Memory Overcommit

What Does Memory Overcommit Mean?

Memory overcommit is a process in which a virtual machine (VM) is assigned more memory than a host machine’s available and committed physical memory. It is used in virtualization environments to allocate memory capacity to VMs with higher requirements.


Techopedia Explains Memory Overcommit

Memory overcommit is achieved through the hypervisor that sources physical memory from the host computer and distributes it to different virtual machines. Memory overcommit works on the principle that most virtual machines underutilize their allocated memory capacity. Thus, the unused memory capacity of other VMs is assigned to a VM that requires additional memory. The hypervisor routinely monitors each virtual memory operation and dynamically assigns unused memory to resource intensive VMs.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.