Why KVM??? Help please!

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!

Deputy Head of Department - Project Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
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15 Answers
CEO at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Feb 7, 2020

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.

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it_user1234554 - PeerSpot reviewer
President with 11-50 employees
Nov 26, 2019

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.

Head - Operations & Sales at Computer Port IT Solutions
Real User
Top 20
Oct 28, 2019

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.

Head Of Information Technology at a media company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Oct 28, 2019

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.

Enterprise Architect, CISSP at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Jun 9, 2021

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.

Sr. Director, Systems & Databases at GTech
Real User
Feb 3, 2021


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..)

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Director of software R&D at Janas Technologies
Jan 13, 2021

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.

sedstr - PeerSpot reviewer
Feb 10, 2020

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.

Systems Engineer with 51-200 employees
Oct 29, 2019

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
Oct 28, 2019

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.

Head - Operations & Sales at Computer Port IT Solutions
Real User
Top 20
Oct 28, 2019

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.

Business Engineer and Consultant at All-Tech
Real User
Top 10
Oct 28, 2019

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!

System Engineer at NoBoring Lda
Real User
Oct 28, 2019

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.

Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Feb 3, 2021

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.

System Engineer at NoBoring Lda
Real User
Feb 11, 2020

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.

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Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Nov 30, 2021
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Snr. Infrastructure Architect (Data Centre) at DHA
Nov 23, 2021
KVM is a kernel base hypervisor while Proxmox VE is open-source. Technically, Proxmox VE fulfills the smallest business users than KVM. And if we go for the quality and support KVM is better.  But Proxmox VE has also more features according to business growth.
User at a marketing services firm with 201-500 employees
Nov 30, 2021
In a marketing services-related company security is paramount. Therefore, you probably will rely on services, especially during maintenance of your network and need support for that. When it comes to security and support KVM would be the better option. With in-house engineers, both Proxmox VE and KVM could be chosen. But qualified engineers are hard to come by nowadays, depending on where you live. As a side note, I maintain mainly Xenserver, VMware and KVM. When it comes to performance per watt Xenserver would be the king, especially on larger setups.  Since your setup is of medium size and if you decided not to go for the aforementioned setups, KVM would be the lesser of the worse. Your question depends a lot on the hardware/cloud system you have in mind. More details would make my recommendations more precise. Kind regards,
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Oct 21, 2021
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Steffen Hornung - PeerSpot reviewer
Administrator at Neuberger Gebäudeautomation GmbH
Oct 21, 2021
KVM is better. But let's just look at the software instead of judging. Hyper-V was a free solution from Microsoft to virtualize Server or Client OS as it is a feature on Windows Server since 2008 and came in Windows 8 as well. Free because they had a special SKU dedicated for virtualization called Hyper-V-Server. It had a limited footprint through a core installation (no GUI) to minimize updates it would need. But that was until the Windows Server 2019 release. With the new release line named "2022", they dropped that SKU altogether. Microsoft now proclaims you should use their Azure-Stack-HCI solution which is a paid offering with a subscription. That in itself is no bad thing as it would work pretty well (did not try myself but read about it). Alas, you will have to pay for that. Another downside of Hyper-V is the management capabilities and requirements: You have to use Windows to manage that (which you probably already use anyway) but you have to use at minimum the same OS version your Hyper-V is running on. So if you have Hyper-V Server 2016 you have to use Windows 10 as a minimum (expect to have the same feature built as the server 1607). On the other hand, there is KVM free on most (if not all) Linuxes. There are even free offerings like Proxmox VE with a full package to use it as an appliance, manage through a browser, and such. Way more straightforward than Hyper-V. Citrix Xen Server is also a great solution to get you started with virtualization. Commercial solutions are also out there to deliver to more production-inclined needs. One is Nutanix AHV which uses KVM at its core. See my article about that for more information.Personally, I used KVM in private projects and some test scenarios at work. We use AHV at work and it is perfectly running there. I also have a Hyper-V running with a few VMs for a small shop which works great. You have to settle with some limitations but I will switch that away from Hyper-V because of that mess they made with 2022 (I don't want to pay for a thing I have used for free after 10 years. besides said shop is a non-profit). I'm just waiting for the next hardware refresh. So yes, I think KVM is better and not only because it is still free.
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