You’ve taken the plunge and decided to move to a virtual server environment, perhaps in a rack-mounted blade server infrastructure. Your biggest concern is how to manage the various virtual and physical servers without excessive manual intervention, complex wiring infrastructure, and a console per server.
The answer is a KVM virtual dedicated server environment, available in both Open Systems and Windows variants. KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine.
What is KVM?
KVM was first brought forward as part of the primary Linux OS kernel and is Open Source software. You get it with the Linux kernel, and it can be installed at the start or added later. It provides a full virtualization environment for both Intel and AMD processors. You need the mainline Linux kernel at level 2.6.20 or above.
It supports several guest operating systems, including Windows, BSD, Solaris, and Linux. Each Virtual Machine (“VM”) has its own virtual resources allocated and managed by KVM.
A KVM virtual dedicated server allows you to have both Linux and Windows virtual servers running on the same physical server. Because each VM is complete with its own private virtualized hardware, each virtual server is entirely independent and acts like its physical equivalent. Because of the private server implementation and encrypted networks, each virtual server is secure against intrusion from others in the same environment.
On the other hand, because it is an entirely virtual environment, the KVM implementation of true virtualization has significantly greater overheads than other virtualization environments such as OpenVZ.
In essence, KVM operates as a Type 2 Hypervisor.
What are the advantages of KVM virtual dedicated server?
• Cost. As part of the Linux kernel, it’s free, open-source software.
• Integration. Again, as part of the kernel, it is fully integrated with the OS.
• Security. Once again, as part of the kernel, it is fully integrated with the OS and uses the Linux SE advanced security system.
• No maintenance downtime
• Adaptability, Being open-source, you can, if you wish, modify it to your exact requirements.
• A significant advantage, and one that is very relevant to today, is that most open-source cloud-based automation software solutions use KVM as it’s default hypervisor.
• Migration. Because it is fully integrated into the kernel, moving from a virtual machine to a dedicated server is a simple process.
What are the disadvantages of a KVM virtual dedicated server?
• It can be complex to setup and needs a lot of preparation But, hopefully, you only do that once or hand it over to your managed service provider.
• It’s not available for all types of processor and is currently limited to Intel and AMD64 processors. You need to check for the latest implementations. Because it is open-source, there is a vibrant user community. There may be third-party mods available, both for other processors and for other functions.
• Performance hit. As a full virtualization scenario. As a result, KVM uses more resources than a partial implementation.
Most businesses do not need a complex environment. In some cases, the application software itself carries out the KVM configuration.
For most smaller businesses, the effort and technical skills involved in setting it up are beyond them. They should look to a managed services provider like HostSailor with an established KVM environment. Such a supplier can get them up and running very quickly.
For a managed services provider offering hosting services, a KVM environment provides significant advantages. It provides flexibility in the customer environments it can support, and the SE security environment gives customers (and themselves) comfort that it is a high-security environment.
The use of the KBM environment as the de facto standard in many cloud-based application systems also future-proofs the user in two ways. First that they will, in all probability, not need to change their VM support environment in the future, and second, upgrades and patches won’t introduce incompatibilities.