Vmware vs Virtualbox vs KVM vs XEN: virtual machines performance comparison

Written by Gionatan Danti on . Posted in Virtualization

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Web server benchmark: complex, dynamic page created with PHP and MySQL

For this benchmark, I used a default Joomla installation (complete of example pages).

Here are the data:

Apache dynamic test

Wow, these results are very low... It is possible that Apache and PHP on Windows are a not so great choice, but we want to concentrate our attention to the virtualizers results. KVM is finally on top, with VirtualBox very near; then we have Xen and, in the last place, VMware. As Xen is quite good now, does this benchmark contradict the previous Apache static benchmark? No. This time, Apache is capable of spawning only 3 or 4 thread each second. At this rate, Xen has no great problems with threading.

Now, let see CPU load:

Apache dynamic test CPU load

We have 100% CPU load for each contender.

Disk stats:

Apache dynamic test HD load

All in all, the disk utilization is quite low, but VMware is the loser here. VirtualBox and KVM are the winner, outclassing by a small margin Xen.

UPDATE: a recent article comparing KVM vs VirtualBox can be found here: http://www.ilsistemista.net/index.php/virtualization/12-kvm-vs-virtualbox-40-on-rhel-6.html

Comments   

 
#1 Nathan 2012-09-12 03:12
This is a terrible review, to install the VMware paravirtual drivers but not the KVM Windows paravirtual drivers. All results from VMware must be discarded for comparison purposes.
 
 
#2 Marcelo 2015-11-15 03:16
A quick comparison I made between VMware Workstation Player and VirtualBox, with XP as guest, shows a ridiculous I/O advantage of VB, while VMware has a big advantage on 3D graphics.
 
 
#3 Gionatan Danti 2015-11-15 09:32
Quoting Marcelo:
A quick comparison I made between VMware Workstation Player and VirtualBox, with XP as guest, shows a ridiculous I/O advantage of VB, while VMware has a big advantage on 3D graphics.


Hi Marcelo,
VBox higher I/O speed probably is an artifact of VBox not honoring write barrier (synchronized writes) by default. While this give much higher speed, storage consistency is somewhat reduced and I do not suggest to disable write barriers on production host/machines.
 

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