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We look to continue running some apps on Dom0/KVN host, and I like to know, if there any performance difference between Xen/KVM enabled kernel, and "clean" regular kernel.

Have someone ever bench-marked stuff as this one?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't have any benchmarks but we run some very large and heavily used databases (PostgreSQL) on Xen dom0 so that in a pinch we could run some domU's if needed. We've never noticed any performance degradation compared to stock kernel.

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Thanks, that's a clear enough answer. – SyRenity Jul 20 '09 at 12:29

I haven't tested KVM yet, but I've done a bit with Xen.

There is very little (if any) cpu performance drop. And for heavy workloads you may notice a drop in disk or network I/O.

One surprising result we had: after converting a physical server running a heavy Java workload (Teamcity continuous integration cycles), to a Xen domU the time taken to run all the builds and tests was roughly halved. Both machines were running Debian Etch.

The physical machine had 4 cores @ 1.6GHz, and the virtual machine had 4 cores @ 2.0GHz and both had the same disk subsystem and motherboard/ram etc, so I expected a toss-up between slightly faster cpu on one side and a slight drop in performance due to virtualisation on the other.

I was surprised how much faster the Xen domU actually was.

But I don't think that is very typical. In most other cases, I haven't noticed any obvious performance drops with paravirtualised domUs. Windows HVM domUs are a different story though - especially when SMP was involved (last time I looked).

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