KVM Review

Good performance, but better management features and integration are needed

What is our primary use case?

We are a consulting company and I work with a lot of solutions to compare them and find out which ones are good for my customers.

The primary use case for this solution is virtualization.

I use this solution in on-premises data centers.

How has it helped my organization?

Compared to other virtualization solutions KVM is much faster and better at managing resources. For example, we compared XEN, KVM, and Vmware for creating development infrastructure for our programmers, we ended up using KVM.

What is most valuable?

The GUI interface makes the management of KVM easier than ever before.

The performance of this solution is great.

What needs improvement?

This solution is lacking in features such as management and integration.

  • This solution needs better integration with desktop virtualization.
  • Better integration with storage solutions is needed.
  • Business continuity features need to be added.
  • The live migration needs to be improved.
  • You cannot run this application in a data center using only the GUI, so you have to have some knowledge with Linux in order to best manage it.
  • Better network management software is needed.
  • Features like vSAN are not available on KVM.
  • Integration with Kubernetes would be an improvement.

Generally, this solution should be made easier to use. Many customers don't have enough experience with Linux or a deep understanding of operating systems, and they just want to use the product. This together with a lack of features has led customers to choose VMware.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for more than ten years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is limited in terms of scalability. I think that it is suitable for a mid-range company, but for a larger company, it is not quick. It does not have features for companies that need expandable solutions.

This solution is not used directly by the end-users. If KVM is installed in their data center then they just use the virtual machine. Users don't care about infrastructure, they're just looking for stability and use the operating system for their service. It is the administrators who use this product. Typically, there are two or three administrators in each data center. In terms of end-users, I have seen more than one hundred concurrent users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We do not have access to Red Hat support from our country.

For technical support we depend on the internet and the knowledge of our administrators.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used XenServer and VMware, and the performance of KVM is better than these.

When it comes to management, integration, business continuity, and live migration, KVM is lacking features and VMware is better in this area.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is not hard, but when you want to use this product in your data center, you have to use the command-line interface to better manage it. You cannot run this application using the GUI alone, so if you don't have enough knowledge with Linux then you may have some trouble.

What about the implementation team?

Most of our solutions are implemented in-house as well as this one.

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

This solution can be used for free but if you have an expert team on Linux OS, select this one. if you don't have them, forget about it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluate options such as XenServer, VMware, and KVM every six months in order to choose the best product for my customers.

What other advice do I have?

I have been using this solution since before it was owned by Red Hat, when it was community-based. It is easier to manage than ever before because you used to have to use the command-line interface, instead of the GUI.

I do not recommend this product for those looking for a stable and scalable virtualization solution because they will ultimately have problems in their data center. Just two weeks ago, I helped a friend of mine to migrate from KVM to VMware.

I think that if Red Hat worked on some business continuity features and add them to KVM then it would receive a better grade and be a more competitive solution.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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