[SATLUG] Choosing Virtualization technology

Kernel Architect kernel.architect at gmail.com
Fri Jul 22 14:29:49 CDT 2011

Hey Frank,

I speak from the perspective of someone who has a consulting firm that
specializes in Virtualization and Cloud computing. On a 'end-user'
non-enterprise level, Type 2 (hosted on top of another OS) is probably the
best way to go. These include VirtualBox, Parallels and VMware. Because
there is more translation for a command in the guest to reach the actual
hardware, the performance is slower than a bare-metal (Type 1) hypervisor.
For 99% of users out there, Type 2 is where it's at and there is no reason
to look at Type 1.

Type 1 naturally gives you better performance (which enterprises want to get
the most ROI) and the enterprise vendors such as VMware produce tools that
make management of large environments easy. The hypervisor itself is
commodity now a days, and all of the value is in the management stack built
around the hypervisor. Having advanced features that allow you to move
virtual machines from one host server to another (on-the-fly while running)
or changing back-end datastores (on-the-fly while running), advanced
snapshotting, integration with enterprise storage platforms (EMC, NetApp),
etc. are what businesses are looking for.

Again, for a basic end user, Type 2 is the best way to go. Unless you need
the enterprise management stacks and raw performance, Type 1 is not
necessary at all.


On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM, Frank Huddleston <fhuddles at gmail.com>wrote:

> Fellows,
>  I'd like to ask: how does one go about choosing which virtualization
> method or technology to use? What, for example, would suggest the use of a
> "Type 1" or "bare-metal" technology, such as Xen, over a "Type 2" method,
> such as VirtualBox?
> I mean, given that the Type 1 requires a specialized kernel, isn't it just
> more hassle? Why does anyone even bother to use them? I'm thinking that the
> #1 reason is: better performance.
> Then, within those general divisions, what motivates a particular choice?
> Why Xen instead of KVM? Why VirtualBox (which seems to be the favorite of
> this group) over VMWare (I mean the free stuff) or Parallels, or things I've
> read about but can't remember now?
> I realize that there is a lot out there on this topic, and comparisons such
> as this one at WikiPedia:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Comparison_of_platform_**virtual_machines<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_platform_virtual_machines>
> It's good information, but, to me, rather overwhelming, and so I thought
> I'd ask this group to get some opinions and experiences.
> Thanks,
> Frank Huddleston
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