KVM vs VMware Workstation comparison

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KVM Logo
Read 39 KVM reviews
33,024 views|24,970 comparisons
90% willing to recommend
VMware Logo
8,287 views|5,704 comparisons
95% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between KVM and VMware Workstation based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out what your peers are saying about Proxmox, VMware, Microsoft and others in Server Virtualization Software.
To learn more, read our detailed Server Virtualization Software Report (Updated: May 2024).
772,422 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"KVM is stable.""It is easy to use, stable, and flexible. It is a pretty mature product, and it is faster than VirtualBox.""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.""The key aspect is that the KVM directly interacts with the Kronos. There's no clear indication of indirect communication with Kronos. It is not linked to Kronos, and interaction is straightforward without any intermediaries.""The performance is great.""The most valuable feature of KVM is its stability.""It is an easily scalable solution.""KVM has a rich options set which can be directly used or via wrappers, such as libvirt."

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"I appreciate the ease of backup and snapshot creation. The ability to revert to previous versions without losing data is very useful for our team.""The most valuable features of the VMware Workstation solutions are the ESXi and vCenter.""We are able to simultaneously run multiple operating systems in a single machine and have virtually no performance hit.""VMware Workstation has tons of third-party support, the largest partner ecosystem. VMware works with a ton of different vendors. They have plugins for almost everything. Other hypervisors lack the flexibility that VMware Workstation offers.""The platform’s most valuable feature is snapshot.""The initial setup is simple and takes only five minutes to complete.""I haven't faced any inconveniences working with this solution. It is very easy to use.""The most valuable feature of the solution stems from the fact that it is an easy-to-use product."

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Cons
"We are not getting good support from KVM, and it is not that user-friendly.""In KVM, snapshots and cloning are areas where there could be a little more sophistication, like VMware.""The solution should be more user friendly. We are struggling with the command lines.""We still occasionally build Interlaced Wireless Protection within our environment. The ecosystem entails areas, where we support agents, and release backup and security solutions. Collaboration with independent software vendors (ITOLs or ITOLED) is necessary to offer these solutions to customers. However, the scope of the ecosystem in KVM is not as extensive as that of VMware's. In contrast, VMware boasts a robust partner network, allowing for comprehensive customer solutions. On the other hand, KVM’s ecosystem is comparatively limited in comparison. I would like to see FT features in KVM.""One thing that maybe could be improved is making it easier to scale. It needs to be more clear on how to scale the storage space for virtual machines.""I believe KVM offers a unified answer, while ProxMark addresses orchestration. KVM lacks orchestration. If the aim is to centrally oversee multiple KVMs – let's say to freeze them – a centralized management solution is absent.""I have previously used VMware and KVM is easier to use. However, they both have their strengths depending on their use cases. They are mostly equal. One of VMware's advantages is it has better support.""We would like to have a software lifecycle solution included in this solution. We can handle the software needed for KVM, but also the software that we provide. A lifecycle component would be very beneficial."

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"The product could provide the features available in Microsoft Hyper-V.""The big issue that we've always had with VMware, was the disparity between what was presented for a Windows-based client and a Linux-based client. The Windows client was always two or three releases ahead of the Linux client. We always wanted VMware to change and improve the feature sets between the client connector on Linux and on Windows.""VMware Workstation has some network limitations which could improve, it is not as flexible as VMware NSX. Additionally, it could support operating systems better. I only run some Linux versions and Windows at the moment but it would be nice to be able to take whatever operating system you want and run it.""For some virtual machine configurations, you have to go to the text editor and make the configuration changes, which could be improved.""They could add more integration between them, and compatibility with the standard virtualization format.""The GUI interface could be improved.""The solution freezes sometimes.""Lacks the ability to clone onto another system rather than starting from scratch."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "​It is free and can be run from your laptop, if needed, unlike VMware.​"
  • "It is cheaper than other competitors like VMware or Hyper-V."
  • "It is cheaper than other solutions out there on the market."
  • "This solution came with the Linux license."
  • "This solution is an open-source, free platform with paid support."
  • "It is free for everyone."
  • "The price is fair compared to others. But in our local market, it's a problem to get budget approval from management. That's why they are trying to get those products so we can give them the price benefit. But if you consider the international market or other products, it's sometimes better than their price."
  • "We had some problems with the licensing."
  • More KVM Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing is a bit steep in my opinion for testing and there are other options."
  • "Licensing costs are paid on a yearly basis."
  • "The licensing costs are cheap. I pay approximately $100 per year."
  • "The cost differs depending on the customer's requirement."
  • "VMware Workstation has a high price than competitors in the market."
  • "With a VDI solution, there is always extra cost running a VDI solution but it's not for cost purposes anymore. In the beginning, it was to save money on hardware but at the moment it's other aspects that are more important why you should use a VDI solution."
  • "Licensing fees are paid on an annual basis."
  • "The price of the solution per workstation is approximately 200 Francs annually. We pay a total of 800 francs. Everything is included in the price such as the support."
  • More VMware Workstation Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:KVM scales better, orchestration better, performs better and supports a wider range of hardware and, also, you can implement at ZERO cost and with a very powerful web interface for management, from… more »
    Top Answer:Small support team, small cluster, low core count, use VMware products Large support team, large clusters with many cores, use KVM KVM scales better, orchestration better, performs better and… more »
    Top Answer:Far from being an expert, my opinion is that the positive sides of KVM are: Lower costs and open-source which gives the abilities to customize it according to the specific needs of each customer.
    Top Answer:VM Workstation’s setup is so easy, you can use it almost instantly, it works well with Windows and Linux. We like VM Workstation primarily to test environments to determine how well a solution will… more »
    Top Answer:The product is stable, very easy to deploy, easy to use, easy to configure, and easy to set up.
    Top Answer:The product's integration capabilities are an area with certain shortcomings where improvements are required.
    Ranking
    Views
    33,024
    Comparisons
    24,970
    Reviews
    15
    Average Words per Review
    450
    Rating
    8.2
    Views
    8,287
    Comparisons
    5,704
    Reviews
    28
    Average Words per Review
    346
    Rating
    8.6
    Comparisons
    Proxmox VE logo
    Compared 26% of the time.
    Oracle VM VirtualBox logo
    Compared 14% of the time.
    Hyper-V logo
    Compared 12% of the time.
    VMware vSphere logo
    Compared 12% of the time.
    Oracle VM logo
    Compared 10% of the time.
    Learn More
    KVM
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    Overview

    KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, which is an open-source virtualization technology that is embedded in Linux. KVM allows users to seamlessly transform their Linux system into a hypervisor that, in turn, will enable a host machine to run numerous, isolated virtual environments or virtual machines (VMs).

    KVM is part of Linux. Users with Linux 2.6.20 or newer already have KVM. As KVM is already a component of the current Linux code, it automatically improves with every new Linux fix, feature, or upgrade. So KVM users are always current and up to date.

    KVM automatically transforms Linux to a type -1 (bare-metal) hypervisor. All hypervisors need operating system components, such as a process scheduler, I/O stack, device drivers, memory manager, and more, to run a VM. KVM already has these components embedded, as it is part of the Linux kernel. Each VM is generated as a basic Linux proces,s which is maintained by the standard Linux scheduler, with dedicated hardware such as a graphics adapter, memory, disks, network card, and CPUs.

    KVM Key Features:

    KVM has many valuable key features. Some of its most useful features include:

    • Storage: KVM has the ability to use any storage protocol supported by Linux, including network-attached storage (NAS) and some local disks. Multipath I/O can be utilized to provide redundancy and improve storage. Disk images use thin provisioning, ensuring storage is used on demand. KVM is also able to use shared file systems, enabling VM images to be shared on multiple hosts.
    • Hardware: KVM is able to use a vast number of Linux-certified supported hardware platforms. As hardware vendors routinely contribute to kernel improvement, the most up-to-date hardware features are generally quickly added to the Linux kernel.
    • Memory: KVM effectively utilizes the memory management features of Linux, such as kernel same-page emerging and non-uniform memory access. The memory of a VM can easily be switched, supported by large volumes for improved performance, then backed by a disk file or shared.
    • Migration: KVM actively supports live migration so users have the ability to move any running VM between physical hosts with no downtime.
    • Security: KVM uses a blend of secure virtualization (SVirt) and security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) for improved VM security and isolation. SELinux determines security boundaries surrounding VMs. sVirt expands SELinux’s processes, permitting Mandatory Access Control (MAC) security to be used for guest VMs and preventing any manual labeling issues.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “The most helpful aspect of KVM is the fact that the interface is so minimal. It includes just what you need to set up the VMs and manage them, and it's very simple to do so. KVM, as a native virtualization solution, is a complete and fully adequate system for small businesses that need to reduce costs, and also to make maintenance easier. “ - Georges E., Business Engineer and Consultant at All-Tech

    “The most valuable feature of KVM is the hypervisor environment and how we can configure it with ease. Additionally, the interface is intuitive.” Sonu S., Senior Solution Architect at Micro Focus

    VMware Workstation is part of a suite of robust Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools or Desktop Hypervisors that allows users to run Kubernetes clusters, containers, and Virtual Machines (VMs). Users have the option to choose between VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Workstation Player to ensure that they get the most out of their VMware Workstation experience.

    Workstation Player is best used as a command line or single graphical operation. It works very well for running different operating systems using a secure cloistered sandbox on a general consumer PC. Workstation Player is an industry favorite for use in an educational environment to better expand the knowledge concerning computer systems and global information technology. Workstation Pro is created for astute IT developers and professionals. The solution provides an intuitive next-generation interface and gives users the ability to seamlessly run several virtual machines at the same time. Users can easily create clones, configure virtual networks, connect to vSphere, and more, using a crisp, visually enhanced dashboard that provides full transparency to show multiple VMs and more.

    VMware Workstation solutions rely on components in next-generation 64-bit x86 CPUs to develop robust, secure VMs that are able to utilize many different operating systems and all of their applications. VMware Workstation’s modern technology intuitively links the physical hardware devices to the virtual machine's virtual resources enabling each VM to have its own I/O devices, memory, disks, and CPU in addition to the equivalent of a standard x86 actual machine. It easily installs onto the host operating system and is able to offer comprehensive hardware support by utilizing the device support from the original host.

    VMware Workstation Benefits

    VMware Workstation has many desirable benefits. Some of those benefits include:


    • Improved overall IT processes.
    • Better, more efficient deployment outcomes.
    • Enhanced application performance.
    • Better server availability.
    • Less physical hardware and additional devices needed.
    • Cost-effective.
    • Decreased outages or downtime.
    • Faster provisioning of applications and resources.
    • Reduced power consumption.
    • Reduced Environmental Impact.



    Reviews from Real Users

    Walter G., Owner at Secacon Gygli Engineering LLC says, “The most valuable feature of the VMware Workstation is the ease of creating a development environment. When you have different ongoing developments, you often need to create a lot of different development environments. With this workstation solution, you can have a development environment for all the things you develop.” 

    Toni L., CEO at Virtual Consultants Sverige AB says, “The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the DirectX support; you can run Microsoft Hyper-V in virtual environments, which is good for me to test different installations. Additionally, you can set up different VLANs, and overall it is a complete solution.” 


    “Having a user-friendly interfaceis important for me. I'm not a coder, even though I do a little bit of programming. Also, I don't use the command-line interface when I can avoid it. When I do have to use it, I look up what I'm supposed to type and then type it.” A PeerSpot user who is a Chief Technical Officer at a construction company.

    are Workstation is part of a suite of robust Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools or Desktop Hypervisors that allows users to run Kubernetes clusters, containers, and Virtual Machines (VMs). Users have the option to choose between VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Workstation Player to ensure they get the most out of their VMware Workstation experience.

    Workstation Player is best used as a command line or single graphical operation. It works very well for running different operating systems using a secure cloistered sandbox on a general consumer PC. Workstation Player is an industry favorite for use in an educational environment to better expand the knowledge concerning computer systems and global information technology. Workstation Pro is created for astute IT developers and professionals. The solution provides an intuitive next generation interface and gives users the ability to run seamlessly several virtual machines at the same time. Users can easily create clones, configure virtual networks, connect to vSphere, and more using a crisp, visually enhanced dashboard that provides full transparency to show multiple VMs and more.

    VMware Workstation solutions rely on components in next-generation 64-bit x86 CPUs to develop robust, secure VMs that are able to utilize many different operating systems and all of their applications. Vmware Workstation’s modern technology intuitively links the physical hardware devices to the virtual machine's virtual resources enabling each VM to have its own I/O devices, memory, disks, and CPU in addition to the equivalent to a standard x86 actual machine.VMware easily installs onto the host operating system and is able to offer comprehensive hardware support by utilizing the device support from the original host.

    VMware Workstation Benefits

    Vmware Workstation has many desirable benefits. Some of those benefits include:


    • Improved overall IT processes.
    • Better, more efficient deployment outcomes.
    • Enhanced application performance.
    • Better server availability.
    • Less physical hardware and additional devices needed.
    • Cost-effective.
    • Decreased outages or downtime.
    • Faster provisioning of applications and resources.
    • Reduced power consumption.
    • Reduced Environmental Impact.



    Reviews from Real Users

    “The most valuable feature of the VMware Workstation is the ease of creating a development environment. When you have different ongoing developments, you often need to create a lot of different development environments. With this workstation solution, you can have a development environment for all the things you develop.” Walter G., Owner at Secacon Gygli Engineering LLC

    “The most valuable features of VMware Workstation are the DirectX support; you can run Microsoft Hyper-V in virtual environments, which is good for me to test different installations. Additionally, you can set up different VLANs, and overall it is a complete solution.” Toni L., CEO at Virtual Consultants Sverige AB

    A Chief Technical Officer at a construction company says,“Having a user-friendly interfaceis important for me. I'm not a coder, even though I do a little bit of programming. Also, I don't use the command-line interface when I can avoid it. When I do have to use it, I look up what I'm supposed to type and then type it.” 

    Sample Customers
    MediaWiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, Wikiversity, Commons
    Akademiska Hus
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Aerospace/Defense Firm13%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government8%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company23%
    Manufacturing Company19%
    University8%
    Construction Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Government9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business54%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise32%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business47%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Buyer's Guide
    Server Virtualization Software
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Proxmox, VMware, Microsoft and others in Server Virtualization Software. Updated: May 2024.
    772,422 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    KVM is ranked 4th in Server Virtualization Software with 39 reviews while VMware Workstation is ranked 2nd in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 42 reviews. KVM is rated 8.0, while VMware Workstation is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of KVM writes "Delivers good performance because of kernel-based virtualization". On the other hand, the top reviewer of VMware Workstation writes "An easy-to-manage solution that has really good customer support compared to other market players". KVM is most compared with Proxmox VE, Oracle VM VirtualBox, Hyper-V, VMware vSphere and Oracle VM, whereas VMware Workstation is most compared with Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, VMware Fusion, Proxmox VE and Oracle VM VirtualBox.

    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.