KVM vs vSphere

KVM is ranked 5th in Server Virtualization Software with 2 reviews vs vSphere which is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 53 reviews. The top reviewer of KVM writes "A very reliable solution which can be used for x86 architecture virtualization with reasonable overhead". The top reviewer of vSphere writes "Putting some VMware ESX storage tips together". KVM is most compared with vSphere, Hyper-V and XenServer. vSphere is most compared with KVM, VMware Workstation and Proxmox VE. See our KVM vs vSphere report.
Cancel
You must select at least 2 products to compare!
+Add products to compare
20619
Based on 2 reviews.
22823
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about KVM vs vSphere and others in Server Virtualization Software.
290,996 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Quotes From Members Comparing KVM vs vSphere

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
KVM has a rich options set which can be directly used or via wrappers, such as libvirt.If 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.A very reliable solution which can be used for x86 architecture virtualization with reasonable overhead.

Read more »

We find the solution simple and efficient to manage.We use it to virtualize our server infrastructure. Virtualization has made it easier for us to manage our environment. We can manage it from location, the vSphere web client.Its most valuable features are reliability, for sure, and quickness in getting the job done. I can spin off 100 or 200 machines in the matter of half an hour.What I like about it is being able to see my entire organization, especially with some of the newer enhanced links. All of my data centers show up in one view and I can see every server that's running. I also get performance statistics so if there are issues, major problems going on, I can see them.From the interface, you see how much CPU utilization and RAM utilization that each one of those hosts is giving you. You can tell ahead of time when you need to start expanding the environment. And with VMotion, you expand the environment and then let DRS have at it and walk away.We have seen a performance boost because we have been able to more dynamically allocate either memory or processors.It's a very nice tool to be able to reduce your footprint, consolidate servers, and accumulate several servers in a high-density configuration.Workloads; We use vSphere for mission-critical apps including SAP and and part of our internal development in C+, for the solution that collects everything for the buyers.

Read more »

Cons
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.

Read more »

They should make it more efficient and stable.It would be nice if it had auto-scaling, no need to select CPU or select database size. Let it auto-scale, let it use the features that VMware has, instead of having to preselect.vSphere itself is great when you don't need to make updates, but any time you have to touch it, unfortunately it's always the little bit of a fight to get it to do what you want.I would like to see a little bit more visibility regarding errors. When an error does occur, there are times where it says "Unknown error" or something to that effect, and it doesn't necessarily give you a lot of metrics. If you go online and you give a description of it, normally the VMware forums can help you find out what it is, but I'd like to see a little bit more visibility from the software itself regarding what's going on: "This went wrong, this is why."On Vista, there should be a lot more new features. We would like to see more security features to harden our environment in the future.I'd like to see a little bit more integration for VDI. I think that Composer servers, security servers, broker servers with connections, I'm not sure they are necessary at this point. Perhaps they could have a lot of those functions baked directly into the hypervisor. It seems to me that if the hypervisor is scalable and flexible enough, that the processor and compute can handle all of that. Maybe we eliminate those other components for VDIs and have more mixed workloads: server workloads and desktop workloads all in the same hypervisor.I would like to see AI in future releases.Not having to buy something from a third-party to scan the actual hardware components, like the hard drives and the port containers and fan speeds; not having to bolt something on and go through another vendor, would be helpful.

Read more »

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

Read more »

It saves us money because we don't have to buy as many physical servers.It is cost effective.We would like it to be affordable to use the manage services on the cloud, then let VMware manage it and have AWS a part of it. This would make the easier transition from on-premise to cloud and be of value.Flexible pricing would be nice. Some of the pricing models are fairly big.The pricing is too expensive. The reason why we implemented Hyper-V is because of the licensing costs. They are way too high.The business is able to gain in faster services because you are provisioning the ends more quickly due to templates. Thus, the provisioning is quite good.The licensing should be more competitive based on its price. There should be more features for the licensing that you own. Money is a factor, because our management is looking right now at its money. The most annoying thing is to tell people that I would like to continue using VMware, and have them argue the other solutions are free.It keeps together a lot of different environments, making it easier and faster to work. It definitely has a good turn around.

Read more »

report
Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Server Virtualization Software solutions are best for your needs.
290,996 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Answers from the Community
Rhea Rapps
Jun Kai NgReal User

KVM is a simple and OpenStack-preferred virtual machine manager. vSphere is a different beast altogether, as it is expensive and ridden with lots of add-ons for VM infrastructure provisioning.

One answer to your question will be a company that can afford and wants to have a stable and long-term VM infrastructure can consider VMWare, as KVM is considered as a bare-bone VM manager.

The actual comparison should be between VMWare and OpenStack, as one is paid and one is free to deploy. The deployment for OpenStack can be a little trial and error as it is free and modular, and VMWare is fully-packaged, and it is easier for you to deploy, but at a cost that is calculated by per host.

22 February 18

I'd say the main difference that sticks out like a sore thump is the KVM is Opens source and VMware vSphere isn't. VMware is indeed the Rolls Royce of virtualization but doesn't come cheap. One has to have deeper pockets to access the finer enhanced features of the vSphere packages. KVM on the other, is also a stable Hypervisor and very popular with Linux inclined techs and gurus. Personally i'd encourage one to take the VMware vSphere route because of the solid global support of the product, the additional virtualization feature rich set offerings like vSAN & NSX and ease of use from the onset.

23 February 18
Fábio RabeloReal User

I have read a lot of valid arguments, and, unfortunately a lot of flawed arguments too .
What I will write here is based on my personal experience , I run a half dozen Enterprise level vitualized environments :
For the perspective of most of my customers, the main difference are the ability to audit the code of KVM ( witch are Open Source ) and a lack of it in VMWare .
VMWare is a black box, no one knows what happens inside of it, what are done with the VMs that are running over it .
Insted of it, with KVM, you know exactly what is happening . You know that KVM are not sending sensitive information about your VMs, or statistics about your environment to the vendor .
In second place comes the TCO :
KVM are not completely "free", you need some tools to manage it, but it is WAY cheaper compared to VMWare .
Lot of vendors says that "VMWare runs the world" , really ?
Amazon runs over XEN, Google and Facebook runs over KVM, and Microsoft runs over Hiper-V, sum all 4 and you will have more than a half of the big players on earth, so, from where comes that statement ?!?
About performance, nowadays there are no big difference between all the systems, technology blurred the lines between Type 1 and Type 2 Virtualization approaches .
Open source management systems ( Like Proxmox used by Facebook ) leveled the line between Commercial and non-commercial tools .
Yes, there are some scenarios that VMWare makes sense, buts the decision on witch are better for a particular user case goes down to the details .
Think about that before spend your budget of 2 or 3 years in one tool .

Fábio Rabelo

28 February 18

vSphere is the best option in my opinion, if you have enough budget to buy it. But also vSphere is more complete and easy to use.
Options like KVM of course are free but you have to be ready to wait help or sopport from the KVM community, in case of VMware you have the support from a paid support so you will have a response. Another aspect you can consider is the compatibility with software from other manufacturers, for example: You can donwload a ready applice from F5 or CISCO to deploy in your VMware plataform and just configure what you need.

21 February 18
it_user208146Real User

vMware is much closer to virtual, as opposed to simple hardware swapping.

21 February 18
Ranking
RANKING
Views
41,506
Comparisons
33,184
Reviews
2
Followers
433
Avg. Rating
10.0
Views
91,154
Comparisons
47,686
Reviews
31
Followers
1,502
Avg. Rating
8.7
Top Comparisons
Top Comparisons
Compared 34% of the time.
Compared 22% of the time.
Compared 12% of the time.
See more KVM competitors »
Compared 22% of the time.
Compared 17% of the time.
Compared 15% of the time.
See more vSphere competitors »
Also Known As
Also Known AsvSphere 6, vSOM, vCenter Server, VMware ESXi
Website/Video
Website/VideoKVM
VMware
Overview
OverviewKVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It consists of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module, kvm-intel.ko or kvm-amd.ko.

VMware vSphere is the leading server virtualization platform with consistent management for virtual data centers.

Deliver business value from day one with powerful server virtualization, breakthrough availability, safe automated management and intelligent operational insight that adapts to your environment. Automate workload placement and resource optimization based on preset customizable templates.

OFFER
Learn more about KVM
Learn more about vSphere
Sample Customers
Sample CustomersMediaWiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, Wikiversity, Commons Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb.
Top Industries
Top Industries
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider
25%
Financial Services Firm
11%
Manufacturing Company
7%
Government
6%
REVIEWERS
Financial Services Firm
12%
Retailer
10%
Energy/Utilities Company
8%
Manufacturing Company
8%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider
10%
Financial Services Firm
10%
Government
7%
University
6%
Company Size
Company Size
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business
21%
Midsize Enterprise
27%
Large Enterprise
52%
REVIEWERS
Small Business
24%
Midsize Enterprise
30%
Large Enterprise
46%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business
22%
Midsize Enterprise
34%
Large Enterprise
44%
Find out what your peers are saying about KVM vs vSphere and others in Server Virtualization Software.
Download now
290,996 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all Server Virtualization Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.

Sign Up with Email