Cpu usage goes up to almost 1gig when the databases are started.
This makes no sense, lol.
Some more info would be nice:
Is standalone the host OS that is NOT running inside a virtual environment?
What VMM you using (VMware, Xen, etc)?
What is the disk setup(RAID, single disk, etc)?
How large are the databases you are starting?
When databases start up, they load the indexes into memory so that queries will be faster. So if you have a very large database, then it will take a longer time to load the indexes into memory (They will load at the speed of the disk accesses). Also, there is some overhead in a virtual machine and one of them is in disk access. The db probably takes longer to load in the VM because the disk accesses are not as efficient.