Evaluation of type-1 hypervisors on desktop-class virtualization hosts
Authors: Duarte Pousa and José Rufino
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System Virtualization has become a fundamental IT tool, whether it is type-2/hosted virtualization,
mostly exploited by end-users in their personal computers, or type-1/bare metal, well established in IT
departments and thoroughly used in modern datacenters as the very foundation of cloud computing.
Though bare metal virtualization is meant to be deployed on server-grade hardware (for performance,
stability and reliability reasons), properly configured desktop-class systems or workstations are often
used as virtualization servers, due to their attractive performance/cost ratio.
This paper presents the results of a study conducted on commodity virtualization servers, aiming to
assess the performance of a representative set of the type-1 platforms mostly in use today: VMware
ESXi, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, oVirt and Proxmox. Hypervisor performance is indirectly
measured through synthetic benchmarks performed on Windows 10 LTSB and Linux Ubuntu Server
16.04 guests: PassMark for Windows, UnixBench for Linux, and the cross-platform Flexible I/O Tester
and iPerf3 benchmarks. The evaluation results may be used to guide the choice of the best type-1
platform (performance-wise), depending on the predominant guest OS, the performance patterns (CPUbound, IO-bound, or balanced) of that OS, its storage type (local/remote) and the required network-level