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  • Linux KVM vs. VirtualBox 4.0 Virtualization Benchmarks

    Phoronix: Linux KVM vs. VirtualBox 4.0 Virtualization Benchmarks

    Oracle's been vigorously working on their VM VirtualBox 4.0 software and in just the past week they have delivered two public betas that bring a number of new features. Among the changes there is support for Intel HD audio / ICH9 to guest VMs, the concept of extension packs, user-interface improvements, support for limiting a virtual machine's CPU time and I/O bandwidth, 3D acceleration fixes for guests, and a great number of bug-fixes. How though is this updated Oracle/Sun virtualization platform comparing to the older VirtualBox 3.2 release and that of the upstream Linux KVM (the Kernel-based Virtual Machine) that most Linux distributions rely upon? Here are a number of benchmarks that seek to answer this very question.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=15549

  • #2
    we allowed the guests access to all 12 processor threads
    and that's why the whole test makes no sense. Virtualization is known to work badly with "virtual" "emulated" CPUs. So, next time I'd like to see something a bit more realistic, like HT support disabled in BIOS, host and guest limited to say 4 CPUs (host via kernel parameters).

    What this test has shown is that no virtualization technology (amongst tested) scales well with the sheer number of emulated CPUs.

    Besides it's kinda sad you haven't included VMWare WorkStation/Player 7.1.3.

    Comment


    • #3
      Virtualbox causes Intel's hidden circuitry causing your computer to slow down over time to malfunction.

      Comment


      • #4
        did you use virtio disk and virtio nics for your kvm vm ?

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        • #5
          Very interesting results. It just confirms that those looking for a server workload (CPU-intensive, for example) should stick with KVM, not only because they don't need the GPU accel stuff, but also because it's faster, and seems to scale well with more virtual cores. But obviously desktop users don't really have a choice; it's either VirtualBox, or pony up a license for proprietary VMware Workstation 7.x, which works surprisingly well to play DirectX 9 games and such (provided your host has a proprietary driver).

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          • #6
            By the results shown there, it seems maybe VBox isn't using the "Hyper-Threading" portion of the Corei7 processors. Furthermore, VBox 4.0 is still in beta development... and some CPU optimizations might not be working properly...
            Cheers

            p.s.: I'd also liked to see the 3D performance of VBox 4 beta vs VBox 3...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by birdie View Post
              Besides it's kinda sad you haven't included VMWare WorkStation/Player 7.1.3.
              Wouldn't mind seeing parallels thrown into the mix as well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Smorg View Post
                Virtualbox causes Intel's hidden circuitry causing your computer to slow down over time to malfunction.
                Please provide either a citation or a photograph of your tinfoil hat, thank you.

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                • #9
                  "As far as the VirtualBox 4 performance goes, in many areas right now its performance with the just-released Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 2 is slower than VirtualBox 3.2.12. However, it is a beta release not intended for use in a production capacity and we will be back with more VirtualBox 4.0 benchmarks upon the program's final release to see whether these regressions are still present or how the performance shakes down."

                  Beta Or not, there's no real excuse to not even try running basic Oprofile tests etc before Oracle release these Beta's to see and try and cure these bottleneck's/regressions.

                  such a massive drop on performance from VirtualBox 3.2.12 to VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 2 just seems like a lazy development cycle, geared toward PR release rather than better performance as all Virtualization should aspire to today.

                  don't Oracle or indeed most developers today even bother to benchmark and/or profile their code to try and at least produce faster code/data throughput where possible, it seem not!, perhaps they just want to keep blaming the lack of speed improvements on the compilers rather than actually write better code and actually profile it to make sure Before release...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by birdie View Post
                    and that's why the whole test makes no sense. Virtualization is known to work badly with "virtual" "emulated" CPUs. So, next time I'd like to see something a bit more realistic, like HT support disabled in BIOS, host and guest limited to say 4 CPUs (host via kernel parameters).

                    What this test has shown is that no virtualization technology (amongst tested) scales well with the sheer number of emulated CPUs.

                    Besides it's kinda sad you haven't included VMWare WorkStation/Player 7.1.3.
                    its Not disabling Hyper-threading (as in using the spare cycles of the real CPU's to get up to 52% more throughput in these virtual CPU thread's) But rather disabling 'Turbo Boost' to remove the freaky and unpredictable nature that is TB, as can be seen If you run a simple ./checkasm --bench after pulling the x264 git source for instance..

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                    • #11
                      I think other solutions should have been compared like VMWare, Hyper-V and Xen. Oracle will try to sell Virtualbox as a server grade virtualization solution. I think we need to know good Virtualbox fare compared to others.

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                      • #12
                        I for one would also like to see Xen in action, both 3.x and 4.x.

                        I also think that Xen and KVM are more server virtualization whereas vbox and vmware are more destop virtualization.

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                        • #13
                          I, for one, am interested in the "desktop" oriented virtualization performance. That's what I use it for, after all.
                          VBox makes it almost trivial to set up a desktop guest, but I have noticed this weird bug in the 3.2 version that keeps 2D games from working properly. Apparently keyboard input doesn't work right, I'm thinking it's an SDL issue. This is on a Windows 7 host with an Ubuntu 10.10 guest, so I'm not sure if it shows up in other configurations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wheels View Post
                            I, for one, am interested in the "desktop" oriented virtualization performance. That's what I use it for, after all.
                            VBox makes it almost trivial to set up a desktop guest, but I have noticed this weird bug in the 3.2 version that keeps 2D games from working properly. Apparently keyboard input doesn't work right, I'm thinking it's an SDL issue. This is on a Windows 7 host with an Ubuntu 10.10 guest, so I'm not sure if it shows up in other configurations.
                            Try disabling "mouse pointer integration" (it's the little mouse icon at the bottom right of the window). It seems to be causing issues in some games...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                              Phoronix: Linux KVM vs. VirtualBox 4.0 Virtualization Benchmarks

                              Oracle's been vigorously working on their VM VirtualBox 4.0 software and in just the past week they have delivered two public betas that bring a number of new features. Among the changes there is support for Intel HD audio / ICH9 to guest VMs, the concept of extension packs, user-interface improvements, support for limiting a virtual machine's CPU time and I/O bandwidth, 3D acceleration fixes for guests, and a great number of bug-fixes. How though is this updated Oracle/Sun virtualization platform comparing to the older VirtualBox 3.2 release and that of the upstream Linux KVM (the Kernel-based Virtual Machine) that most Linux distributions rely upon? Here are a number of benchmarks that seek to answer this very question.

                              http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=15549
                              What, no SPICE? I know that you only use "default" configuration but you really should take advantage of Virtio. The previous mentioned items would give you near native nic and 2d accel (3d is coming).

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