Often people think applications are slow for the wrong reassons, they blame memory or cpu, or even VMware. One of things I've encountered lately is that these applications are trying to accessing CRL's (Certificate Revocation Lists) on the web. When the application is being ran on a server where you simply don't have direct internet access this results in a timeout and a slow start of the application. This can can be eassily solved by changing some settings in Internet Explorer.
Determing whether your application suffers of this phenomena is quit eassy: use the latest version of the sysinternals process monitor which has a built-in network trace. (Process Monitor)
The following are example console who suffer from this: Microsoft SQL management, Exchange 2007 management and Citrix Xenapp management console.
Unchecking both settings in the advanced section of your IE browser will solve the slow startup: