Short VPS Comparison

General information on virtual private servers.



Virtualization Technologies Comparison


NixServers uses different types of virtualization technologies in order to consolidate servers and infrastructure: OpenVZ, Xen, KVM and Cloud. The virtualization technologies are different from a structural and functional point of view and should be used accordingly to customer applications depending on the technical requirements. Below you will find a brief comparison of the main virtualization technologies with benefits and drawbacks for each of them.

Cloud (High-Availability)


  • High Resource Consumption - Due to over-provisioning true cloud servers require the most resources to function.
  • Cost-Control - By using cloud servers you can control the individual application costs in a much easier fashion.
  • Preinstalled Applications - The operating systems for cloud come with preinstalled and reinstallable applications.
  • Maximum Uptime - Running applications in the cloud allows for the highest degree of service uptime.
  • Flexibility - Resources are allocated in blocks which cand be dynamically readjusted depending on requirements.
  • Automatic Fail-Over - Cloud apps will move transparently to other physical servers in case of hardware failures.
  • Instant Upgrades - Cloud resources can be instantly upgraded or downgraded without any operating system restart.
  • Resource Control - You can control cloud resources the same way as you would with dedicated servers.
  • Full Backup - The full backup function allows for instant snapshots for all of your data on backup servers.

OpenVZ (Container Virtualization)


  • Minimum Resource Consumption - OpenVZ is allows for minimum VPS resource consumption.
  • Minimum Costs - OpenVZ is a technology which offers low cost virtualization compared to other types.
  • Preinstalled OS - You can reinstall your Linux operating systems with one click, but you are constrained to Linux only.
  • Quota Support - OpenVZ allows for quota support in order to limit acces to the VPS resources.
  • Fair Scheduling - The hardware resource allocation is applied using Fair Scheduling Policy for identical servers.
  • Live Data Migration - The virtual containers can be migrated between virtualization nodes while running.
  • Instant Upgrades - VPS resources can be instantly upgraded or downgraded without any operating system restart.
  • Burstable Resources - OpenVZ allows for burstable resources according to application requirements.
  • Online Backup - You can backup your data while the VPS operating system is running.

Xen (Paravirtualization)


  • Thin Hypervisor - Does not require drivers and allows for perfect resource isolation.
  • Desktop Virtualization - Allows for your virtual servers to become workstations that are remotely accessible.
  • Simplifiled Security - The system security functions can be used in a friendly manner.
  • Multiple Operating Systems - You can install a lot of different operating systems as long as there is Xen kernel support for them.
  • VPN Support - Natively allows for VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN, IPSec) without any further drivers.
  • Dedicated Swap - Allows for swap/virtual memory partitions to be used just like on dedicated servers.
  • Custom OS Install - A Xen VPS allows for any type of storage partitioning or repartitioning.
  • Superior Performance - Due to better resource isolation it offers increased performance compared to OpenVZ.
  • CPU Extensions Support - Xen can make use of hardware CPU extensions like Intel VT or AMD-V.
  • Paravirtualization - Allows the virtual machines to access the hardware components in a similar manner to dedicated servers.

KVM (hardware virtualization)


  • Dedicated File System - KVM makes use of advanced LVM technology to store its data.
  • Any Operating System - KVM can virtualize any kind of operating system: Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris etc.
  • VNC Support - KVM technology integrates serial console access.
  • Dedicated Resources - All the virtual machine resources are dedicated and the resource isolation between virtual servers is close to perfect.
  • VPN Support - Natively allows for VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN, IPSec) without any further drivers.
  • Desktop Support - You can run any desktop operating system you want with Windows, Gnome, KDE etc.
  • Dedicated Swap - Allows for swap/virtual memory partitions to be used just like on dedicated servers.
  • Custom OS Install - A KVM VDS allows for any type of storage partitioning or repartitioning.
  • Best Performance - Due to better resource isolation and hardware support it offers the best performance compared to any other type of virtualization technology.
  • NFS Native Support - KVM can run NFS natively without any further settings required by other types of virtualization.
  • CPU Extensions Support - KVM will always make use of hardware CPU extensions like Intel VT or AMD-V.

 

Our suggestions on choosing a proper VPS


Depending on your applications and the required technical requirements for managing your server, the four presented technologies offer different benefits and have different drawbacks. For the most usual applications where management ease is required we recommend OpenVZ. For applications where superior performance, reliability, options and uptime are needed you should analyze your requirements and choose between Xen, KVM or Cloud. If you do not know what to choose, a KVM VDS is the most likely choise which offers superior performance, reliability and uptime at the most reasonable cost.