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Linux KVM Virtualization Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 8 January 2007
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 2 of 4 - 7 Comments

The hardware requirements to use KVM is an x86/x86_64 processor with AMD or Intel virtualization extensions and at least one Gigabyte of system memory to allow for enough RAM for the guest operating system. For our purposes, we had used two dual-core Intel Xeon LV processors with the Linux 2.6.20-rc3 kernel, which was released on January 1, 2007. Below is the rundown of system components used.

Hardware Components
Processor: 2 x Intel Xeon LV Dual-Core 2.00GHz
Motherboard: Tyan Tiger i7520SD S5365
Memory: 2 x 512MB Mushkin ECC Reg DDR2-533
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce FX5200 128MB PCI
Hard Drives: Western Digital 160GB SATA2
Optical Drives: Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM
Cooling: 2 x Dynatron Socket 479 HSFs
Case: SilverStone Lascala LC20
Power Supply: SilverStone Strider 560W
Software Components
Operating System: Fedora Core 6

The benchmarks we had used for comparing the performance was Gzip compression, LAME compilation, LAME encoding, and RAMspeed. The virtualization environments we had used were QEMU 0.8.2 with the kqemu accelerator module, Xen 3.0.3, and finally KVM. We had also compared these virtualized environments against running Fedora Core 6 Zod without any form of virtualization. During the Xen 3.0.3 testing, we had used full virtualization and not para-virtualization. The image size was set to 10GB during the testing process. The operating system used throughout the entire testing process was Fedora Core 6 Zod.

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