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

Written by Gionatan Danti on . Posted in Virtualization

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Synthetic benchmarks considerations

The synthetic benchmarks help us to examine the various subsystems one by one.

We are going to examine the subsystems in the following order:

  • CPU speed

  • cache and memory speed

  • I/O disk access speed

  • network speed

While synthetic tests are invaluable in an in-depth performance analysis, remember that they describe only half of the truth and, sometime, can even be misleading: for example, a software that run a CPU benchmark very fast can be quite slow in real-world situations, where many factor are at play at the very same time.

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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