrastructure, as well as how you configure the Confluence VM itself.

Atlassian supports running Confluence and Confluence Data Center in a virtualized environment, but we cannot offer support for problems which are related to the environment itself.

Recommendations

The following recommendations come from our experience in running and testing Confluence in virtualized environments like VMWare and KVM, and our experience in working with customers running on these platforms.

  • Know your platform. Consult the documentation for your operating system and your chosen virtualization technology, for details on setting up a reliable VM (virtual machine) image.
  • Allocate enough memory. As a Java web application, Confluence requires a relatively large memory allocation, compared to some other web technologies. Ensure that your VM images have enough physical memory allocated to run Confluence without swapping.
  • Handle high I/O. Under normal usage, Confluence requires a significant number of input/output (I/O) operations to the database and home directory for each web request. Ensure that you use the correct drivers and consider how you make storage available to your VMs to optimize this access.
  • Handle peak CPU and memory usage. For certain operations (including PDF export, Office document processing, and displaying large pages) Confluence requires a significant amount of CPU and memory. Ensure that your virtualization infrastructure has the flexibility and capacity to deal with peak load, not just idle load.
  • Synchronize time correctly. Some customers have had problems with time synchronization between the VM and the host system. This causes problems in Confluence due to irregularities in the execution of scheduled tasks. We strongly recommend checking your VM time sync if you have issues with scheduled tasks in a virtualized environment.

Further help

For further assistance in setting up a virtualized environment for running Confluence, you may want to consult an Atlassian Expert. Several experts have experience with installation and performance tuning, and can help you with your Confluence configuration.

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