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Hardware virtualization plays a major role in IT infrastructure optimization in private data centers and public cloud platforms. Though there are many advancements in CPU architecture and hypervisors recently, but overhead still exists as there is a virtualization layer between the guest operating system and physical hardware. This is particularly when multiple virtual guests are competing for resources on the same physical hardware. Understanding performance of a virtualization layer is crucial as this would have a major impact on entire IT infrastructure. This article has performed an extensive study on comparing the performance of three hypervisors KVM, Xen, and Proxmox VE. The experiments showed that KVM delivers the best performance on most of the selected parameters. Xen excels in file system performance and application performance. Though Proxmox has delivered the best performance in only the sub-category of CPU throughput. This article suggests best-suited hypervisors for targeted applications.
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DOI: 10.4018/IJOSSP.2018040103
Volume 9 • Issue 2 • April-June 2018
Copyright © 2018, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.
Sultan Abdullah Algarni, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, King
Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudia Arabia
Mohammad Ra Ikbal, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudia Arabia
Roobaea Alroobaea, College of Computers and Information Technology, Taif University, Ta’if, Saudi Arabia
Ahmed S Ghiduk, College of Computers and Information Technology, Taif University, Ta’if, Saudi Arabia
Farrukh Nadeem, Department of Information Systems, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudia Arabia
Hardware virtualization plays a major role in IT infrastructure optimization in private data centers and
public cloud platforms. Though there are many advancements in CPU architecture and hypervisors
recently, but overhead still exists as there is a virtualization layer between the guest operating system
and physical hardware. This is particularly when multiple virtual guests are competing for resources
on the same physical hardware. Understanding performance of a virtualization layer is crucial as this
would have a major impact on entire IT infrastructure. This article has performed an extensive study
on comparing the performance of three hypervisors KVM, Xen, and Proxmox VE. The experiments
showed that KVM delivers the best performance on most of the selected parameters. Xen excels
in file system performance and application performance. Though Proxmox has delivered the best
performance in only the sub-category of CPU throughput. This article suggests best-suited hypervisors
for targeted applications.
Cloud Computing, Hypervisor, Performance, Virtualization
The advent of hardware virtualization technology has laid the foundation for many advanced
technologies, such as cloud computing, IT infrastructure optimization and consolidation, disaster
recovery, high availability and green computing. Hardware virtualization allows many guest operating
systems to share the same hardware, as shown in Figure 1. This is done by installing a hypervisor on
physical hardware and then installing guests on top of the hypervisor. The hypervisor manages all
the physical resources of the host system, like CPU, memory, network and storage.
Hypervisors allow not only multiple guest operating systems to share the same physical hardware,
but also allow the sharing of abstract physical hardware such that guest operating systems assume that
they are running on physical hardware. This abstraction has many advantages. Hypervisors simplify
resource management, speed up deployment, use resources more efficiently and offer better control
over infrastructure.
Hypervisors can create pseudo hardware resources for guests that are idle and use these resources
for guests that are loaded and in need of resources. This also helps with many advanced features like
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thin provisioning, virtual machine migration and high availability. However, the disadvantage of the
presence of this abstraction prevent it from being used in mission-critical and performance-demanding
applications like high-performance computing,
In cloud computing, both private and public clouds leverage features of hypervisors to deliver
infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to meet end user demands like instant operating system deployment,
storage allocation, network management and configuration. These cloud infrastructures are easily
scalable and flexible as virtual servers can be created and customized in almost no time. IT
infrastructure consolidation is also an area where virtualization is implemented. One single physical
server is used to deploy multiple diverse operating systems as per end-user requirements, maximizing
resource utilization and reducing operating costs for power, cooling and rack space.
The success of virtualized IT infrastructure depends on physical hardware and hypervisors. There
is continuous development in chip technologies, thus server hardware is getting better over time. This
paper performs a comprehensive performance evaluation and benchmark three main open source
hardware-assisted hypervisors: XenServer (2017), KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) (Linux, 2017)
and Proxmox VE (2017) on different areas, such as response efficiency, CPU cache & throughput,
performance of Memory & Disk & Application. The aim of this research is to enable researchers and
end users to determine which hypervisors deliver the best performance for the targeted applications
to meet their needs based on hands on experiment.
The remainder of this work is structured as follows. The following section presents the related
work. Section 3 demonstrates a short explanation of the selected hypervisors Xen, KVM and
Proxmox. Following that, section 4 shows the details of the selected parameters and benchmarks in
the experiment, the setup of the experiment and the results of the evaluation of the three hypervisors.
Section 5 presents the conclusion of this paper and some future work issues.
There are countless studies evaluating the performance of hypervisors from various perspectives. Many
authors focus on analyzing the complete cloud computing which uses hypervisor such as Nadeem
and Qaiser (2015), Paradowski, Liu, and Yuan (2014), Al-mukhtar (2014), Younge et al. (2011),
Figure 1. Typical virtualization architecture
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and Graniszewski and Arciszewski (2016). Paradowski et al. (2014) used a mutual hypervisor under
defined criteria. This study used various resources performances such as CPU, RAM and hard disk
size. The results indicated that OpenStack outperformed CloudStack based on the benchmark criteria.
A few studies investigate the performance of virtualization methodologies for high performance
computing such as Younge et al. (2011). This study suggested that KVM is the best option to be
utilized with high performance computing cloud environments.
However, our study focuses on analysing hypervisors only. Many researchers compare Xen
and KVM, using different benchmarks such as Deshane et al. (2008), Andrea Chierici et al. (2010),
Geoffrey et al. (2016), Pagare et al. (2014) and Binu and Kumar (2011). They all evaluate the
performance of Xen and KVM, concentrating on overall performance and individual components,
such as scalability of the virtual machines, network, memory, disk I/O and CPU performance, using
benchmarking tools such as bonnie++, SysBench, IOzone, netperf, iperf and hep-spec06. They have
concluded that there is no perfect hypervisor for all kinds of environments and task allocations, and
both hypervisors handle perfectly the workloads that are best suited for them.
Binu and Kumar (2011) compared Xen and KVM hypervisors. The authors illustrated that
scalability was the most obvious difference. Moreover, guests crashing was noticed with KVM once
the number of guests exceeded four. Though, KVM outperformed Xen in isolation and I/O-intensive
tests, whereas Xen outperformed KVM in a kernel compile test.
Hwang et al. (2013) presented a competitive study of the performance of Hyper-V, KVM,
vSphere and Xen hypervisors. Manik and Arora (2016) compared KVM, Xen, Hyper-V and ESXi.
Both studies indicated that there is no perfect hypervisor that always outperforms the others in all
aspects, as different workloads may be best suited for different hypervisors.
Elsayed and Abdelbaki (2013) conducted a qualitative and quantitative performance assessment
for VMware ESXi5, Microsoft Hyper-V2008R2, and Citrix Xen Server 6.0.2. The benchmarks used
to measure the performance were the DS2 test application and the PRTG network monitor tools.
They focused on DB performance and used customized SQL instances.
Graniszewski and Arciszewski (2016) compared Hyper-V, ESXi, OVM, VirtualBox, and Xen.
They used CPU (nbench), NIC (netperf), storage (Filebench), memory (ramspeed) compare efficiency
the target hypervisors. Their results showed that ESXi is the best hypervisor in VM performance.
In contrast to previous work, this study is different in scope and to the best of knowledge there is
any work that compares the performance of KVM, Xen and Proxmox in a comprehensive matter. This
paper compared the performance of the three hypervisors in an environment configured mainly for
performance evaluation, using the up-to-date versions of the hypervisors to ensure the right decision
about selecting one over the other.
This section describes the three hypervisors studied (Xen, KVM and Proxmox). The selected
hypervisors are popular open-source hypervisors embraced by public and private cloud environments.
Private cloud platforms like Openstack, Cloudstack and OpenNebula (2017) support Xen and KVM
hypervisors. These hypervisors are also preferred for standalone implementations in data centres.
Xen (XenServer Open Source Server Virtualization) version 4.8.1 is a type 1 hypervisor developed
by the University of Cambridge computer laboratory. It is currently an open-source, community-
driven hypervisor. It is a sophisticated server virtualization platform which is used to manage mixed
operating system. Xen supports both full virtualization and para virtualization; this paper has used
full virtualization. Notable public cloud platforms like Amazon EC2 (2017) and Rackspace (2017)
use Xen. Xen is best known for its performance and scalability under heavy workloads. These features
make Xen a preferred open-source hypervisor for many administrators.
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Since Xen is a type 1 hypervisor, it is the first program that runs directly on the top of system
hardware. The guest VMs run on top of the Xen hypervisor, these guest operating systems are called
ad domains. Xen allows diverse operating system to run on top of it and provides completely isolated
resources for its guests as per configuration. Xen also allows individual guest operating systems to
run their own versions of device drivers for easy and isolated management.
KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) (2017) is a full virtualization developed by Qumranet and later
acquired by Red Hat (2017) in 2008. It is released under a GPL license. KVM is used in public cloud
platforms like Google (Saavedra & Smith, 1996). KVM requires hardware virtualization extensions
of the CPU like Intel VT or AMD-V. The kernel module KVM is designed for hosting the kernel of
Linux and turns a standard Linux distribution into a hypervisor, in our experiments we have deployed
KVM on CentOS 7.2. Scheduling the processes of the guest and memory is done by the host kernel.
Hardware emulation is handled by QEMU. The host kernel considers the guest operating systems as
regular processes. Figure 2 shows the architecture of KVM.
KVM does not perform any emulation by itself; it augments the traditional kernel by exposing /
dev/kvm in guest mode. Each process is executed on the guest CPU of KVM which is implemented
by a Linux thread. Using this feature, one can leverage normal Linux commands and utilities to set
priorities and affinities to the guest processes. Control groups can also be implemented to control
resource allocation to each guest VM running on the host. Guest operating systems’ memory address
space is allocated by the host kernel scheduler. Therefore, it can be shared, swapped or backed up by
host’s virtual memory and is also NUMA-aware. KVM supports device I/O using virtio. Virtio is a
standard for device drivers for physical devices, like storage and network. In Virtio a guest’s device
driver is aware of the presence of the virtual environment. Virtio communicates directly with the
hypervisor so that it gets high-performance access to the host’s physical hardware devices.
The third open-source virtualization platform is Proxmox Virtual Environment (2017) version 5.0.
Proxmox depends on Debian-based Linux distribution and uses web GUI for management. Proxmox
is a full-virtualization hypervisor supporting virtual machines and Linux containers (LXC). Proxmox
Figure 2. KVM architecture
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is one of the few virtualization platforms supporting both full virtualization and Linux containers.
Proxmox has many powerful features like live migration, high availability, bridged networking,
flexible storage, deployment using templates, backup and Linux command line tools. Proxmox
internally uses KVM for full virtualization and LXC for Linux containers. Proxmox can be clustered
using multiple physical hosts to use features like live migration of guest VMs during maintenance and
high availability. Proxmox uses pmxcfs, its own clustered file system, to implement cluster features.
Proxmox has pre-packaged, commonly-used server appliances which are possible to download and
deploy instantly, avoiding the need for installation and configuration of commonly used applications.
This section will describe our performance evaluation model, benchmarks selected for the evaluation
and detailed descriptions of each benchmark. Furthermore, our findings from our experiments will
be analyzed.
The proposed model for the benchmarking study of performance is based on overall performance of
the system, as well as performance of individual components using standard benchmarking methods.
The proposed model starts by benchmarking the performance of Ubuntu Linux 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)
on a standard server hardware and then benchmarking the same operating system installed as a guest
on different hypervisors using the same physical hardware. The proposed model used traditional
benchmarking systems to measure system performance and individual components like CPU, memory,
cache and disk performance (Nadeem & Qaiser, 2015). Descriptions of each benchmark and the
targeted systems are summarized in Table 1.
The intention for selecting these benchmarks is to drill down each resource component of each
system, one by one, with a specific benchmark. The components include CPU, memory and disk I/O.
Since private datacentres have dedicated high-speed networks and the performance of networks in
real time depends on many parameters, benchmarking network performance is out of the scope of this
study. Well-known benchmarks have been selected from different sources using diverse algorithms
so that the results are unbiased, reliable and reproducible. In general, applications can be broadly
classified into CPU, memory and disk I/O. With the results of this study, end-users and administrators
will be able to compare their applications with the results of this paper to select a hypervisor best
suited for their applications. Performance evaluation of individual components provides an estimate
of overall performance of the system (Saavedra & Smith, 1996).
Table 1. Description of Benchmarks
Benchmark Parameter
Sqlite Application performance
LZMA Application performance
Apache Response efficiency
CacheBench Cache performance
John the Ripper CPU throughput
IOZone Disk performance
RAMspeed Memory performance
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This section describes the benchmarks and the corresponding parameters considered in this paper.
4.2.1. Response Efficiency
This is a measure of time taken for the system to respond to a request from an application or client.
This parameter is crucial for many systems, including authentication systems, database systems, web
applications and file servers. It is measured in number of static web page requests a server or service
can fulfil in one second. The Apache benchmark (2017) is used, which measures the number of static
web page requests an Apache web server can serve.
4.2.2. CPU Throughput
The CPU is one of the most important components of a system. This parameter is measured
in computational work done per unit time. This benchmark is also an evaluation of latency in
communicating process from guests to hosts and hypervisors’ CPU scheduling policies. In this
benchmark, the efficiency of the process management of the hypervisors is evaluated. Process
management is a very important sub-system especially for CPU-intensive applications. This paper
uses John the Ripper (OpenWall, 2017) to evaluate CPU performance. This benchmark is a common
decipher application which uses diverse ciphers such as DES and MD5.
4.2.3. Memory Performance
Memory management is one of the most important components of a system. A hypervisor employs
different memory management techniques to provide memory to guest operating systems. At times,
VMs can over-subscribe available physical memory. This process is known as memory overcommit.
For example, there may be two VMs on a physical server serving users from two different time zones.
However, these techniques may have adverse effects on the performance of VMs. During memory
operations, RAMspeed (Alasir, 2017) is used to test memory bandwidth. This benchmark measures
memory bandwidth of read, write and update actions. RAMspeed uses large blocks of data to carry
out numerical operations of copy, scale, add and triad operation.
4.2.4. Cache Performance
There is a significant delay for a CPU to access data from main memory because of the different
speeds at which CPU and memory operate. Modern CPUs are equipped with caches at multiple
levels to accelerate data transfers between main memory and the CPU. This mechanism is helpful,
especially when CPU tries to access the same copy of data frequently. To evaluate the performance
of the CPU cache at multiple levels CacheBench (University of Tennessee ICL, 2017) is used. The
aim of using CacheBench is to deliver peak performance given optimum cache use. This benchmark
performs different operations in the cache, like read, write and modify. Multiple iterations of these
operations are performed with varying lengths of data over time, and cache bandwidth (in Mb per
second) is computed by the division of the overall amount of data in megabytes by overall time.
4.2.5. I/O Performance of File System
Almost all applications use storage sub-systems to store data permanently for later retrieval. Some
applications read data in the beginning of processing and write results to storage while others read
and write data as they process it. In either case, the performance of the storage sub-system is crucial
for applications. In a normal system, a file system access from the operating system is passed to
raid controllers, which fulfils a request directly. With the introduction of a hypervisor, file access
requests from a guest operating system are sent to the hypervisor, which redirects the request to the
storage controller. There is a slight performance degradation in this process with the introduction of
the virtualization layer. IOzone benchmark is used to evaluate performance of file system. IOzone
generates and assesses many file operations such as read, write and random read.
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4.2.6. Overall Performance
Measuring the overall performance of a system is crucial, as the performance of many end-user
applications depends on the performance of all the components of the system. Here, overall
performance of the system is evaluated using two benchmarks. One is a compression benchmark
and the other is a database application benchmark. For the file compression benchmark, LZMA
(Lempel−Ziv−Markov Chain Algorithm) is used and for the database application, Sqlite is used.
LZMA is a lossless data compression technique with a great compression percentage. To evaluate
the performance of the Sqlite database application, the number of transactions per second (TPS) is
measured. TPS is the number of atomic operations a database performs in one second. The Sqlite
application benchmark performs 12,500 insert operations in one second. TPS is calculated as the
overall time of insert operations over 12,500.
The experiment is conducted on a Fujitsu Primergy RX2540 M2 server with a 2 GHz Intel Xeon E5-
2660 v4 Processor, 32 GB memory and 1.6 TB of storage configured in RAID 0. Ubuntu Linux 16.04
was used as a base operating system to run benchmarks. For a fair comparison, Ubuntu was installed
on bare metal, and benchmark results were taken. Then Ubuntu was installed as a guest operating
system on top of each hypervisor with 2 CPU cores, 2GB memory and 20 GB storage. Benchmarks
were executed on Ubuntu guests and results were taken. Benchmarks were executed three times and
averages of the results were considered for comparison. We have rebooted the standalone, guest
and host systems after each iteration of benchmark suite to make sure that the results are consistent.
Though Ubuntu 16.04 deployed on bare metal has access to all the hardware resources (14 CPU
cores, 32Gb RAM and 1.6 Tb of storage), the results are still comparable to performance of Virtual
machines. CPU benchmark we used is serial in nature, Physical and Virtual machines can use only
one CPU core for these tests. Memory benchmark tests the read-write efficiency of the memory and
I/O benchmark tests read-write performance of disk with file size ranging from 2GB to 8GB only.
Similarly, response efficiency and cache performance tests should not differ since we have deployed
VMs with sufficient resources.
To make sure that our experiments are consistent and reproducible, the Phoronix test suite (201)
was used to run benchmarks. The Phoronix test suite makes the process of running tests automatically
which is extremely simple and reproducible. Qualitative and Quantitative benchmarks can be carried
out by the test suite with statistically accurate results.
This section discusses the results of the evaluation of the three open-source hypervisors. For a fair
comparison, the benchmark suit is repeated several times and the average values of the results were
taken into considerations in most cases to ensure correct and reliable values.
4.4.1. Response Efficiency
In this paper, response efficiency is measured as the number of static web pages an Apache web server
can sustain when performing 1,000,000 requests, with 100 requests being executed concurrently.
The greater the number of requests the system can sustain, the more effective the system. Figure 3
illustrations the number of requests sustained by the Apache web server on three hypervisors and on
bare metal deployment. Since the system installed on bare metal has direct access to system resources,
it has outperformed all the hypervisors in this benchmark. This paper will focus on hypervisors.
Applications running on Xen and Proxmox handled around 14,500 requests, while KVM handled
16,451 requests in one second. This is a performance increase of around 12%. In this category, KVM
has outperformed Xen and Proxmox hypervisors.
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4.4.2. CPU Throughput
John the Ripper benchmark is used to measure CPU throughput. This benchmark measures the
number of username/password combinations handled by the CPU in one second. The benchmark is
executed on three different ciphers: DES, MD5 and Blowfish. Figures 4(a)-4(c) show the number
of ciphers the CPU processed per second for each of the hypervisors. KVM processed the highest
number of username/password combinations for MD5 and Blowfish ciphers. Proxmox processed
the highest number of traditional DES ciphers. KVM produces 5% and 2% higher performance than
Xen and Proxmox, respectively, in processing the MD5 cipher. It also produced around 4% increased
performance over the other two hypervisors in processing the Blowfish cipher. However, Proxmox
delivered better performance in processing traditional the DES cipher by 1% and 5% over Xen and
KVM, respectively. KVM has delivered the best overall performance in this category.
4.4.3. Memory Performance
RAMspeed has been used to measure the memory performance of the system. This benchmark
measures the performance of the system while completing different memory operations. The higher
the output, the better the performance of the system. The results are recorded for both integer and
float tests. A scientific application’s performance depends on the number of floating point operations
a system can perform in one second. Measuring the number of integer operations, the system can
deliver is also an important metric to help determine the overall memory performance of a system.
Figure 5 shows the memory performance which was achieved with the selected hypervisors and
physical hardware in terms of memory bandwidth (MB/s) for diverse memory operations like copy,
scale and add. Figures 5(a) and 5(b) show results of integer and floating-point operations, respectively.
In both categories, KVM outperformed the other two hypervisors and physical hardware by 10.02%
and 6.91%, respectively. In integer operation, Xen delivered the least performance after Proxmox
by a difference of 137 MB/s. In floating point operations, Proxmox delivered the least performance
after Xen by a difference of 234 MB/s.
Figure 3. Response efficiency (number of requests per second)
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4.4.4. Cache Performance
Cache performance of the hypervisors and physical hardware was measured using the CacheBench
benchmark. This benchmark measures performance in three categories: cache read, cache write,
and cache modify. This is measured as the ability of the cache present in the system to sustain
large, unit-stride, floating-point cache-optimized workloads. This is measured in raw bandwidth
as megabytes per second, and the higher this metric is, the better the performance of the system.
Figures 6(a)-6(c) show the results of the CacheBench benchmark executed on the three hypervisors
and on the physical hardware. The physical hardware has again outperformed the three hypervisors.
Out of the three hypervisors, KVM shows the highest cache performance and Xen shows lowest.
The performance difference between KVM and Xen is approximately 2.5% in all three categories.
Proxmox has delivered good performance after KVM. The performance difference between KVM
and Proxmox is approximately 0.6% in all three categories.
Figure 4.  CPU throughput (DES cipher)
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4.4.5. File System I/O Performance
IOzone benchmark is used to evaluate the performance of the storage sub-systems of the three
hypervisors. IOzone evaluates the performance of storage sub-systems in two categories: disk read
and disk write. Disk read and disk write provide the bandwidth for reading and writing files on the
disk with varying record sizes. This is expressed in megabytes per second, and the higher the value
the better the performance of the system. The experiments were conducted on a file size of 2GB with
three records of different size of 4 KB, 64 KB and 1MB.
Figure 7(a) depicts the disk write performance of the three hypervisors and the physical hardware
with the three record sizes. Xen delivered the best performance of all three hypervisors. Interestingly,
in this case, Xen performed better than the physical hardware as well. KVM shows the lowest
performance of the three hypervisors, performing at 57.46% less than Xen. Performance of Proxmox
is almost near Xen with a variation of only 4%. The performance of the physical machine installed
without any hypervisor performed at 32% less than Xen. If disk read performance from Figure 7(b) is
analysed, one can see that the physical machine delivered better performance compared to the three
hypervisors by around 70% in all three record sizes. Out of the three hypervisors, Xen delivered the
best performance after the physical machine. Proxmox delivered the next best performance with a
variation of around 6%. KVM delivered the least impressive performance and was less than Xen by
approximately 17% in all three categories. From Figures 7(a) and 7(b), one can see that there is no
major difference in performance across different record sizes. However, one can observe that disk-
read operations are much faster than disk-write operations.
4.4.6. Application Performance
Two benchmarks were used to compare the performance of applications on the selected hypervisors
and physical hardware. The LZMA benchmark measures the amount of time consumed in compressing
a 256MB file using the LZMA compression algorithm. The lower the time, the better the performance
Figure 5.  Memory performance (integer)
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of the system. Figure 8(a) depicts the results. Of the hypervisors, KVM delivered the best performance,
followed by Proxmox. Xen delivered the lowest performance of the three hypervisors with the same
workload. The performance of KVM and Proxmox is very close with a difference of only 1.2%. The
performance difference between KVM and Xen is 4.63%. KVM delivered the best performance in
this benchmark test after the physical hardware.
Figure 8(b) shows the performance of the Sqlite benchmark. This benchmark measures the time
taken to perform a pre-defined number of insertions on an indexed database. The performance of bare
metal was 25% higher than best-performing hypervisor and 125% higher than the average performance
of all three hypervisors. Xen has delivered the best performance of all three hypervisors, followed
by KVM. There is a huge performance difference between the three hypervisors. Xen outperformed
KVM with a difference of 82.86%. Proxmox delivered the least performance of the three hypervisors
at 86% less than KVM and 143% less than the highest-performing Xen hypervisor.
Figure 6.  Cache performance (read operation)
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To conclude Table 1 summarizes the performance of the three hypervisors during our tests. From
the selected parameters, KVM delivers the best performance on CPU throughput, response efficiency,
memory performance and cache performance. Xen excels in file system performance and application
performance. Though Proxmox has delivered the best performance in only the sub-category of CPU
throughput, it has delivered consistent performance in all other categories.
This study presented our performance comparison analysis of KVM, Xen and Proxmox hypervisors.
Also, the performance has been presented of physical hardware for comparison. Extensive experiments
were conducted to evaluate their performance by installing Ubuntu guests on top of different
hypervisors and on bare metal. We have included performance of bare metal deployment so that user
can treat these results as base line for each benchmark category. This will also help reader to visualize
the latency introduced by different hypervisor on comparison with performance of bare metal.
Figure 7.  File system performance (disk write)
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Figure 8.  Application performance (LZMA)
Table 2. Performance comparison of three hypervisors
# Performance Parameter Benchmark Benchmark Operation Xen KVM Proxmox
1 Response Efficiency Apache Serving static pages *LB BS*
2 CPU Throughput John the Ripper Blowfish LB BS
Traditional DES LB BS
3 Memory RAMspeed Integer (Average) LB BS
Float (Average) BS LB
4 Cache Performance CacheBench Read LB BS
Write LB BS
Read/modify/write LB BS
5 File System Performance IOzone Disk read BS LB
Disk write BS LB
6 Application Performance LZMA File compression BS LB
Sqlite Database inserts BS LB
* LB represents Least Performance and BS represents Best Performance
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From our experiments we see that KVM has outperformed in most of the categories except File
system performance, while Xen has outperformed only in File system performance. This shows that
KVM is best suited for application which are CPU and memory intensive like web applications and
Xen is best suited for applications which depends on File system or storage. Database and storage-
based applications will perform better if deployed on Xen hypervisor.
There are few benchmarks where the performance of a virtual machine exceeds the performance of
physical hardware. Depth analysis to understand these benchmarks will be performed in the future.
LXC (Linux Containers) is an operating system level virtualization technology that run multiple
diverse operating systems on a single Linux kernel. The performance of Linux containers and
hardware-assisted virtualization technologies will be compared in the future. Besides, this study will
be extended to understand the performance of different virtualization technologies on cloud platforms.
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Volume 9 • Issue 2 • April-June 2018
Mohammad Rafi Ikbal received his master’s degree in Computer Science from Alagappa University. He is currently
working as high-performance computing administrator at King Abdulaziz University. His research interests are
Hypervisors, Parallel programming and computer vision.
Roobaea Alroobaea is an assistant professor in College of Computers and Information Technology, Taif University,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is a Chair of support researches and system at Deanship of scientific research in
Taif University. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from King Abdulaziz University (KAU)
in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in 2008. He achieved a distinction in master’s degree from the University of East
Anglia in the United Kingdom, in 2011. Additionally, he received his PhD’s degree in computer science from the
University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, in 2016. He has published a number of publications, including
various journals and conferences. He has been honored by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, the Saudi
ambassador to the UK, in recognition of his research excellence at the University of East Anglia. He is also holder
of CCNA certifications
Farrukh Nadeem received his Ph.D. Computer Science (with distinction) from the University of Innsbruck, Austria
in May 2009. At present, he is serving as an Associate Professor at department of Information Systems, College of
Computing and IT, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His main research areas include data science,
distributed systems, Cloud computing and decision support systems. He has been involved in a several Austrian
and Saudi research and development projects. Dr. Farrukh is author of more than 28 papers, including four book
chapters, and 8 journal publications. He holds several distinctions and awards during his educational career.
Dr. Farrukh is running multiple Development and Research Projects. He has also developed a Grid Computing
infrastructure for HPC at College of Computing and Information Technology.
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prediction. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 14(4), 344–384. doi:10.1145/235543.235545
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analysis for real-time workloads. In 2016 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC)
(pp. 1-7). IEEE.
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Virtualization Technologies for High Performance Computing Environments. In 2011 IEEE Int. Conf. Cloud
Computing (CLOUD) (pp. 9–16). doi:10.1109/CLOUD.2011.29
... La virtualización es una tecnología que permite que varias instancias de máquinas virtuales (MV) se ejecuten en un mismo servidor físico y compartan el hardware del servidor bajo el control de un hipervisor (Logroño, 2017;Pousa & Rufino, 2017;Poojara, Dharwadkar & Ghule, 2017) . Los hipervisores simplifican la gestión de recursos de hardware, garantizan su utilización eficiente por parte de las MV, aceleran su despliegue y ofrecen un mejor control de la infraestructura computacional disponible (Algarni et al., 2018) . ...
... La carga de trabajo, los requerimientos e indicadores claves de desempeño de las aplicaciones, son fundamentales para el dimensionamiento de los recursos computacionales que les darán soporte (Clavijo et al., 2018) . Además, se debe analizar el rendimiento de las plataformas de virtualización porque estas influyen notablemente en la infraestructura tecnológica de los centros de datos (Algarni et al., 2018) . ...
... (Algarni et al. 2018) arribó a la conclusión de que KVM ofrece mejor desempeño que los demás hipervisores. Según(Algarni et al. 2018) , Proxmox solo se destacó en el rendimiento del CPU.(Algarni et al. 2018) , no contempló el rendimiento de red en su análisis.(Ally, 2018) , comparó las fortalezas técnicas de Proxmox y XenServer y analizó entre otros elementos, el tipo de virtualización de cada plataforma, sus arquitecturas, el Editorial "Ediciones Futuro" Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas. ...
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La virtualización representa un elemento importante en el trabajo con servidores porque permite crear entornos virtuales con facilidades de uso. Esta tecnología constituye un activo fundamental en la implementación del cloud computing y para soportar los diferentes servicios digitales de las organizaciones con un marcado ahorro de costos y recursos. Existen dos tipos de plataformas de virtualización: tipo 1 (bare metal), se instalan directamente en el hardware del servidor y tipo 2 (virtualización alojada), se instalan en el sistema operativo anfitrión del usuario. En la literatura consultada se identificó que la selección de estas plataformas se realiza según sus características, rendimientos, el hardware disponible y las tendencias del mercado. No se identificaron investigaciones enmarcadas en las necesidades de los clientes, específicamente enfocadas en las características y requerimientos tecnológicos de las pequeñas y medianas empresas cubanas. En esta investigación se comparó cuantitativamente el desempeño de las principales herramientas de virtualización tipo 1 basadas en software libre en el entorno real de una mediana empresa cubana. Se utilizaron como métodos científicos el analítico-sintético, la triangulación teórica y el método experimental. Para las pruebas de rendimiento y escalabilidad se emplearon las herramientas Unixbench, iPerf3 y htop. Los resultados obtenidos evidenciaron que Proxmox 5.4 es una opción eficiente para la virtualización de servidores con ahorro y uso óptimo de los recursos de hardware.
... Further work is dedicated to the question of virtual infrastructure management, showing cloud resources can be limited in order to respond to dynamic changes in a VE [16]. Finally, certain research efforts have been dedicated to performing comparative analysis of the modern hypervisors, which is in line with the approach applied in our paper [12], [17][18][19][20][21][22][23]. ...
... Compared to related work, we believe that our study introduces more comprehensive modeling of the FS performance in VE. At the practical level, while most of the related approaches consider just a single case study [17][18][19][20][21][22][23], we consider three case studies. Compared to related work, our main focus is FS pair modeling and KDB with the optimal FS pairs. ...
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This paper proposed an approach to mathematical modeling of the file system performance in a hypervisor-based virtual environment, with special focus on the file system pair interactions. The main goal of this research is to conduct an in-depth analysis of the filesystem pair behavior with respect to the performance costs originating from the employed technologies, such as H-Trees, B-Trees and Copy-on-Write/Overwrite update method, and different application workload types. The modeling provides a collection of hypotheses about the expected behavior. The modeling and the hypotheses are validated based on the results obtained for a specific case study. Our study reports on a file system performance comparison in the context of KVM hyper-visor-based full hardware virtualization, application-level benchmarking, and 64-bit Linux filesys-tems Ext4, XFS, and Btrfs. The Filebench benchmark tool is applied for comprehensive testing of the filesystem performance under fair-play conditions. According to the obtained results, we provide a set of recommendations (i.e., a Knowledge Data Base) for optimal filesystem pair selection for the KVM hypervisor. Finally, it is important to note that the proposed modeling is also applicable to other hypervisor-based virtualizations.
... Teknologi virtualisasi memerankan peran penting Infrastuktur TI meliputi private data centers dan platform public cloud. Teknologi virtualisasi mengijinkan beberapa guest sistem operasi untuk berbagi perangkat keras yang sama dengan linkungan yang terisolasi [1]- [3]. Ada beberapa jenis virtualisasi yaitu Virtualisasi Container dan Hypervisor [4]. ...
... [11], [12]. Proxmox mendukung hypervisor KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), dan LXC Container [1]. Penulis menggunakan PROXMOX karena bersifat open source dan menyediakan web interface untuk mengelola Virtual Machine (VM), media penyimpanan, sumber daya seperti CPU dan RAM [13] [3]. ...
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Teknologi virtualisasi memerankan peran penting Infrastuktur TI meliputi private data centers dan platform public cloud. Ada beberapa jenis virtualisasi yaitu Virtualisasi Container dan Hypervisor. Virtualisasi berbasis container menggunakan kernel yang sama dan bekerja dalam layer software. Container memungkinkan menjalankan beberapa instance sistem operasi dan perangkat keras yang sama . Berbeda dengan container, hypervisor beroperasi pada level hardware memerlukan Operasi Sistem yang terpisah dengan sistem host. Ada beberapa platform virtualisasi yang dapat digunakan seperti Proxmox, VMWare ESX, dan OpenStack. Proxmox mendukung hypervisor KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), dan LXC Container. KVM mempunyai performa CPU yang lebih baik daripada jenis virtualisasi lainnya seperti native, LXC, dan Docker. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengimplementasi virtualisasi di PT.MKNT menggunakan platform virtualisasi PROXMOX. Hasil menunjukkan dengan menggunakan Platform PROXMOX dapat membantu untuk membuat dan mengelola VM dalam private server.
... It is important to choose a solution for virtual infrastructure management, as cloud resources can be quite limited and inadequate due to the need to respond to changes in a dynamic and stochastic environment [14][15]. Just a few studies provide comparative analysis of the top market virtualization hypervisors, which is highly related to our focus as well [8], [16][17][18][19]. ...
This paper focus is the mathematical modeling of the file system performance in virtual environment when using type-1 hypervisors. The modeling provides a set of hypotheses related to the expected behavior. The presented model is validated based on the analysis of a collection of the results obtained for a specific case study. Our case study includes the file system performance comparison, in full hardware virtualization, when examining four dominant type-1 hypervisors: ESXi, KVM, Hyper-V, and Xen. We chose Filebench as a benchmark tool, which guarantees comprehensive and versatile testing of file system performance, whereas for all tested hypervisors we have provided an equivalent environment and testing conditions. For all the examined hypervisors, we have tested the cases with one, two, and three virtual machines that are running simultaneously, whereas CentOS 6.3 Linux is used as the guest operating system. We have further validated the mathematical model and defined hypotheses by the means of the case study benchmark results.
... There are different investigations related to virtualization using Proxmox [26,27], where they evaluate different virtualization technologies, but a virtualization technology such as Proxmox versus a traditional network architecture as such in a data center is not analyzed. ...
Hyperconvergence is a new technological trend that integrates and centralizes the functions of network, storage and computing in a single infrastructure, facilitating the administration, operability and scalability of a Data Center as a whole, benets that do not provide an architecture of traditional network or virtualization-specic technologies. This research based on qualitative and experimental methods suggests a model of Implementation of a HyperConvergent Architecture for the management of the Data Center of the Universidad Técnica del Norte, as a competitive and high-performance Open Source alternative for the integration of physical and virtual components. The suggested deployment model is based on the virtualization platform Proxmox VE, CEPH (Storage Software Platform), vSwitch (network scheme) and KVM (equipment virtualization). It includes a centralized domain and it provides a 99.88% availability rate making it in total harmony with functionalities requiring high availability. The results show the simplicity of the system: efficient execution of all applications, migrations of virtual machines from node to node, inactivity times between 50.3 ms and 53 ms, processing acceleration providing agility to IT operations without forgetting that its implementation and its start-up times are relatively low.
Virtualization offers several benefits including reduction in hardware expenses, accessories, power consumption, security and resistance on the failure. Additionally, it improves the availability and simplicity in system management. It abstracts hardware and software resources and generates a virtual copy of the same. This paper presents the performance analysis of various hypervisors like VMware’s vSphere and Workstation, KVM, XenServer and Oracle’s VirtualBox that are based on different classification of virtualization technology like Type-1 and Type-2. VM performance is evaluated for different hypervisors with reference to virtualized CPU performance, impact on virtualized memory performance, I/O performance of virtual disk (secondary storage) as well as virtual network download and upload bandwidth. Performance has been observed after deployment of each hypervisor on multiple hardware. Different features of every hardware are also considered. The performance testing and analysis are done with real-world workload traces. Mean of the outcome is utilized for performance comparison.
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With the advent of the World Wide Web, big data has gained immense popularity among the research community. This data originates from various sources such as e-commerce sites, stock exchange data, social networking sites, and data stored at weather stations through satellite among others. The data generated by these sources is huge and is referred to as big data due to its sheer volume, variety, and velocity. Most of the data generated is unstructured and heterogeneous. The traditional data analytic tools, relational database management systems, and data warehousing systems are insufficient to meet the increasing computing demand arising out of big data. Processing this huge data is a challenging task that involves high storage devices, complex computing, and powerful processing. This paper discusses several challenges posed by big data in the current scenario and studies different approaches to address these challenges.
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With the advancement of computer virtualization technology, the use of cloud computing technology began to be scrutinized by researchers. With the existence of cloud computing technology can make computer virtualization on a server that is running. This can save the cost of providing information technology and operational infrastructure independently for each service that will be served. With this technology one physical machine is made into a shared resource that can be shared and used by several services at once. In this study made 4 servers using SLIMS7, digital libraries are virtual machines implemented in cloud computing servers with Proxmox servers. Database server digital library integration uses Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), by connecting to 4 virtual machine servers. Integration is carried out on the book data search system by entering keywords as book data searches that exist in each digital library server, with the results of displaying all book data on each digital library server according to the keywords. The conclusions of this study obtained after testing the system include the acquisition of a new model in the use of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to integrate the search for data books that exist in 4 digital library servers.
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Virtualization of operating systems and network infrastructure plays an important role in current IT projects. With the number of services running on different hardware resources it is easy to provide availability, security and efficiency using virtualizers. All virtualization vendors claim that their hypervisor (virtual machine monitor - VMM) is better than their competitors. In this paper we evaluate performance of different solutions: proprietary software products (Hyper-V, ESXi, OVM, VirtualBox), and open source (Xen). We are using standard benchmark tools to compare efficiency of main hardware components, i.e. CPU (nbench), NIC (netperf), storage (Filebench), memory (ramspeed). Results of each tests are presented.
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Cloud computing, after its success as a commercial infrastructure, is now emerging as a private infrastructure. The software platforms available to build private cloud computing infrastructure vary in their performance for management of cloud resources as well as in utilization of local physical resources. Organizations and individuals looking forward to reaping the benefits of private cloud computing need to understand which software platform would provide the efficient services and optimum utilization of cloud resources for their target applications. In this paper, we present our initial study on performance evaluation and comparison of three cloud computing software platforms from the perspective of common cloud users who intend to build their private clouds. We compare the performance of the selected software platforms from several respects describing their suitability for applications from different domains. Our results highlight the critical parameters for performance evaluation of a software platform and the best software platform for different application domains.
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The number of open source cloud platforms is increasing day by day.The features of these platforms vary significantly and this creates a difficulty for cloud consumers to choose the platforms based on their requirments.In this paper we build a private cloud using Cloudstack , a popular open source platform used to built Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS) cloud.We presents its architecure and analyze performance of virtual machines initiated and managed by the Cloudstack in terms of CPU usage,memory bandwidth,disk I/O speed and networking performance using suitable benchmarks.Different vitual machine management operations such as add ,delete and live migration are also evaluated .The performance evaluation of Cloudstack can help to determine its suability to be adopted as on premise cloud solution.
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the number of open source cloud management platforms is increasing day-by-day. The features of these software vary significantly and this creates a difficulty for the cloud consumers to choose the software based on their business and scientific requirements. This paper evaluates Eucalyptus and CloudStack, the two most popular open source platforms used to build private Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds. The performance of virtual machines (VMs) initiated and managed by Eucalyptus and CloudStack are evaluated in terms of CPU utilization, memory bandwidth, disk I/O access speed, and network performance using suitable benchmarks. Different VM management operations such as add, delete and live migration are also assessed to determine which cloud solution is more suitable than other to be adopted as a private cloud solution. As a further performance testing, a simple web application has been implemented on the both clouds to evaluate their suitability in web application hosting.
Conference Paper
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Virtualization has become a popular way to make more efficient use of server resources within both private data centers and public cloud platforms. While recent advances in CPU architectures and new virtualization techniques have reduced the performance cost of using virtualization, overheads still exist, particularly when multiple virtual machines are competing for resources. We have performed an extensive performance comparison under hardware-assisted virtualization settings considering four popular virtualization platforms, Hyper-V, KVM, vSphere and Xen, and find that the overheads incurred by each hypervisor can vary significantly depending on the type of application and the resources assigned to it. We also find dramatic differences in the performance isolation provided by different hypervisors. However, we find no single hypervisor always outperforms the others. This suggests that effectively managing hypervisor diversity in order to match applications to the best platform is an important, yet unstudied, challenge.
Conference Paper
The virtualization of IT infrastructure enables the consolidation and pooling of IT resources so that they can be shared over diverse applications to offset the limitation of shrinking resources and growing business needs. It provides a logical abstraction of physical computing resources and creates computing environments that are not restricted by physical configuration or implementation. Virtualization is very important for cloud computing because the delivery of services is simplified by providing a platform for optimizing complex IT resources in a scalable manner, which makes cloud computing more cost effective. Hypervisor plays an important role in the virtualization of hardware. It is a piece of software that provides a virtualized hardware environment to support running multiple operating systems concurrently using one physical server. The hypervisor type introduces significant impacts on the virtualization environment performance. The intent of this paper is to quantitatively and qualitatively compare the performance of the latest shipping versions of the VMware ESXi5, Citrix Xen Server 6.0.2 and Hyper-Hyper-V2008R2 Hypervisors at time of this study using customized SQL instance as workload simulating real life situations. This Paper helps both IT decision makers and end users to choose the right virtualization hypervisor and their readiness for enterprise datacenters and cloud infrastructure.
Standard benchmarking provides to run-times for given programs on given machines, but fails to provide insight as to why those results were obtained (either in terms of machine or program characteristics) and fails to provide run-times for that program on some other machine, or some other programs on that machine. We have developed a machine-imdependent model of program execution to characterize both machine performance and program execution. By merging these machine and program characterizations, we can estimate execution time for arbitrary machine/program combinations. Our technique allows us to identify those operations, either on the machine or in the programs, which dominate the benchmark results. This information helps designers in improving the performance of future machines and users in tuning their applications to better utilize the performance of existing machines. Here we apply our methodology to characterize benchmarks and predict their execution times. We present extensive run-time statistics for a large set of benchmarks including the SPEC and Perfect Club suites. We show how these statistics can be used to identify important shortcoming in the programs. In addition, we give execution time estimates for a large sample of programs and machines and compare these against benchmark results. Finally, we develop a metric for program similarity that makes it possible to classify benchmarks with respect to a large set of characteristics.