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I am putting a new server in a datacenter for company use and my company website. I use a lot of VPS accounts and in that world the choices are xen or openvz. I will be using virtualization on my dedicated server. It is difficult to find any information comparing the platforms outside of the VPS service context. We will not be renting out VPS accounts, we only wish to run isolated environments, and avoid the cost of multiple servers. I understand the basic difference of os level virtualization vs. hypervisor paravirtualization. It seems that most big companies are using xen, but in my experience openvz can achive better performance, due to the pooled resources, as many containers are likely to be idle. Does anyone have any experience with openvz or xen in this context?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Are there any other people than people who have access to the host using the VPS?

If yes: 
   Xen
else:
   openvz

One of the reasons for this is that you might end up rebooting a server. Unfortunately in OpenVZ this command doesn't work and results in a shut down server that needs to be booted from the host. Also have a look at LXC, it's the same as OpenVZ but doesn't use an as heavily patched kernel.

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thanks! No one else will need to reboot the host or containers. The main reason for virtualization is to isolate environments in case of a security breach. Also to solve versioning issues. I will look into LXC. Would there be any other reasons that I should prefer Xen? –  Jacob Stoner Apr 22 '12 at 20:22
    
Not that I can think off, I use LXC instead of Xen/KVM if it's just about isolation. –  Lucas Kauffman Apr 22 '12 at 20:26
1  
Based on some googling it seems LXC is not very secure, in that a compromised container could lead to a compromised host. Any thoughts? –  Jacob Stoner Apr 22 '12 at 20:39
    
I'll gladly take a look at those, can you link me? –  Lucas Kauffman Apr 22 '12 at 20:42
    
berrange.com/posts/2011/09/27/… search the page for the word "secure" –  Jacob Stoner Apr 22 '12 at 20:45

My personal favorite is still XEN. We decided to use it in 2007, since it was the best of breed back then with regards to performance and resource (CPU-overhead) usage.

We are using it with Linux in Dom0 and (mostly) Linux in PV-mode as DomUs.

If you need to run different Kernel Versions or different Linux distributions XEN is better - since you have the full Kernel in your VM.

If going for XEN have a look at Oracle VM, SLES11 SP2 or Citrix. It depends on your licensing needs which is the most cost-effective solution for you.

If you are in a pure Linux environment, KVM might be another possible solution nowadays (available in Debian, Ubuntu LTS, RedHat, SLES, ...).

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KVM in a "pure linux environment". KVM runs W2k8 R2 pretty good. –  Lucas Kauffman Apr 22 '12 at 20:39
    
Well - SLES11 runs on Hyper-V, too. ;-) –  Nils Apr 22 '12 at 20:40
    
thanks for the advise! –  Jacob Stoner Apr 23 '12 at 0:43

See it for yourself: http://openvz.org/Performance

Executive summary: for pure computational cases there is no or little difference. For any other task the difference can be up to few times (in OpenVZ favor).

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