As KVM is gaining more and more popularity by being adopted in several Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, the battle between different virtualization technologies continues to be interesting.
While KVM is being adopted by a variety of software and distribution vendors, Xen is being adopted by hardware vendors to be shipped directly with the iron.
We asked Ian at FOSDEM if he felth the Xen community was changing and if he thought the contributions from the community were slowing down.
“We certainly haven’t seen that. If you think about the life of the Xen project, there have been a number of significant changes. When we left the University to set up XenSource, people were worried we might go off and take Xen in closed source or something, but we didn’t. One of the things that we did do was just to provide greater transparency by setting up the Xen advisory board and the Xen.org website. The advisory board has members from companies like Intel, AMD, HP, IBM, … big companies that are now contributing to Xen and have oversight from the advisory board, so I think the community is pretty happy and it’s going from strength to strength.”
According to ZDNet, Ian also claims that “KVM is not a true hypervisor. It tries to add virtualization capabilities to the Linux kernel but it’s not a true hypervisor approach. The Xen community is alive and well. Xen is a true hypervisor architecture that’s better for scalability, security and availability.
One of the biggest arguments against Xen is that KVM is already in the kernel. Theodore Ts’o thinks “it’s inevitable that Red Hat and Novell will standardize on KVM because of its inclusion in the kernel.” Xen never finished their efforts and KVM was quickly adopted into that same Linux Kernel.
Strong words also from the KVM front:
“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.
KVM or Xen? Time will tell, today both have different features and it will take some time until their feature set is similar, so the choice is about what YOU need, not about what the vendors claim you need.