KVM Review

A very reliable solution which can be used for x86 architecture virtualization with reasonable overhead

What is our primary use case?

Great support for many types of hardware, disks, memory, RAID controllers, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

In the Linux world, KVM is a very reliable solution which can be used for x86 architecture virtualization with reasonable overhead. Reliable and extensible have a tight integration with Linux security facilities, like SELinux, KVM does the job.

You will unlikely see KVM if you are using a cloud solution because of it is a seamless integration. If instead you are a Linux desktop user, KVM is the solution to go with if you have to start virtual machines with Linux or other operating systems with almost zero extra configuration needed.

KVM has a rich options set which can be directly used or via wrappers, such as libvirt.

What is most valuable?

Our infrastructure is based on KVM and Linux Containers (LXC). We had a lot of VMware legacy, but it was converted to Ubuntu and KVM hypervisor for about the last year. Management and backup is a lot easier with with Ubuntu and KVM, especially combined with ZFS and snapshotting.

What needs improvement?

The support of virtualization in the recent generation of x86 processor is almost a must have, so the only negative aspect of needing hardware support is a fully functional KVM can be dropped. It would be nice if the support for other platforms, like ARM or Risk, were as good as the x86 one. However, with the democratization of Chromebooks based on these chips and mobile devices, it will not take long for that to happen.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is free and can be run from your laptop, if needed, unlike VMware.

Disclosure: I work for the vendor.
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