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What is a KVM VPS? The advantages and technology explained

Tags: , , Date/Time: April 23, 2020 @ 4:16 am, by Jon Biloh

What is a KVM VPS

What is KVM VPS?

KVM VPS is an acronym for Kernel-based Virtual Machine. It is a full virtualization solution and has become commonly adopted by hosting providers throughout the majority of the last decade. From a physical host perspective, KVM enables you to run to operating systems such as Windows and Linux. In fact, many of the big clouds empowering the sites you go to and use daily run on KVM virtualization technology too.

Using KVM, one can have Linux and Windows virtual machines running side by side on the same hardware. Each KVM VPS has its own kernel independent from the host (you can install or modify your own kernel from a VM-level). Since each virtual machine has its own environment, the VPS will act completely on its own and can run any operating system. This eliminates common restrictions seen with container based virtualization solutions (i.e. OpenVZ can only run certain Linux distributions).

Advantages of KVM VPS:

The pros with KVM is that all applications and use cases should be very similar to how it would on a dedicated server — thanks to it being independent from the host node. This means you can run Docker, OwnCloud, customized kernel headers, and more.

Additionally, you will find that KVM VPS solutions generally provide better performance for a number of reasons. Typically, providers offering KVM VPS tend to run the host nodes on more powerful host nodes than they would for containers, considering the extra overhead that KVM requires to operate efficiently from a host-perspective. On top of this, certain resources within KVM cannot be oversold easily – which is a top reason why consumers prefer to look for the term “KVM” when looking for a VPS hosting solution. This provides extra peace of mind to the consumer that the performance of their virtual server will be predictable and consistent now and in the future.

Most KVM VPS providers who include a control panel such as SolusVM or Virtualizor also allow for you to VNC or HTML5 Console into your server. This is useful if you ever need to console into your server and find remote access (i.e. SSH or RDP) inaccessible for whatever reason. Most providers today allow for custom ISO’s to be mounted as well, for you to https://lowendbox.com/tag/kvm/install your own Operating System on your KVM VPS via VNC.

For the reasons explained above, it is clear why KVM is a technology that many hosting providers have adopted for their virtualization platforms throughout the years, and why consumers tend to prefer it when seeking out a VPS hosting solution.

If you are seeking a KVM VPS solution, be sure to check out RackNerd’s KVM VPS solutions or check out the Low End Box marketplace where numerous KVM based VPS options exist. Thanks for reading!

I'm Jon Biloh and I own LowEndBox and LowEndTalk. I've spent my nearly 20 year career in IT building companies and now I'm excited to focus on building and enhancing the community at LowEndBox and LowEndTalk.

11 Comments

  1. I’ve been meaning to switch from my current OpenVZ VPS to a KVM VPS lately. I didn’t quite understand the difference or the need to switch until I read this, thank you for time timely article :) I’ve been looking at RackNerd as well, but just waiting for some better offers that could make me switch. With COVID around and not raking in any money, it’s a difficult decision. Anyway, thank you so much.

    April 23, 2020 @ 4:35 am | Reply
  2. o_be_one:

    I have doubts about this. I mean, i’ve hosted my own OpenVZ in the past on dedicated to answer some performances needs i had. Even if it’s not that a lot, OpenVZ was more powerful than KVM on the same dedicated. It’s also something i’ve seen when i’ve worked for a big hosting company. That’s nice that you define that OpenVZ providers may use less powerful servers than KVM, it’s something to know and to check. Never checked this, as my OpenVZ providers other than myself were using also powerful dedicated (in the past i was using only providers from France).
    But definitively, KVM is a lot more convenient for everything than an OpenVZ pr any container system for a VPS.

    April 23, 2020 @ 10:22 am | Reply
    • Hi, o_be_one, Thank you for the feedback and for being a RackNerd customer.

      Generally speaking, nodes purposed for KVM are equipped with higher-end drives, and higher-end processors for performance and capacity because KVM tends to require more overhead and doesn’t allow for over-allocating certain resources easily. I agree with your decision to virtualize your bare metal box with OpenVZ – given OpenVZ’s low overhead, it’s a great choice if you have a bare metal server and are looking to virtualize a few VM’s. OpenVZ containers share the same kernel as the host; eliminating the overhead of each VM running an independent kernel.

      April 23, 2020 @ 7:44 pm | Reply
    • n:

      Unfortunately, openvz hasn’t had a new release for many years. It looks like an abandoned product.

      May 4, 2020 @ 12:22 am | Reply
  3. Petier:

    KVM rocks, that is the only way to say it. Really there nothing better for virtual servers. But I still wish that it can separate CPU threads better but maybe that is impossible without dedicated CPU chip.

    SlickStack website also mentioned RackNerd in their recommended KVM clouds.

    April 24, 2020 @ 5:07 am | Reply
    • Hi Petier, I just checked out SlickStack site.

      I’m impressed, looks great, and happy to see they’ve mentioned RackNerd.

      April 24, 2020 @ 2:57 pm | Reply
    • o_be_one:

      Interesting! I’ve read on a comment from ServaRICA also that providers that are using Xen can’t, normally, oversell their VPS since Xen doesn’t allow overselling (pretty sure it’s possible to “patch”/”hack” it to force this).

      April 24, 2020 @ 4:22 pm | Reply
      • Hey o_be_one, everything can be oversold and if managed badly, can be quiet horrible. It is a matter of, is the provider willing to oversell and is it because they are selling something, below cost price.

        This is where too good to be true pricing comes in effect. Be cautious and extra carefully, whenever you are purchasing something, that is not only “cheap” but ultra cheap. Do you due diligence. :)

        April 24, 2020 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

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