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OpenVZ/KVM and "dedicated resources"
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OpenVZ/KVM and "dedicated resources"

Typically, hosting providers market KVM as a superior alternative to OpenVZ. There are indeed some benefits like getting to use a modern kernel (and the typical Docker stuff) and being able to change kernel settings or modules.

Most often, however, KVM is marketed as superior to OVZ with something like "100% of the resources allocated to you". While doing some research, I found that this is not true, and even with KVM systems you can claim memory from idle guests with memory ballooning. So, technically it should be also possible to oversell KVM VPSes, and I'm sure quite a few providers do this as well.

However, why do we see KVM offerings priced higher than their OVZ counterparts? Am I wrong in assuming that KVM cannot be oversold like OVZ? Is the time/money investment required on a KVM deployment is significantly higher than OVZ to warrant the higher price tag? Or is it just providers charging a premium, because they know people will pay higher prices for a modern kernel and to tinker with low level kernel settings?


  • FlamesRunnerFlamesRunner Member
    edited September 2018

    KVM is great for many things: running containers, running a production system, etc.

    While you are correct about the overselling capability on KVM, it is not as easy to perform compared to OpenVZ and is also more limited.

    My opinion on whether or not KVM is worth it is likely shared by other members here: It depends on the workload. If I'm running a small web server, I'll use OpenVZ. If I'm running a production system for a business, I might opt to isolate services and use KVM for its ability to use containers.

  • OpenVZ is good for toys that work with it. KVM is good for doing real work. You can oversell memory and processor with KVM but not so much with storage.

    Consider OpenVZ to be hostile for sensitive files. KVM with luks is secure (except against motivated and knowledgeable attackers)

  • Also, if I'm correct, OpenVZ 6 never got a patch for Meltdown/Spectre, isn't it?

  • @stevewatson301 said:
    Also, if I'm correct, OpenVZ 6 never got a patch for Meltdown/Spectre, isn't it?
    Released at 2018-01-06 (3 days after public CVE release)

    Thanked by 2Shazan bulbasaur
  • bacloudbacloud Member, Patron Provider

    All virtualizations can be oversold, low price means most often heavy oversold VPS node.

  • That's the reason i do not really like/buy usually rather pricey "dedicated resources" KVM offers. It can be oversold and i have absolutely no way to verify it from within VM, so i basically have to trust provider on this.

    Also i think in most cases KVM is more expensive because of MUCH higher overheads, not because it is harder to oversell.

  • LyphiardLyphiard Member, Host Rep

    It's more difficult to oversell KVM disk space though, especially with pre-built solutions such as SolusVM.

    At least for me, my KVM stock is being limited by lack of available disk space, not CPU/RAM.

  • DETioDETio Member
    edited September 2018

    bacloud said: low price means most often heavy oversold VPS node.

    Low price does not always mean oversold VPS nodes - unless extremely LET + Containers, some providers have access to cheaper supply chains. Other companies want to make more profit or have bigger costs to cover, such as large teams.

    Benchmarking is your friend when it comes to price/performance calculations.

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