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Thread: Ubuntu 11.10: Xen vs. KVM vs. VirtualBox

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  1. #1
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    Default Ubuntu 11.10: Xen vs. KVM vs. VirtualBox

    Phoronix: Ubuntu 11.10: Xen vs. KVM vs. VirtualBox

    While last week I showed how Ubuntu's performance has evolved as a KVM guest from Ubuntu 8.04 through Ubuntu 11.10, in today's article is a Linux virtualization showdown between VirtualBox, Xen, and KVM while using Ubuntu 11.10 on the Linux 3.0 kernel.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=16625

  2. #2
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    Really good tests, I run VirtualBox for other OS at the moment (mostly as mentioned for 2d/3d support).

    The next Linux virtualization benchmarks on Phoronix are seeing where the VirtualBox 3D performance is at for Linux guests. There are also AMD Bulldozer virtualization benchmarks around the corner.
    Yes, please

  3. #3

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    Michael, but where are VMWare Workstation 8 results?

    It's a very big omission for such a good research.

  4. #4
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    What's the point to test the ancients Xen HVM paths? PV would have been MUCH more interesting...
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkbasic View Post
    What's the point to test the ancients Xen HVM paths? PV would have been MUCH more interesting...
    Yup, I use Xen, I've never used HVM for a linux guest and I don't get the point of it.
    You can also use LVM logical volumes on the host as disks for your guests, and I think it will change a lot of results

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scullder View Post
    Yup, I use Xen, I've never used HVM for a linux guest and I don't get the point of it.
    You can also use LVM logical volumes on the host as disks for your guests, and I think it will change a lot of results
    what disk backend did this benchmark use in dom0? file: ?

  7. #7
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    Default Xen PVHVM drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by darkbasic View Post
    What's the point to test the ancients Xen HVM paths? PV would have been MUCH more interesting...
    First page of the articly says:
    "The only Xen issue encountered when testing it with an Ubuntu 11.10 guest and host was the need for manually loading the xen-blkfront driver for disk support."

    So that looks like they did actually use Xen PVHVM drivers in the HVM guest, so optimized drivers (xen-blkfront and xen-netfront) were available.
    Still it looks weird that Xen did so badly in that benchmark.. pretty much the opposite results were posted some time ago at XenSummit. Xen was faster than KVM in almost every benchmark..

    It would be nice to get more information about the benchmark setup so I could try the benchmark myself.

  8. #8
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    The advantage of VirtualBox over KVM, however, is its current support for 2D/3D acceleration within guest virtual machines that is then redirected to the host's graphics card.
    In a server environment, I doubt it's much of an advantage. It is nice to have though.

  9. #9
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    Default What about LXC?

    Linux containers in their LXC flavor are a standard feature of current Linux kernels. It would be interesting to see how they stack up. Granted, it's not full virtualization solution but it's worth testing out to see if the benefits in performance outweigh the drawbacks (e.g. the same kernel for all guests).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by birdie View Post
    Michael, but where are VMWare Workstation 8 results?

    It's a very big omission for such a good research.
    I think I mentioned it in the article... License agreement doesn't allow me to publish benchmarks...

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