Virtualization Technology News and Information
KVM and Xen in an Exchange of Words

In case you were tired of the VMware versus everyone else arguments, how about a change of pace?  How about words between chairman Ian Pratt and CEO of Qumranet, Benny Schnaider instead.  Another he said she said type argument, which goes with the game we all live in.  As desktop virtualization grows roots, "discussions" like these will continue to grow as well.  ZDNet captures this discussion in one of their latest articles, "KVM and Xen cofounders engage in war of words".

“There’s no evidence for it. The Xen community is alive and well. Xen is a true hypervisor architecture that’s better for scalability, security and availability,” said Pratt, chairman of, a leading open source virtualization hypervisor project that is backed by IBM, Red Hat, Novell, Intel, Sun, Oracle, HP and Dell. Citrix’s Xen-based XenServer began shipping factory integrated on Dell PowerEdge servers today.

“KVM is not a true hypervisor. It tries to add virtualization capabilities to the Linux kernel but it’s not a true hypervisor approach. It’s good for something like desktop Linux and a convenient way of doing simple virtualization but it’s not really a high end hypervisor,” Pratt said in an interview with this blogger. “Having true hypervisor architecture is clearly important on the server side.”


“If Xen will die or not die, I don’t know. But KVM will take over and be the virtualization selection of choice,” said Benny Schnaider, CEO and co-founder  of Qumranet, whose first KVM-based virtualized desktop solution called SolidICE was recently released. 

Schnaider goes on to tell ZDNet that KVM is at its first stage of development but that it will ultimately be enhanced to eventually be ideal for server, desktop, embedded and real time virtualization scenarios.

And he claims that KVM has the advantage over Xen because it is integrated with the Linux kernel’s scheduler, allowsing for sub 15 second switchover between guests and performance metrics and that Xen can’t do that because their using their own schedular.

Read the rest of this article and comment on it at ZDNet.

Published Monday, May 12, 2008 5:50 AM by David Marshall
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