Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

KVM Performance


A few days ago someone forwarded me a blog article with an interesting claim about KVM performance:

Testing results from internal and customers showed SAP workloads: 85-95, Oracle OLTP: 80-92% bare metal. LAMP stack showed better than bare metal performance. Whitepapers will be published in how this was achieved. Java achieved up to 94% bare metal.

Frankly, I was surprised to hear this.  KVM is a hosted virtualization platform, equivalent to the free VMware Server, which runs on top of a host operating system.  VMware server is fine for a virtual machine or two, but you would not want it hosting your critical business applications.  The above KVM claim suggests that KVM possesses hypervisor-like performance.  So we ran a test with a few virtual machines to see what we could learn.  These tests confirmed my suspicions: KVM is a very long way from enterprise-class virtualization performance.

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