Recently I learned a couple of tricks from a gentleman that goes by the handle of fromport. Disabling caching on the disk and using the e1000 drivers for networking. To disable caching, you add cache=’none’ to the end of the driver stanza. <disk type='block' device='disk'> <driver name='qemu' type='raw' cache='none'/> <source dev='/dev/primary/indium'/> <target dev='vda' bus='virtio'/> </disk> More info: http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Tuning_KVM The change for networking is just as easy. Simply change the model type to e1000.