IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

Why KVM??? Help please!

Jacek Biegaj - PeerSpot reviewer
Deputy Head of Department - Project Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees

Hi. Why would someone choose KVM? What are examples of good use cases?

I'm the deputy head of a project management department at a services company. I am more familiar with vSphere, but I would like to learn about KVM.

Thank you very much!

PeerSpot user
1515 Answers

WiseCat - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Everybody who dislikes vendor-lock-in should use KVM as opposed to VMware or any other commercial hypervisor product - KVM is in its core an open-source project and not dependent on a company for its continuing development and support.

I know of at least 3 vendors who sell quite sophisticated virtualization platform products that utilize KVM, if you lack the know-how to just use KVM in its natural form. And, unlike with VMware or vSphere, their solutions can be interchanged with relative ease, so they cannot just cash in on installed base but need to stay competitive in their features and support.

ErmanArslan, Oracle ACE - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User


Specifically for Oracle Linux KVM and OLVM;

Let's take a quick look to the advantages of Oracle Linux KVM;

  • Complete server virtualization and management solution with zero license costs

  • Single software distribution for Oracle Linux OS or Oracle Linux KVM

  • Single vendor Support. ( Oracle Linux support included Oracle KVM support). That isw we can create SRs about Oracle Linux KVM using Oracle Support!

  • Virtual machine cloning feature and ready + customizable templates to speed up the development and provisioning processes ..

  • Easy to implement and install.

  • Easy to manage and configure using Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager and Enterprise Manager. ( strong GUI - OLVM)
  • Provides ability to apply patches with Ksplice without service interruption. (Ksplice is used in Autonomous Linux in OCI as well..)

  • Hard Partitioning support provides efficient Oracle application and database licensing. (CPU Pinning - using olvm-vmcontrol)

  • Full Stack management with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

  • It is the virtualization technology that is used in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure!

  • Thick and thin provisioning.. (setting VM memory sizes in a way similar to what we do in the data layer sga_target and sga_max_size - style memory configurations for VMs)

  • Easy migration option for migrating virtual machines from on-prem to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. (using cloud-init - imex4vm!)
  • Used in Oracle Engineered Systems (so it is stable)

  • Oracle Database is supported & certified to run on KVM !

What we have gained by using KVM as the virtualization solution in our Projects?
As mentioned, we have made projects using Oracle Linux KVM and currently we are running mission critical production RAC databases and applications on it.. We have also implemented clusters and DR platforms on top of it. So let's se what we have gained...

  • Quick installation (Level 1 Linux administration knowledge is almost sufficient)

  • Quick provisioning

  • Hardware Compatibility

  • Good documentation for KVM and OLVM

  • Single Vendor Support

  • Easy memory management for guest VMs

  • Successful disaster recovery implementations and tests.

  • Easy to use and user friendly interface

  • Virtualization with hard partitioning (aligned with the Licenses)

  • Complete compatibility and ability to ease OCI migrations.

All in all, there are many reasons to use Oracle Linux KVM for the virtualization layer. On the other hand, I don't see any reason not to use it.(especially for Oracle customers..)

Antonio Manunta - PeerSpot reviewer

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 very little to very big company. For example take a look at Proxmox VE.

Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Internally Nutanix AHV is in its core KVM. They did many adjustments for the sake of manageability in AHV. It comes with no additional cost in their HCI offering Nutanix Acropolis OS (AOS).

Proxmox VE is another solution which is completely free and you have a nice WebGUI to manage all your virtual stuff. You can build clusters for more resiliency as well. Only support subscription is where you have to pay for. In production environments this is often a must if anything goes south.

Simeon Anguelov - PeerSpot reviewer

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.

Charles Finley - PeerSpot reviewer

We use VMware and KVM. We find that KVM is a lot simpler to use and it provides the virtualization we need for Linux and Windows. For us, VMware does not offer any advantage. Moreover, KVM is free.

Ravi Kumar Tenneti - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 10Real User

KVM will be working just like or better than VMware. KVM is available as free or paid depending on your choice and you can convert any installed Linux into a KVM Hypervisor with few commands. All the features which are there in VMware by buying additional components like DRS, vMotion, etc., come in KVM by default.

KVM will work just like VMware and is being used heavily by big companies like Amazon(AWS) and other players.

reviewer1197474 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

If you are using any of the open-source cloud technologies then KVM tends to have better interfacing with other open-source cloud solutions than vSphere. The other reason you would want to use KVM is cost.

Perhaps if you had a specific scenario then it would be easier to make a call on which is the better solution between KVM and vSphere, or perhaps even another virtualization technology.

KVM is becoming the standard in open source, with major companies moving over from other open source technologies. That will result in better support, more features and perhaps even defacto standard status, entrenching it even more into the industry.

vSphere, though legacy, is owned by a leader in the industry with heavy investment in support, features, and most importantly, those peaceful nights asleep knowing someone will take responsibility if something breaks down.

At the end of the day, you are dealing with industry leaders whichever choice you end up with.

sedstr - PeerSpot reviewer

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 supports a wider range of hardware.

Michael Tang - PeerSpot reviewer

Stay with vSphere or Acropolis (Hyperconverged). 
I will not look at KVM or HyperV unless it is an absolute decision made by C-level.      

sedstr - PeerSpot reviewer

KVM is just another virtualization manager. But unlike VMware, orchestrating deployment does not require a whole gamete of tools and support systems.

KVM can be orchestrated with ssh + a simple script, and there are plenty of opensource management tools if you need GUIs.

Ravi Kumar Tenneti - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 10Real User

There are many KVM implementations like oVirt(open source), RHV from RedHat commercial open source, Proxmox, etc., and I suggest you use either oVirt or Proxmox as they are easy and completely open-source.

Georges ESSOMBA - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

In addition to free, KVM has other assets like:
- Easy migration of VM from VMware to KVM
- Very low usage of cpu+memory of the hard server (hypervisor)
- Stability and scalability

About good use cases, I can mention Saham Assurance Cameroon with whom I work with and one other partner for whom we deployed KVM to dematerialize its servers.

Both are using KVM in production since 2017 without the need for any support or help from anyone.

In the case of SAHAM, we migrate VMs from VMware to KVM. We created corresponding VMware VM's server in KVM with the same technical specifications. We migrate the virtual disk from VMware to KVM disk format and we integrate them very smoothly and the servers worked at the first try.

In the case of the other one, we created VM with the same specifications and the same name of the corresponding hard server and then we save them and restore data in the VM servers with success!

VascoCampos - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

The main goal might be that it is free. But do not think that just being free is not good, because it is very good.
We have several examples in large companies such as IBM.

VascoCampos - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User

Hi Jacek! I am a multi platform user in virtual world and I can say that KVM is more and more used. It is powerful and flexible. Almost all datacentres are using it.
When I mean flexible, I mean in compatibility to come from or go to all other platforms, and that's not all, it is free and have support on a lots of community's. You also have payed support on a totally free environment like "Proxmox" a ready to run KVM with a nice web gui.
I other words, KVM disserve the time to be learned, it is environment friendly like all open sources.
It is hard to do a fast switch from VMware, I do know it, but like I said it's worthy.

Buyer's Guide
Server Virtualization Software
June 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about KVM, Oracle, Microsoft and others in Server Virtualization Software. Updated: June 2022.
610,045 professionals have used our research since 2012.