Red Hat (News - Alert) recently announced that its Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor ,which is available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, has delivered top performance results on IBM's (News - Alert) System x3850 X5 host server with Qlogic QLE 256x Host Bus Adapters, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 hypervisor, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 guests.
While being tested, KVM was able to deliver I/O rates at the storage performance levels essential to managing enterprise workloads thus proving virtualized workloads can deliver consistent high performance similar to baremetal deployments. By ensuring the running of the hypervisor and its Linux kernel on a dual design both the host and hypervisor modes can be easily unified. Because KVM virtualization is based on the Linux operating system customers benefit from substantial reduction in overheads without suffering any performance issues.
During the tests, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 was utilized to test both single and multiple virtual machines. Even with only four guests, KVM easily delivered 1.4 million IOPS for random I/O requests and more than 1.6 million for random requests.
The KVM performance which matched the physical operating system performance of this setup was achieved with KMV which used a single guest to deliver about 800,000 IOPS for random I/O requests of 8KB in size, along with more than 900,000 IOPS for random requests of 4 KB or less. Recently, VMware had announced achieving one million IOPS for a single host running six virtual machines functioning on a vSphere 5.0 host.1
The average latency rates maintained during the tests were both low and constant for different I/O request sizes thus proving that block I/O performance on KVM are predictable regardless of the number of guests. Any increase in the number of guests and I/O requests can easily be addressed as block I/O performance on the KVM hypervisor can scale up to meet the demand load.
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