Virtual Performance

Virtual Performance – Or Lack Thereof

Core2 Quad 3.2GHz, 8GB of RAM
2x500GB 7200rpm SATA DM RAID1 for the main system
1x250GB 7200rpm SATA for testing

Virtual Test Configuration (VMware Player 4.0.4, Xen 4.1.2 (PV and HVM), KVM (RHEL6), VirtualBox 4.1.18):
CPU Cores: 4 (all)
RAM: 6GB
Disk: System booting off the 2×500 RAID1. Raw 250GB SATA disk passed to the VM.

Results

Bare metal: 1,042.523s (100%)
Xen 4.1.2 (PV): 1,316.984s (79.16%)
VMware ESXi 5.0.0: 1,361.321s (76.58%)
VMware Player 5.0.0: 1,478.732s (70.50%)
VMware Player 4.0.4: 1,520.023s (68.59%)
KVM (RHEL6): 1,691.849s (61.62%)
Xen 4.1.2 (HVM): 2,839.442s (36.72%)
VirtualBox 4.1.18: 8,876.945s (19.06%)

Virtualization Performance - Time in Seconds

Virtualization Performance - Relative Difference

The huge virtualisation overhead can be explained by using full BT (Binary Translation) instead of hardware assited virtualisation (Intel VT-x). More info at http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware_paravirtualization.pdf

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep vmx | head -1
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm dts tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority

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